In 2016, 133,124 collisions were recorded on Alberta roadways. Of those collisions, over 1,000 caused injury to a child aged 14 or under. Across Canada, motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of unintentional death and injury in children aged 1-14.
Using the correct car seat or booster can drastically reduce the severity of a child’s injuries in the event of a collision. Alberta is the ONLY Canadian province without booster legislation. In 2016, the Canadian Paediatric Association recommended that Alberta "enact booster seat legislation," noting that "in a collision, children using seat belts instead of booster seats are 3.5 times more likely to suffer a serious injury and 4 times more likely to suffer a head injury."
In Alberta, the current law states that a child over age 6 or over 40 lb (18 kg) does not require a car seat, however neither the weight minimum or age minimum correspond to a child who is tall enough to safely use the adult seat belt alone.
Children restrained with the adult seat belt alone (without a booster seat) are at risk of severe injury due to “seat belt syndrome,” where the placement of the seat belt on the child’s abdomen leads to severe internall injuries, including spinal fractures. Using a booster seat “boosts” the child up so that the adult seat belt sits centred on their shoulder and low on their hips (the correct fit prescribed by all vehicle manufacturers) so it can protect the child’s small body as it is designed to do for an adult.
Many caregivers mistakenly believe that children over 6 are safe without a car seat or booster because the law effectively says so. A Booster Seat Law would greatly increase caregiver awareness about booster seat usage and serve to protect our most fragile passengers.
Seat Belt Injuries in Children: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3211905/
Alberta Transport Statistics:
Canadian Paediatric Society Recommendations:
Canadian Child Safety Report Card:
Find a Car Seat Tech near you: www.cpsac.org/find-a-tech
Why do big kids need booster seats? https://mamanloupsden.com/2019/04/05/booster-seats-for-big-kids/
We, the undersigned, call on the Government of Alberta to enact a Booster Seat Law requiring that children under 4'9" (145 cm) tall and under 10 years old ride in an appropriate booster seat.
The Booster Law to Protect Alberta Children petition to Government of Alberta was written by Lindsay Gallimore and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.