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Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director

NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (206) 624-3330
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo

Booster seats, seat belts save children's lives

SEATTLE - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages two to 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That's why the NW Insurance Council supports Child Passenger Safety Week.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to reduce deaths and injuries. Studies show that children, ages four to eight, who use booster seats are 59-percent less likely to be injured in a car accident than those who only wear a seat belt.

"Children often lack the judgment to ensure their own safety," said Karl Newman, president of the NW Insurance Council. "Adults should make sure each child has and uses safety restraints that are appropriate for the child's age, weight and height."

According to the Washington Safety Restraint Coalition, many deaths and injuries to children can be prevented by the proper use of car seats, booster seats and safety belts. In fact, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers, 1 to 4 years old.

The Washington Safety Restraint Coalition and the NW Insurance Council recommend the following guidelines for children's' car seats and seat belts:

  • Children weighing less than 20 pounds (and up to 1 year old) should be in rear-facing safety seats placed in the back seat.
  • Children up to 40 pounds should be in forward-facing safety seats placed in the back seat.
  • Children 40 to 80 pounds should be in a booster seat in the back seat.
  • Children weighing more than 80 pounds should use an adult safety belt system in the back seat up to age 13.

For more information on child seat safety, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or visit

The NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, consumer education organization funded by member insurance companies.