Car Safety for Older Kids

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat!

Here in Pennsylvania, children must be 8 years old to ride in a car without a belt-positioning booster seat. But, according to Kid Safe, kids should be at least 4′ 9″ tall and between 80-100 pounds before using the adult seat belt by itself.

There is a three-step process to see if your child is ready to use just the adult seat belt. First, if your child is sitting all the way back in the seat, do his knees bend at the edge of the seat? If not, he is not big enough.

If so, does the lap belt rest across the child’s thighs (not the belly)? If not, he is not big enough.

If so, does the shoulder belt lay across the collarbone? If not, keep your child in a booster a little bit longer.

And of course, if your child can’t remain in a proper seating position (not slouching, leaning, etc.), he should not be out of the booster.

I know it is hard when kids are begging to be big, but it is so important that they be safe in the car!

Even once kids are big enough to graduate from their boosters, I am always amazed at the unsafe things parents allow. One thing tons of kids do when they get in my car is buckle up, then tuck the shoulder belt behind their backs or under their arms. This is not safe! If the shoulder belt hits a child in an uncomfortable spot, that child should probably still be in a booster.

And it should go without saying that the adults need to be good examples and wear their seat belts every time.

Do you feel like you are one of the more particular parents about seat belt safety, or are you more relaxed among your child’s friends?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat!

Come back the rest of the week to read my series on car seat safety:
Monday: Why I’m a Car Seat Fanatic
Tuesday: Infant Car Seats
Wednesday: Tips for Toddler Car Seat Safety
Thursday: Car Seats for Preschoolers
Friday: Car Safety for Older Kids

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