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Car Seats Until Age 8? Doctor Says New 2012 Law Prevents Brain Damage

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(credit: Tim Hall/Getty Images)

(credit: Tim Hall/Getty Images)

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textalerts180 Car Seats Until Age 8? Doctor Says New 2012 Law Prevents Brain Damage

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — There’s a lot of grumbling from both kids and parents as the New Year rings in a new law that requires taller and older kids to stay in a car seat.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports on a new state law that requires all children under age 8 to be put into a properly buckled car or booster seat.

The law calls for all children to stay in booster seats in the back seat of the vehicle until they are either 8 years old or at least 4’9″ tall.

The previous law required car seats only for kids up to 6 years of age or 60 pounds in weight.

Dr. Alan Nager, head of the emergency department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and traumatic brain injury for children ages 4 to 8.

“We’re talking about lives here,” said Nager. “Parents need to be vigilant and insistent and be an advocate for their child, because we’re not talking about trivial injuries here.”

The changes are projected to increase a child’s chance of surviving a crash by around 45 percent, he added.

Over the last decade, 113 children statewide between ages 6 and 7 died in motor vehicle crashes and another 414 suffered serious brain injuries.

In addition to their child’s safety, parents also have a financial stake in the new law: violators can be fined more than $475 if they fail to buckle up their youngster.

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