Keep Older Children Safe by Choosing the Right Booster Seat
Protecting your most precious cargo – your children – is the focus of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) recommendations for choosing the right booster seat for children. The biggest danger to children aged 1 to 12 years old today is being killed in car crashes. The NHTSA has created a new website called “Parents Central” which features complete information, tools and resources for parents so they can protect children riding in their vehicles.
Without adequate in-vehicle protection, children can suffer unnecessary and severe physical harm or death in a car crash. The new NHTSA website features information parents need to know about child seat recalls, how to know if a seat is safe to reuse after a crash, where to get one inspected, about ratings, state laws, recommendations and also information for pregnant women and seat belt use.
Basic Child Booster Seat Tips for Older Children
- Age 4 to 7 years: Once the child has reached the upper limits for safe riding in a forward-facing car seat with harness, they can travel strapped into a booster seat, in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Age 8 to 12 years: Use a properly fitted booster seat in the rear seat until the child is large enough to ride safely in the regular car seat with belt. The seat belt should rest snugly over the upper thighs and not the stomach area. Any shoulder belt must not cross neck or face, but rest snugly across the shoulder/chest area.
The age, size, height and weight of the child are not the only things that are important, but installation of the right device is essential for maximum safety and protection. Remember that the rear seat is the safest place to sit children up to age 12. Babies normally are placed into secure child safety seats; older children naturally are larger and should be secured in the right booster seat. Always read car seat installation instructions and car manual to properly secure the booster chair.
Source: NHTSA.gov, “How to Find the Right Car Seat” (https://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm?view=full)