By Jun Woo Park, John Marshall HS 12th Grade
In an age where cars are more prevalent and more car accident-related deaths occur, it’s crucial to ensure the safety of not only the driver but the safety of children in the back seat. Statistics show that “172,000 children were injured in car crashes in 2013; 1,149 children died from car accidents.” A major factor that caused these deaths is the lack of 
booster seats being implemented in cars. Booster seats are important for children’s safety when commuting in cars because they can prevent or significantly decrease the chance of getting injured or killed in the case of a car accident. Booster seats, otherwise known as child safety seats, are seats specifically designed to reduce or prevent car injuries and deaths in children. Since regular seat belts are designed for adults, children cannot fit in them, thus requiring booster seats to be properly restrained. There seems to be a common misconception among parents who think regular seat belts do just as adequate a job for children with or without a booster seat. This is false; in fact, an adult seat belt can do more harm than good. In a hypothetical case of a car crash, if the seat belt rested on the child’s abdomen, he could develop problems with stomach, liver, or spleen. The reason why booster seats are imperative to children’s safety in car crashes is because they allow children to fit into the seat belts designed to fit adults. On a booster seat, a child would be safely restrained by the lap and shoulder belts.

Most states in the United States require children to use booster seats, and there is no mystery behind the reason for it; it’s a proven fact that it could save millions of young lives. In consideration of data from different crash directions and vehicle model years, children who use booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be seriously injured than those who don’t. Other related statistics show that “Children in booster seats had approximately half the injury risk as children in seat belts (0.67 vs. 1.36 percent).” Dr. Kristy B. Arbogast from the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children' s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania note that side impact crashes are the most fatal type of crashes for children; thankfully, booster seats can prevent more of these unfortunate incidents from happening. 

Parents throughout America need to know to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of their children, especially during daily commutes. Realizing Although child safety seats may be a hassle to use at times, the benefits of having a safety precaution method ready at all times is far greater than the uncomfortability of it. 

<Jun Woo Park John Marshall HS 12th Grade>