(WJBK) - If you have a child under the age of 8 or less than 57 inches tall, Michigan law states they have to be in a child restraint while in the car. So, when is the right time to switch from the car seat to the booster seat?
Renee Zarr, Education Coordinator for the Kohl's Injury Prevention Program, joined us in studio to give us some advice. You can watch in the video player above or continue reading below.
Never rush your child into a booster seat! Most manufactures require that children:
- Be over 4 years old
- Over 40 pounds
- Be mature enough to sit still with the seat belt in front of them
If your child doesn't meet these requirements, then they should stay in a harnesses car seat. ALL children are safest in the back seat until 13 years old.
There are 2 types of booster seats, here are some things to consider:
- Backless booster (just the bottom portion) - Requires your vehicle to have an adjust able head rest to make sure your child has head and neck support.
- High Back Booster Seats - Required if your vehicle has NO head rest to provide head and neck support.
ALL boosters require the use of a lap and should seat belt. The should strap should lay flat across your child's chest and shoulder. The lap belt should come across their hips/upper thighs. Make sure your children DO NOT slouch, or move the shoulder belt behind their back/under their arm, this behavior can seriously injury your child in a crash or sudden stop.
It is true that children want to do what you do. So if you buckle up, then they are more likely to buckle up as well. Caregivers need to be good role models and enforce that EVERYONE buckles up in the car on EVERY ride.
More safety information can be found at: www.childrensDMC.org/KIPP.