When Louisiana drivers hit the road, one of their main priorities is keeping their kids safe in the car. While many parents make sure their young children sit in car seats, it is also important to make sure older children sit in booster seats.
Many people may think their child does not need a safety seat once he or she outgrows the car seat. The American Automobile Association says that many children are not ready to use only a seat belt when they outgrow a car seat. This is because many car manufacturers design their seat belts for adults. The average seat belt is meant to protect a man who weighs roughly 165 pounds. This means that seat belts are often too large to provide enough protection for young children. Instead of letting children use only a seat belt, parents should generally put their kids in a booster seat.
Parents can generally tell their child is ready for a booster seat when he or she is too tall for the car seat. Most children between the ages of 4 and 8 still need a booster seat because they weigh less than 80 pounds. It is important for parents to make sure they pick the right booster seat. If the back seat does not have headrests, then a booster seat should generally have head restraints to protect a child’s neck in an accident.
Many parents may wonder when is the right time to move their child out of a booster seat. According to SafeRides4Kids.com, there are a few criteria parents can use to determine when their son or daughter is ready to use only a seat belt. A lap belt should usually sit on top of a child’s hips and upper thighs, while a shoulder belt should typically cross in the middle of a child’s shoulder and chest. Additionally, a child’s bottom should touch the back of the seat. Parents may want to buckle their child into a seat belt to see if he or she can meet these criteria. If their child is still too short, it is a good idea to keep him or her in the booster seat.