Monday, June 3, 2013

Booster Seat Information

Booster Seats

"Just as Dangerous" - Child Passenger Safety Booster Seat PSA

This doesn't talk about weight and height, only age but it shows that not using a booster is just as dangerous as some thins most parents would not do.
 Boost ‘em in the Back Seat 

Boost 'em in the Back Seat is a six-minute video that delivers preventive messages about the importance of booster seat and rear seat use to parents.  
A bit cheesy at times but very interesting. I liked that they had a black medical man speaking.

maxi-cosi crash-testadult belt is not enough - YouTube

The video was done with 10 and 6 year old size dummies. All of the dummies submarine out from under the belt. They don't have mature hip bones to hold the lap belt down. Their bones don't have adult's bones' strength. So you're looking at internal injuries from the belt riding up, and potentially spinal injuries from the body moving over the belt, or hip injuries from the legs impacting the front seats, etc.

Why is Ohio requiring booster seats?

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 4 to 8 in Ohio, according to AAA. Eighty-nine were killed and more than 21,000 injured in auto accidents between 2002 and 2007 in Ohio alone, the association says.Their chances of being harmed in an accident dropped by 59 percent if they were in booster seats and seat belts, according to one study. "It's absolutely the right thing to do because children in this age group are at too great of risk if they're simply wearing an adult safety belt," said AAA spokesman Brian Newbacher. Using seat belts alone isn't safe for young children. The lap belts fall against children's stomachs and can injure vital organs when small bodies are hurled forward in a crash. And children often push aside shoulder belts because they cut across their necks. (x)

Using a booster seat with a seat belt instead of using a seat belt alone for a child this age reduces the risk of injury in a crash by 59 percent. Researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that more than half the children killed in motor vehicles in motor vehicle crashes each year would be alive today if seat belt use and child safety seat use were at 100 percent. 

Why isn’t the seat belt enough?
Seatbelts are designed to fit the average adult
— not children of any age. The strap cannot touch their necks and the lap belt should be across the hip bones, not the soft belly. Children need booster seats until they’re 8-12 years old, AND 4’9″ and preferably also 80-100 pounds
Risk: Children who are not large enough risk many things similar to putting a child in a booster too early — damage to their internal organs, throat and windpipe and the entire body in general. (x)

Young children who are placed in vehicle belts rather than booster seats are twice as likely to suffer devastating injuries, including severe damage to the brain, liver, spleen, stomach, and spinal cord. Most children need to use a booster seat until age 10-12 for maximum protection and improved comfort in the car. (x)

A child who isn’t big enough for a booster can slide out under the belt, called “submarining”, can have the belt sit on their belly or neck and cause internal damage to the gut or the esophagus and trachea. A child who will not sit upright, with the belt over their hip bones and over their collar bone, or tries to put their arm over the belt or the shoulder belt behind their back is not mature enough to sit in a booster, and a child who constantly falls asleep in the car should also be in a harness or they can be seriously injured in a crash. There’s some debate that heavier (60-70 pound+) children may be safer in a seatbelt, but currently the recommendation is still to wait until they outgrow their harness. (x)

Kids over 40 pounds should use a belt positioning booster seat or a child safety seat with a harness that can be used to a higher weight limit. It is recommended that a child ride in a booster seat until he or she is about 8 years of age and approximately 4 feet 9 inches tall. Many children do not reach 4 feet 9 inches until they are 10 to 12 years old. When safety belts fit children correctly, after 8 years of age, both the lap and shoulder belt should be used. (x)

Just like with going into a booster, the bare minimum is not the safest practice. In more and more states, the law is that children may not go without a booster seat until they're 8 years old AND 80 pounds or 4'9". Most children don't hit 80 pounds or 4'9" until they're preteens, though, making the "8 years" limit the requirement they hit first, but not the only one that matters. 

A booster seat is designed to place a child higher on the vehicle seat so that the lap/shoulder belt fits correctly. Seat belt fit varies from car to car and from person to person. It is safest for your child to remain in a booster seat until the adult seat belt system fits him/her properly as follows... (x)

Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing child seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best for children to ride in a seat with a five-point harness for as long as possible, at least to 4 years of age. If your child outgrows his seat before reaching 4 years of age, consider using a seat with a harness approved for higher weights and heights.

Some factors to consider when determining if your child is ready for a booster seat may be:

Your child reaches the top weight or height allowed for their forward-facing seat with a harness. (These limits are listed on the seat and also included in the seat’s user guide.)
Your child’s shoulders are above the top harness slots in their forward-facing seat.
Your child’s ears have reached the top of their forward-facing seat.
Your child meets the age and size requirements of the booster seat.
Your child meets the requirements of your state laws regarding booster seat use.
Your child's maturity level - if your child is a wiggle worm or sleeps frequently in the vehicle, he may not be ready for a booster seat.


Most kids need to ride in a booster seat from about age 4 (If mature and heavy enough) until age 10-12.
If your child isn’t using a booster, try the simple test below the next time you
ride together in the car.  You may find that your child is not yet ready to use a
safety belt without a booster. 

A booster seat raises and positions your child so that the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt fit properly. A booster seat keeps the lap belt from causing injury to the child's abdomen and keeps the shoulder belt in place to give the child upper body protection. In the event of a crash, an adult seat belt that does not fit a child properly can actually cause injury rather than prevent it, because it doesn't fit over the strong parts of the child’s body.

High-Back Booster Seats
We recommended that you use a high-back booster if your vehicle has a low seat back. A low seat back does not offer any support for your child’s head either by the vehicle seat back or the head rest. 
Backless Booster Seats
If your vehicle seat or head rest do provide support for your child’s head, you may use a backless booster seat. 
Combination or All-in-One Car Seats, Used as Boosters
When your child outgrows the height or weight limits of the harness, remove the harness and use the seat as a booster. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on how to convert your seat to a booster.

Most kids aren't ready for boosters until they're 5 or 6 years old.
While it's best to keep your child in a 5-point harness as long as they still fit, eventually they'll need a booster. Your child is ready for a booster when they can do these things and you can follow these guidelines: 
The child must be 4 years old and 40 pounds, as a bare minimum and can: 

  • Sit upright without slouching or leaning (forward or side-to-side) for the entire car ride.
  • Never put the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back.
  • Rarely or never fall asleep in the car (unless they can stay in position upright as they would be while awake)
  • Will obey these rules 100 percent of the time, every time.
  • Fit in a high back booster with the shoulder belt across the middle of their collarbone -- not the neck -- and have the lap belt go across the tops of their thighs/pelvis -- not against their gut.

There are also videos help parents choose the right kind of restraint for a child's age and size and provide general information on installation and use. They also explain why children should be in seats both directions, boosters, and older children in seatbelts. They have real people as well as simulated crashes with crash dummies. They show what happens to unrestrained children in car crashes. They go flying around the car.

A booster must be used with a lap/shoulder belt. They can never be used with only a lap belt, in fact, no one should ever be in only a lap belt. It's not safe even for adults.

Back to Child Passenger Safety Masterpost

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