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.

  • Svetlana Teratitzoff

    My dad is 89..I think we should make old people use passenger car seats too. Don’t get me started on geriatric drivers. I mean, Papa wears diapers just like my 3-year old.

    • wobbles

      You think that? I think you should ask you old man what he wants and treat him like a human being who deserves your respect. Maybe you can even thank him for not dumping your ungrateful rear end in an orphanage when you were a kid too while you are at it.

  • Steven Gibson

    Nearly every parent that drops off kids at his elemetary school between the ages of 4 and 8 let their child ride in the front passenger when they have airbags which can kill them. Most of these parents are clueless as to potential serious injury or death if involved in a car accident. My son just turned 13 years old, is 5′ 6″ tall, weighs 110 pounds and now I finally let him sit in the front seat. It’s time for parents to wake up and be a protective parent.

    • dave

      seat belt laws are pure bunk i am in my 40s grew up in the 70s when NO ONE had seat belts in the car and amazingly in 5 diffrent accidents between birth and age 16 with my parents did i EVER get a single injury. on the flip side at agr 25 in my own car wearing a seat belt because the law requires it i got t-boned and sustained MASSIVE internal damage BECAUSE I WAS WEARING THE BELT it tightened up and caused major damage. i will take the ticket any day because i belive my kids are safer WITH OUT THE BELT. i agree an infant needs one but an 8 year old give me a break at age 8 i weights at least 70-80 pounds YES i was fat but the point is why would i have needed a safty seat.

  • Taxpayer

    Wonder if the Mexicans will get a pass because they have too many kids and cant afford all those seats or will the taxpayers wind up paying for this also, but then again is is a nice money grab for the state on those $ 475.00 tickets.

    • Jose

      We don’t need a drivers license or insurance why do we need safety seats for our children? Who cares anyway we will not pay the ticket anyway. Our illegal status gives us that right.

  • John

    This is straight up nanny-state BS. I remember riding on the center armrest in the back of my grandma’s Cadillac as a kid and I’m still here. If this is really about safety, then you would need to apply it to all people under 4’9″, not just little kids. Too bad for midgets, I guess. You no longer have the right to have a life.

    At some point you have to accept personal responsibility for you child’s safety yourself and leave the government out of it.

  • Mike in San Diego

    Ummmm, I wonder how much any maker of a car seat paid good old doc for his wise advice.

  • mike

    no way will i put my 7 year old in a car seat!!!!! years ago i saw a wreck on the freeway headed across arizona. the car fliped several times ejecting the 2 parents 2 kids 6 and 7 all who had injuries BUT LIVED however the 3 year old in the car seat DIED because the car seat stayed in the car and the child BURNED ALIVE the parents and by standers heard the child screaming and could not get to it because of the flames. this law will not SAVE lifes it will kill more kids who could have got out of the car faster if not in the seats THANKS GOV TYPES FOR KILLING MORE OF US. AND as stated above what about little people who never reach 4 foot 9 and some of which do not weigh very much?? will they have to drive their cars as adults while straped into a car seat??

  • stupidLaws2012

    Anyone 18 and under definitely needs to be in a car seat. How would car seat companies stay in business…geesh.

  • Huh?

    There is no way this law would have passed if the statistics did not show a CLEAR serious advantage to children under 4’9″ wearing a belt positioner. I can’t believe you guys actually think that unbelted is better, Wow! That is nuts. I bet you think marijuana is good for you, too.

    • dale

      think about what you said. car seats are needed for children under 4’9 my wife is 4’7 weighs 79 pounds and is 41 years old. should she be in a car seat? NO SHE SHOULD NOT. and there IS NO clear evidance that belts help do some research on the topic because i have my self MANY MANY people have died in SLOW SPEED LOW IMPACT accidents because the seat belt they wore sinched up to tight on impact causing internal damage. if a seat belt can sinch that tight on a low impact accident imagine how tight it can go on a high impact one. my nephew is a police officer and his wife is an RN at the local hospital where they live. they BOTH tell me that seat belts are HIGHLY OVER RATED that they have both seen them do more damage then good, the people who push for these silly laws are backed by the makers of the item they are pushing for. case in point i read an article about PRIMATEN MIST being pulled off the shelfs because it has some chem that is said to mess up the O-ZONE this may be fact, however the people who funded the study are the RX companies that would rather you pay 100 bucks for their med instead if the much lower cost of the over the counter versions

      • Niko

        Hi! I found your blog on Google.It’s relaly well written and it helped me a lot.Continue the good work!

    • John

      No, I just think it should be at the discretion of the parents, not the government, to make decisions like this. It’s a matter of choice and personal accountability.

      Also, who said anything about going unbelted (other than my bit of reminiscing)? Use a seat belt with a strap adjuster if you want. You still shouldn’t have laws forcing kids bigger than some adults to be strapped in like toddlers.

  • Sue for unsafe cars

    Sue the car makers for selling cars with unsafe seats. I spent 30 grand for a car and it’s not safe for my son.

  • Midgets4carSeats_equal protection

    I’m a full-grown adult midget 4’5 in height and 69 lbs, with a valid CA driver’s license, and i will have you know that I drive around very comfortably in my booster seat, thank you very much.

  • Merve

    continue with the the good work on the blog. I love it. Could maybe use some more utaepds more often, but i’m quite sure that you got more or better things to do , hehe. =p

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