Sunday, April 14, 2024

What Age To Stop Using Car Seat

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How Do I Use A Booster Seat

What age can I transition children from a car Booster Seat?
  • A booster seat positions your child so that the seat belt fits across the strong bones of the hips and pelvis and not the abdomen, to protect your child from injury.;
  • While seated in the booster seat, the lap belt should fit low and snug across your childs hips, and not up on their belly.
  • The shoulder portion of the seat belt should be positioned over the chest and collarbone, staying between your childs neck and shoulder so that it does not touch the neck.
  • Follow the directions for the booster seat to know how to route the seat belt under any armrests or through any belt guides, as directed.

Should You Wait To Switch

Any step up in car seatsfrom rear-facing to forward-facing, from the harness to boosteris actually a step down in safety. The 5-point harness spreads crash forces over more points on a child’s body, lessening the potential force any one part of the body must take in a crash.

While some high-back booster seats have a minimum weight of 30 pounds, kids should weigh at least 40 pounds before riding in any booster seat.

From a practical standpoint, parents find that it is easier to keep the child sitting properly when in a car seat than in a booster; in a booster the child can unbuckle themselves more easily than in a car seat. They can also lean and slouch, which is dangerous. They can’t do that in a car seat when the 5-point harness is properly adjusted.

The seatbelt cannot protect a child who is not in the proper position. Most children cannot be trusted to sit properly until at least five years old.

Many parents find that their child is actually much older than four before they can be expected to sit still in a booster. If your vehicle has lap-only seatbelts in the rear seats, keep your child in a harnessed car seat as long as possible. Harnessed seats can be installed with a lap-only belt.

Booster seats absolutely must be used with a lap/shoulder belt. Extended harnessing, or using a harnessed car seat with a higher weight limit, is vastly preferable to moving a child into a lap-only seatbelt.

When Can A Child Stop Using A Car Seat

A child passenger is an auto driver’s most precious–and most vulnerable–cargo. All children who are under age 8 and less than 4-foot-9-inches tall should be secured in a car safety seat whenever a vehicle is in motion, according to recommendations from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Data compiled by NHTSA officials show that significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths and injuries through the correct use of safety seats. Nonetheless, safety advocates remain concerned about statistics indicating that less than 20 percent of kids between 4 and 8 years of age are riding in car booster seats.

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Car Seat Until Age 8 Who Actually Follows This Recommendation

Ill admit it when it comes to car seats, I just cant practice everything I preach.

As a pediatrician I recommend that kids stay in a five-point restraint car seat until age 8, in accordance with the research-supported guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.; When you finally graduate from a car seat youre still supposed to stay in a booster seat until youre 12 years old or 4 feet 9 inches.

As a mom, Ive never actually met anyone following these recommendations.; If you are following them, please comment below and let us know how youre doing it.

Heres the official carseat and booster seat guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

To be clear, I do follow state car seat laws.; Laws differ by state, and almost every state is more lenient than the AAPs recommendations. So please dont call the Department of Family Services on me Its just time for an honest conversation about car seat safety recommendations, why most of us dont follow them, and how we as parents can do a better job keeping our kids safe in the car.

Here are 6 real-life reasons why people dont follow car seat and booster seat recommendations, and the solutions Ive found that actually work.

4) All those car seats dont fit in my car: When I had my third child I thought I would have to buy a mini-van just to fit all the car seats. Then we figured out how to fit three car-seats in the back of a Honda Civic.

Where To Get Assistance

The Age and Weight of When your Child can Stop Using a Car ...

Many local fire departments, hospitals, law enforcement agencies and public safety groups can help parents properly install car safety seats. When seeking assistance, parents should ask to speak with a certified child passenger safety technician.

Writer Bio

Kirk Brown is an award-winning freelance writer with two decades of diverse media experience. A former newspaper reporter and editor, he also was managing editor of an acclaimed scuba diving magazine. Brown has written scripts for more than 50 half-hour TV programs focusing on technology and health topics.

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What About Height And Weight

Most booster seats have a lower weight threshold of 40 pounds, though some still have a 30 pound minimum weight. ;Thats the minimum. ;We advocate for waiting as long as possible to move a child to the next step in any child restraints. ;In this case, that means waiting until the child has outgrown their harnessed car seat before transitioning to a booster seat.

For our Canadian readers, all booster seats have at least a 40 pound minimum weight. There is some concern that a smaller child may be able to submarine beneath the lap belt in a crash, however, currently available studies do not have conclusive information for this phenomenon. We do know that a properly fitted seat belt does an excellent job of protecting a child in a crash, reducing the risk for serious injury by 45% for 4-8 year olds.1

The great news is that for most kids, there is no rush whatsoever to move into a booster seat. Not too long ago there were very few 5 point harnessed seats that could hold a child who weighs over 40 pounds. Today, there is a vast array of seats to choose from that can harness the average 5-6 year old some of those options cost as little as $50. Check out our recommended seats list if you need help making a car seat selection!

Safety Standards At Home

Although many state car seat laws do a reasonable job guiding parents in protecting babies and toddlers in the car, you should consider going beyond the requirements in most cases. For example, most states only require that infants stay in a rear-facing car seat until they’re 1 year old and 20 pounds. Car safety seats may reduce the risk of serious injury by over 70% in children less than one year and by over 50% in children aged two to four years.

There are convertible and 3-in-1 car seats available today that can accommodate a toddler rear-facing until age 3 or 4. Car seat safety experts, and many manufacturers, now recommend keeping your child rear-facing until they reach the limits of the car seat.

Similarly, it’s safest for children to remain in a forward-facing 5-point harness for as long as possible before moving to a booster seat, and to stay in a booster seat until they properly fit in the adult seatbelt using the 5-step test. The state car seat law may only require a harnessed car seat until age 3 or 4, but car seats are available for much larger or older children.

The harness spreads crash forces over a greater area of the body versus a seatbelt. For booster seats, a child who can legally move out of a booster seat at age 8 might be too small to fit well in a seatbelt;and is at greater risk of serious injuries in a crash.

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When To Stop Using A Booster Seat

Just as there are requirements for when a child is ready to move into a booster seat, there are also rules for when a child is able to stop using a booster seat altogether. And these rules may surprise you. Once again, the laws and requirements are different for each state, but typically, your child should remain in a booster until they reach the age of eight and a standing height of at least 4 feet 9 inches. Many children wont safely be able to ride in a car without a booster seat until theyre 10 to 12 years of age.

The best way to decide if your child can safely ride in a belt-positioning booster seat or without a booster seat at all is to check the position of the seat belt. Does the seat belt sit across the middle of the chest and shoulder without cutting into the childs neck? Can the child sit comfortably with their back against the seat and their legs bent at the knee over the edge of the seat? Is the lap belt low and snug against your childs upper thighs? If so, its a good fit.

Ready to make the switch? Learn about the pros and cons between the different types of booster seats so you can make the best decision for your child. And remember, the best type of booster seat is one that fits your child and safely secures them while traveling.

When To Change The Earliest From An Infant Carrier To A Toddler Seat

Using Car Seats Safely

We at BeSafe recommend you to use an infant carrier for as long as possible, as it gives you as a parent flexibility and offers your baby great side protection. However, you might consider changing to a toddler car seat earlier. In these cases, we recommend you to only change to a toddler car seat when your baby can sit by themselves, as toddler car seats typically are more upright and give a bit less stability than infant carriers.

Depending on which toddler seat you are choosing, make sure that your child has reached the minimum requirement of that seat. Based on its regulation, this can either be a minimum weight or a minimum height.

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An Easy Way To Test If Your Child Is Ready To Travel Without A Booster Seat Safely

Fortunately for parents, there is an easy way to see if a child is ready to stop using a booster seat. Try this 5 step test with your child. Have your child sit in the car without a booster seat and buckle them in with a regular car buckle.

  • Where does the seat belt rest on your child? Does it rest in the middle of the chest and the middle of their shoulder?
  • Can your child sit with his bottom all the way to the back of the seat?
  • Can your childs feet touch the floor with their knees bending at the edge of the car seat?
  • Does the lap of the seat belt rest across your childs hips and upper thighs?
  • Can your child sit like this comfortably for as long of a trip as needed?
  • If you answer no to any of these questions, your child likely isnt ready to travel without a booster seat quite yet. Wait at least 3-4 months before trying this test out again. Children grow fast!

    But what if my child can legally ride without a seat belt but didnt pass this test?

    You are not legally required to use a booster seat if your child fits the legal requirements of your state. We arent here to tell you want to doit is up to you as a parent to determine what is best for your child! With this in mind, this five-step test is to determine whether or not it is safe for your child to travel without a booster seat.

    Buckling Up Your Child

    A booster seat helps children sit comfortably by raising them so they can sit up against the seat back with their knees bent over the edge of the booster or vehicle seat.

    If your child can sit up straight with his or her back against the seat back and his or her knees bent over the edge of the booster, move on to check the fit of the seat belt.

    • If your child cannot do this, choose another booster seat

    A booster seat that fits needs to guide and keep the lap and shoulder belt in place across your childs hips, chest and shoulders.

    The seat belt guides help you adjust the belt for better fit, and help keep the belt in place. Follow the instructions in the booster seats manual and the seats labels for threading the belt through the guides.

    The lap belt must fit snuggly on the hips. This will help the seat belt bring your child to a stop during a sudden stop or crash and protect your child from injuries.

    • If the lap belt does not sit flat on the hips, choose another booster seat

    The shoulder belt should sit in the middle of your childs shoulder. This is most comfortable, and makes it less likely for children to wiggle out of a belt or put it behind them. It also makes the belt less likely to slip off the shoulder during a crash.

    • If the shoulder belt does not cross the middle of the shoulder try to adjust the shoulder belt guide
    • If this does not help, choose another booster seat

    Car Safety Seat Recommendations

    Child car seats protect children from birth to their early teens against death and injury.

    • Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children.
    • One-third of children killed in car accidents are not in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.

    The Mississippi State Department of Health conducts safety seat checks and educates parents in the proper installation of car safety seats.

    Car Seats Booster Seats And Seat Belts

    Car seat fail endangers

    Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children. Many children may be riding at risk because of improper car seat use — or how and where they are sitting. It is important to use the right type of restraint based upon your childs age and size. As your child ages, follow these four steps one step at a time to keep your child safe in the car.

    Child Passenger Safety Requirements Driver Services

    Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act

    The Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all children under age 8 be properly secured in an appropriate child safety restraint system. This includes the use of booster seats, which must only be used with a lap/shoulder safety belt. If the back seat of the vehicle is not equipped with lap/shoulder type safety belts, a child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat without a booster seat, secured with a lap belt only.

    As of January, 1, 2019 the Child Passenger Protection Act is amended to include the requirement for children under age 2 years to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall.

    Child Safety Seat Guidelines

    Always read and follow the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturerâs instructions for installation and height/weight guidelines.

    Newborn-2 yearsEffective Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois law will require children under age 2 to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system unless they weigh more than 40 pounds or are more than 40 inches tall. Children must remain rear-facing until age 2.

    Children riding rear-facing may use a rear-facing only car seat or a convertible car seat installed rear-facing. Always follow the car seat manufacturers harnessing instructions and height and weight limitations for a rear-facing installation.

    Child Passenger Safety Tips

    Child Safety Seat Programs

    Quick Links

    Checking The Fit Of The Booster Seat

    Even if a booster seat meets Canadian regulations, the seat you choose needs to fit your child, and your vehicle. A booster seat that fits will better protect your child during a sudden stop or a crash.

    The lap belt must fit snuggly on the hips. This will help the seat belt bring your child to a stop during a sudden stop or crash and helps protect your child from injuries.

    The shoulder belt should sit in the middle of your childs shoulder because:

    • this is most comfortable for your child
    • this makes it less likely for your child to wiggle out of the belt or put it behind him or her
    • this makes the belt less likely to slip off your childs shoulder during a sudden stop or crash

    Try the booster seat in your vehicle before you buy it, if possible. Otherwise, ensure that the seat can be returned if it does not fit your child and your vehicle.

    Check provincial or territorial regulations to make sure that your child meets the age, height and or weight requirements for a booster seat.

    When Can A Child Start To Use A Booster Seat

    A child is ready for a booster seat when they have outgrown the height or weight limit of their 5-point harness car seat. This is usually when they reach over 65 pounds or 49 inches. You can check your car seat’s manual for its height and weight limits and if it can be converted to a booster seat.

    There is no one age that means your child is ready to switch from a car seat to a booster seat. Generally, kids are between the ages of 5-9 when they begin to outgrow the weight limitations of a 5-point harness car seat. Before you make the move to a belt-positioning booster seat, make sure your child meets these requirements:

    • Generally, kids weighing over 65 pounds are ready to switch to a booster seat.
    • When your child reaches 49 inches tall.
    • When you believe your child is mature enough to properly sit in a booster seat with the seat belt correctly positioned at all times.

    It’s important not to rush the switch to a booster seat. If your child still fits the height and weight requirements of their car seat, that is their safest option.

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