Kids are some of our most precious cargo when we’re driving. And as they grow, despite what they think (and often say), they’re not as grown up as they think. Once your kids outgrow their car seat the question becomes – do they really need that booster seat? How do you know when they are ready to move out of booster seat completely? And how do you protect them while you’re focusing on the road?
The reality is that booster seats help put your child in a safer place in the case of an accident. Unless they’re over 4′-9″, the seat belt wont lay on them comfortably or safely. In fact, children shorter than that can actually get injured more by an improperly placed seat belt and not being properly restrained. Yes, we move them to forward facing seats at a certain point, but the booster seat is the next step until they are sitting in the car seat alone with just the safety belt.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (Michigan OHSP) actually has guidelines that parents can get to help keep their kids safe. They are dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on Michigan roads by coming up with proper guidelines for car seats, booster seats and other innovations dealing with your vehicle. They are working on spreading awareness for proper booster seat safety could decrease fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle crashes.
In Michigan there is a lower rate of booster seat use for kids aged 4-7. Actually only 49.7% of kids are in booster seats, and that is partly because most people don’t know what the rules and regulations for booster seat safety are. While safety seat and booster seat requirements vary from state to state, here in Michigan there are specific safety guidelines you should follow including:
- Making sure your child is 4’9″. Think of this like the “Are You Tall Enough To Ride” meter at the carnival. The standard seat belt is made for adults over 4′-9″. If your child isn’t that tall enough to ride that roller coaster – it’s not safe for them to be without a booster seat.
- With a booster seat, you’re reducing serious injury of your children (aged 4-8 years old) by up to 45%. Seat belts do help protect them, but if they’re not tall enough to wear the seat belt properly they could do more harm than good.
Check out a short video about safer rides for kids from Michigan OHSP:
This post original was published on Week99er.com