Safety Reminder: Importance Of Booster Seat Use For Older Children

Booster seats protect kids who have grown too big for car seat use but who are still not quite the right size to sit in a full-size automobile seat and be properly secured by the vehicle's seat belt.

Cars are manufactured based on certain design specifications, and a typical vehicle's seats are designed to fit adults who are of average height. They really are not designed to fit people of small stature and children. This can pose a safety hazard because seat belts do not fit properly until the occupant reaches at least 57" tall (4'9") and weighs between 80 and 100 pounds, which, based on U.S. growth charts, occurs on average between the ages of 9 and 13 years old.

While shorter adults sometimes have pedal extenders installed or need to have an airbag on-off switch installed to prevent a harmful deployment, children who have outgrown car seats can get an optimal fit using a booster seat. However, according to a recent survey conducted by Kids Safe Worldwide, 9 out of 10 parents move their child from a booster seat to a regular vehicle seat and seat belt before their child is big enough.

Yet booster seat use for older children is important because booster seats save lives. One study even indicates that using booster seats reduces the risk of serious injury from a car crash by 45 percent compared to seat belts for children ages 4 to 8 years old.

Selecting An Appropriate Type Of Seat For A Child

There are many car seat options available for children, and choosing the right one can sometimes be overwhelming. Booster seats help kids make the transition from standard infant and younger child car seats to the automobile's factory manufactured seat.

There are four basic types of booster seats:

  • Booster seats with high backs - this type of booster seat raises the child up so that the vehicle's seat belt rests properly over the child's core. It also provides head and neck support. Booster seats with high backs are ideal for use in vehicles that do not have head rests or high seat backs.
  • Backless booster seats - as with high-back booster seats, backless booster seats are designed to boost the child's height so that the car's seat belt fits properly. This type of seat does not have a back; rather, it only has a seating platform. It is best for vehicles that are manufactured with head rests.
  • Combination seats - combination seats are made to transform from being a forward facing car seat with a built-in harness into a booster seat.
  • All-in-one seats - these multi-purpose seats can change from a rear-facing car seat, to a forward-facing car seat, into a booster seat.

Whichever type of booster seat is selected, it is important that the chair position the child so that the vehicle's seat belt can be properly fitted over the stronger parts of a child's core.

Having a child injured in a car accident is a parent's worst nightmare. Yet, every year, hundreds of children are injured on Florida roadways. Often, these young victims incur significant medical bills and health care costs, and may require ongoing surgical and rehabilitative needs. In situations where a negligent driver caused these injuries, a parent or guardian may seek legal help on behalf of the child in order to recover for health care expenses and pain and suffering endured by the injured child.

When tragedies occur, our car accident injury attorney can help provide prompt, tough legal advice and solutions.

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