Booster seats and shoulder belts are important for kids over the age of four but less than 12 years old or four foot nine inches tall. Until a child reaches that height, in order to use a lap and shoulder belt in the back seat of a car he or she needs to have a booster seat every time. This is to ensure safety out on the road, to make sure that lap and safety belt does its job and protects them instead of doing the opposite.
Shoulder Belts and Smaller Children
Young children under the age of four are not ready to use full sized shoulder belts in any capacity because there is too much risk involved, including the risk of getting injured, choking, or even worse. So, for this age group, the best bet is for parents to keep their kids on child seats with harness style buckles and use the shoulder belts to strap those seats into place according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This keeps the very young ones the safest; rear facing car seats are best for kids under the age of one and below a certain weight threshold, usually 20 pounds. Safety precautions such as this will also affect the benefits of insurance policies.
Booster Seats in the Back
Once a child gets to be about four years old, he or she is usually about the right size when it is safe to start transitioning to a booster seat rather than a car seat. Booster sets are much different from the car seats infants use. They are nothing more than a way to get the child’s body up higher off the seat surface of the car, and specifically to make the engagement with the lap and shoulder belt much safer for them.
There are adjustments that we can make with shoulder belts in some vehicles to slide the outside upper pivot down somewhat in its position, and this is a nice feature for smaller passengers as well, but using a booster seat is the most effective thing we can do. For one thing, it is a seat that’s the appropriate size given the length of a child’s legs, so that they can usually sit more comfortably with their knees and the bottom half of their legs in a more natural position. And for another, it just provides that extra boost to get the kid to the right height to engage that lap and shoulder belt at the right angle in order to use it successfully and be safe doing it.
Shoulder Belt Car Safety
It is probably tempting for some parents that have small children and who have had to haul car seats around everywhere to transition to booster seats a little early. But it is important to wait, because the height of the child is not the only important factor in play, and the age is not a figure arrived at arbitrarily. Children under this minimum age do not always have the muscular strength to hold their head erect in certain postures while seated, and they do not have the bone strength yet to withstand a car accident impact without a safety harness to hold them into place.
Shoulder belts and smaller children who have outgrown their car seats are a perfect fit for one another. It is great to have this transitional product to help your kid stay safe back there whenever you hit the road, and it is even better to shop around and see that these seats and shoulder belts are a lot cheaper than infant car seats. This is great news for all of us car insurance customers trying to save money.