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Don't Skip the Booster Seat

A Guide to Seat Belt Readiness

Your children don't wear your clothes (unless they are playing dress-up).
Your children don't drive your car (until they reach an appropriate age).
Your children don't go to high school (until they finish grade school).
Your children don't wear your seat belt (until it fits).

Graduation to a seat belt alone is serious business. If you know what to look for, you can accurately check your child for seat belt readiness in your own vehicle. It's more than height and weight; it's a combination of:

  • Age - approximately ages 4 to 8 (and)
  • Standing height - 57” (and)
  • Weight - approximately 40 to 80 pounds (and)
  • Maturity

First, your child should stay in a harnessed child seat until at least age 4 and 40 pounds.

The following 6 steps to Seat Belt Safety will help you decide to use a:

Booster with a lap/shoulder seat belt (OR) seat belt alone

6 Steps to Seat Belt Safety

  1. Does your child sit with their back against the vehicle back seat?
  2. Does your child's knee bend comfortably around the vehicle seat edge?
  3. Do your child's feet touch the floor?
  4. Does the seat belt rest on the shoulder (not on the face or upper arm)?
  5. Does the lap portion of the belt stay low on the hips?
  6. Can your child ride comfortably in this position for the whole trip?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to safely use the seat belt. Placing the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm, slouching in the seat to touch the floor and problems with the shoulder belt in the face are all indications that your child needs a booster seat. Boosters are designed to correctly position your child for proper seat belt fit.

Office of Traffic Safety – Minnesota Child Passenger Safety Program
1-800-818-9296 or www.buckleupkids.state.mn.us
 

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Pediatric & Infant Care
Vaccinations