When kids ride in cars and trucks, they need the special protection of a booster seat or a children’s car seat. Booster seats are made for those kids that are too large for car seats, but still don’t meet weight standards for using a regular car seat belt. The booster seat will put your child at the right level so a normal style of car or truck seat belt can be used to keep the child in place if there is an accident. If you used a regular car lap belt or seat belt on a child that isn’t big enough, you could end up causing them serious injury in accidents instead of it protecting them.
Requirements for Booster Seat Usage
Statistics have reported that one of the main causes of child death before the age of 14 is due to injuries incurred in auto accidents. However, they also show that if a child is properly restrained in a booster seat that meets the state’s booster seat requirements, the odds of them being injured or killed in a car accident go down.
A Child Booster Seat Law was enacted in 2006 to require the use of them to protect children. While the laws for each state may vary slightly, the main booster seat requirements are that all kids between four and eight who weigh more than 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds and who are less than four feet nine inches tall must ride in a car seat. If not, the driver can be fined.
You must also ensure the child is sitting properly in the booster seat for it to provide protection:
- Once seated, the child’s knees should be bending over the edge of the seat, but the legs shouldn’t point straight.
- Then, put the shoulder part of the seat belt across the child’s shoulders, as well as his chest, but keep it away from the head or the neck.
- Then put pull the lap belt portion of the seat belt over the child’s lap, as well as the hips, and make sure it is over the top part of their thighs.
Kinds of Booster Seats Available
There are two major kinds of booster seats are made for children:
1.) Those with a high back – This is proper if your car does not have a head rest.
2.) Those without a back – If your car already has a head rest, you can use a booster seat without a back.
Both types must be properly installed using the vehicle’s seat belt. Following the booster seat requirements will help to ensure that booster seats are used properly so that your children can be protected in the case of an accident.
There are many different brands of children’s booster seats and car seats to choose from. For instance, one of the major booster seat manufacturers is Graco. They not only make a Graco booster seat, they also make the Graco Turbobooster car seat for younger children. You can read all about the booster seat ratings for these and other styles of booster and child car seats on the manufacturer’s websites.