A question I often get fromparents is when their child should move from a booster seat to a seat belt.
Kansas law states that children must be in a booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, 80 pounds or 8 years of age.
As a safety advocate, I recommend that children meet all three of those requirements.
Many times we see children moved out of a booster seat before they fit properly into the seat belt. While it can be difficult to explain the importance of staying in a booster seat to an impatient child, we know that if a seat belt does not fit a child correctly, it can have devastating results in a crash.
When moving a child to a seat belt, here are some important safety tips parents should keep in mind:
- The child should always ride in the back seat and never in front of an air bag.
- The lap belt should sit low on the hips, not on the stomach.
- The shoulder belt should always be on the shoulder, not on the neck, under the arm or behind the back.
- The seat belt should be snug, flat and comfortable.
- The child’s knees need to be able to bend over the vehicle seat or the child will tend to slide down to be more comfortable.
- The child may be 8-12 years of age until the seat belt fits.
It might be a good idea for parents to go over these safety tips with your child so they can understand why it’s so important to be buckled up the proper way.