December 20, 2007

Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association to present infant seats to first babies of 2008

St. John’s, Newfoundland – As it has done for more than 20 years, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) will present an infant car seat to the first baby born in 2008 in each of the 12 hospitals in the province that perform deliveries.

NLMA president Dr. Joseph Tumilty said the intent of the program is to encourage all parents to use approved car seats for their children right from the moment they leave the hospital as newborns. To date, more than 250 car seats have been presented under the program.

“The proper use of child safety seats, from the first ride home from the hospital until the child is big enough to use a regular seatbelt, has been proven to be one of the most successful safety innovations for motor vehicles,” Dr. Tumilty said. “The only safe way to keep small children protected in cars is with infant carriers, child seats and booster car seats.”

In 2005, the NLMA and other groups recommended mandatory legislation to ensure that children between ages four and eight, weighing between 18 and 36 kg (40 and 80 lbs) and having a standing height of less than 145 cm (4.7 feet) be properly secured in booster seats in the back seat of a vehicle. On June 7, 2007, the government amended the recommendations to the Highway Traffic Act. The legislation, which will be brought into effect on June 7, 2008, will require all children to be in a booster seat while they are being transported in a car, passenger truck, taxi, vehicles used by day cares, and school contract vehicles.

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