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Advocacy for booster seat legislation in Florida: a lesson in politics and policy formation


MVCs are a major contributor to child injury and death. Infant restraint seats and child booster seats have been shown to reduce the odds of severe injury or death when used correctly. While all states have mandated the use of these restraint systems, the age at which a child can be legally restrained using an adult seat belt varies from state to state. Efforts to strengthen Florida's weak child restraint laws have failed for more than a decade; in the 2014 legislative session, advocates succeeded in raising the state's age requirement from 3 years to 5  years. While many factors contributed to this year's success, some key elements included efficient communication of supporting data, a strong and broad advocacy network and the leveraging of election year political rivalries. Efforts to further strengthen the law will continue into future legislative sessions.

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