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Health Information For Parents
Booster seats are seats that help kids stay safe in cars. It’s time to use a booster seat when a child outgrows a car seat.
Booster seats lift kids up so that seatbelts lie across the strong bones of the chest and pelvis instead of the belly and neck, where they could do serious damage in a crash.
Booster seats come in a few styles:
Belt-positioning boosters raise kids to a height where they can safely use the car’s lap and shoulder belts. They come in high-back or backless models:
Combination seats are high-back seats with a five-point harness. They can be used with harnesses as forward-facing safety seats or as belt-positioning booster seats with the harnesses removed. Use a five-point harness for kids who weigh 40 pounds or more.
If your car doesn’t have shoulder belts in the back seat, talk to your car dealer about having them installed. If that’s not possible, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping kids in a forward-facing seat with a full harness.
To make sure the booster seat is secure:
Kids this age can begin to understand the importance of buckling up and may want to buckle themselves in. Be sure to check their seatbelts and praise them when they put them on by themselves.
Kids can stop using a booster seat when:
Never fasten the shoulder strap of the seatbelt behind a child’s back or under their arm. And never buckle two kids (or an adult and a child) under one seatbelt. Their heads could collide in a car crash.
If you carpool or have other kids in your car, it’s wise to have an extra booster seat handy, especially if you’re unsure about whether a child meets the height requirements. It’s always better to be safe than to let a child who isn’t tall enough ride with only a seatbelt.
When combined with safety belts, air bags protect adults and teens from serious injury during a collision. They have saved lives and prevented many serious injuries. But young children can be injured or even killed if they are riding in the front passenger seat when an air bag opens.
Air bags were designed with adults in mind. They must open with great force (up to 200 miles per hour) to protect an average-sized, 165-pound (75-kilogram) male from injury. While this force is OK for adults and bigger kids, it can be dangerous for small kids, possibly leading to head and neck injuries.
Protect kids from air-bag injury by following these rules:
You can find more information about keeping kids safe in cars online at:
Use these tips to teach your kids how to stay safe when riding in a car or on a school bus.
You probably spend part of every day in a car or on the bus. Find out how to be a safe traveler in this article for kids.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Regular infant seats simply allow young babies to sit up. Never substitute any type of infant seat for a child safety seat (car seat).
More kids are injured in auto collisions than in any other type of accident, but you can protect them by learning the proper use of car seats and booster seats.
What’s the right way to install an infant safety seat? Is your toddler ready for a convertible seat? Get the car seat know-how you need here.
Safely securing kids in cars can be tricky. This video makes it easy to figure out which seat your child needs, and when.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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