For years after the transition from a forward-facing car seat to a booster seat, your child has likely clamored into the vehicle and happily buckled their own seat belt every time you go somewhere. Then, one day, they get in the vehicle and tell you that they don’t want to ride in the booster seat anymore.
Their friends at school no longer have to use those baby seats, they inform you, and they don’t want to either. Although you probably understand their desire to be like their peers, safety should come first. Parents use booster seats for a reason. Specifically, the restraints and safety systems in modern vehicles are designed for adult human males.
Children are at a higher risk of those systems not functioning properly and of suffering severe injuries or death in a crash. Even if every trip to the store becomes an argument, fighting the booster seat battle with your child could save their life.
How long must a kid use a booster seat?
Children are typically too young to have much of an opinion about the transition from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats and then from a full restraint seat to a booster seat. However, after a few years in the booster seat, your child may want to start just using the seat belt like you do. Their desire to make the change will probably start before it is safe to do so.
From approximately age four through the pre-teen years, your children should be in booster seats whenever you drive somewhere. Until your child is at least 4’9″ tall, they should ride in a booster seat. Maturity and other factors may require that they use a booster seat even after growing tall enough to have a seat belt restrain them safely.
Safety should always be the top priority in vehicles
By maintaining a firm rule about using the booster seat, you can reduce the risk of your child suffering severe or fatal injuries if you do get into a car crash. Given that collisions are a leading cause of death and severe injury for children, keeping your child in the right kind of safety seat can go a long way towards reducing one of the biggest threats to their overall well-being.
Taking the right steps before a motor vehicle crash will limit the long-term impact the wreck has on your family.