07/25/2013 12:53 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba soon to require booster seats for children too small to wear seatbelts

WINNIPEG - Manitoba will soon require booster seats for children who have outgrown car seats but are too small to wear regular seatbelts properly.

The government says a new law that comes into effect Aug. 8 is meant to reduce serious abdominal or spinal-cord injuries in an accident.

The law will require children to be at least four-foot-nine, weigh at least 80 pounds or be nine years of age before their parents can ditch the boosters.

Manitoba's Highway Traffic Act currently requires car seats to be used until a child reaches the age of five or weighs 50 pounds.

Research suggests smaller children who are restrained with seatbelts without booster seats are 3 1/2 times more likely to be injured in a car crash.

They are also just over four times more likely to suffer a head injury.