Why You Really Do Need a Booster Seat

Did you know that six states don’t have a law requiring booster seats for kids under 8 years old (and who are shorter than 4-foot, 9-inches tall)? I found this out recently and was pretty surprised.

“Numerous studies show that children between four and eight are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash if they are in a booster seat,” Clark County Chief Deputy David Rapp told the Springfield News-Sun when Ohio became the 44th state to require booster seats last month.

I’ve noticed that lots of us moms are great about using car seats but slack off a little when it comes to the boosters. I’m guessing part of the problem is that school-age kids just don’t want to sit in them.

If you need a little motivation to use yours more (besides the fact that it’s the law), here’s why they work: Seat belts are created for adult bodies, and the booster seats lift the child up so they fit like an adult. Makes sense. Without a booster seat, an adult seat belt can actually cause injury in a crash rather than preventing it.

If you have more than one car, it’s best to have a booster seat in each, so you don’t get tempted not to use one sometimes. We all know that it’s those short, close to home trips when the most accidents happen.

Some other tips:
-- If you have a little car, make sure the seat will actually fit. You might need a backless booster seat.
-- Know the LATCH weight limit on your car. For many cars, it’s 40 pounds, meaning if your child is heavier, you can’t connect the booster to the LATCH system.
-- If all else fails, call 800-Bucklup. The experts there will help you navigate your options, for free.

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