Give Them A Boost – When To Move From A Booster Seat
8 years old OR 80 lbs OR 4’9” are the magic numbers that parents look forward to. These numbers mean no more booster seat… or does it?
I have parents contact me weekly asking for the minimum requirements to come out of a booster and I always stress that the numbers are just that, MINIMUMS.
Booster seats are designed to give children a BOOST, helping their underdeveloped skeletal structures, fit into ADULT seat belts correctly. Seatbelts are designed for adults, and more often than not, create a poor and even deadly fit, on children.
The best way to decide if your child is physically ready to come out of a booster seat is to look at these 5 rules:
Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children, keeping them in each stage longer, is the best way to protect them, not going by the dated minimums that our government has set out.
The 5-Step Test
- Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat with feet touching the floor?
- Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
- Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If your child is not able to meet all 5 requirements, then a booster seat is needed.
Parents often feel that using a booster seat is equal to calling the child a baby. They are not babies, but children who are not yet big enough to fit in a seating position that was created for an adult.
As parents we need to help educate our children on why they are using a booster and not focus on having them move out of the stage at the bare minimum. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children, keeping them in each stage longer, is the best way to protect them, not going by the dated minimums that our government has set out.
Most children are 10-12 years old before they are ready to move out of a booster.