2015 Children’s Booster Seat and Seat Belt Use Health Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To monitor the proportion of children aged 4-11 who practice recommended seat belt and booster seat use in Halton Region. For children aged 4-7 this means travelling in a booster seat in the back of a vehicle as required by legislation and for children aged 8-11 it is those who travel in the back seat of a car and use a seat belt with both lap and shoulder belts fastened (or use a booster seat).

Background

When installed and used correctly booster seats can save lives. In September 2005 the Ontario Ministry of Transportation implemented new laws for the mandatory use of booster seats in children from pre-school to under the age of 8. A booster seat raises a child up so that the seat belt is positioned correctly across the child’s body. Once a child is over the age of 8 and can sit against the back of the vehicle seat with the lap and shoulder belts in the proper position, they no longer require a booster seat. Children under the age of 12 should always ride in the back seat.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

Children 4-7 Years

  • In 2014/15, 93% of parents in Halton reported that their child aged 4-7 years always travelled in the back seat of a vehicle in a booster seat.
  • The percentage of children aged 4-7 who always travelled in the back seat of a vehicle in a booster seat was higher following the implementation of legislation in 2005. This increase was statistically significant when comparing 2004 to all years after legislation.

Children 8-11 Years

  • In 2014/15, 65% of Halton parents reported that their child of 8-11 years always travelled in the back seat of the vehicle and wore a lap and shoulder belt combination (or a booster seat).
  • There were no statistically significant changes in the proportion of Halton parents who reported that their child always travelled in the back seat of the vehicle and wore a lap and shoulder belt combination (or a booster seat) from 2004 to 2014/15.