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Change in Florida Law Puts More Children in Safety Seats

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

February 11, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Change in Florida Law Puts More Children in Safety Seats

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health is promoting a recent change to the Florida Child Restraint Law requiring children ages four and five to be in a child safety seat while riding in a car. Appropriate safety seats must be approved by the state and meet certain minimum safety requirements.

"Children in child safety seats are better protected from injury in a car that crashes," said Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H. Armstrong. "By including four- and five-year-old children in child safety seat requirements, the Florida Child Restraint Law has expanded safety for Florida's families."

The revised law marks an important step toward improving child safety in the Sunshine State. Utilizing age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts greatly reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries for young passengers. There are penalties, to include fines and points against a driver's license, for a driver who does not have children, age five and under, in child safety seats.

After the age of five, the following recommendations should be consulted before allowing children to wear a seatbelt without a booster seat:

  • the child is at least 4'9" tall;
  • the child can sit all the way back in the seat and bend knees at the edge of the seat;
  • the shoulder belt lays across the chest, not the neck; and
  • the lap belt lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach.

For additional information on the requirements of this new law, available in both English and Spanish, visit http://www.flhsmv.gov/2014/12/23/giving-boost-child-safety/.

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. The department is recognizing 125 years of public health in Florida with educational opportunities and events. Please visit www.FLHealth125.gov for more information.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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