I couldn’t wait until my kids outgrew their car seats. It was always hard for me to carry them in and out of the car in their bucket seats. I swear they each weighed 100 lbs when they were strapped into them! When they moved to forward- facing car seats, I couldn’t wait to get rid of those too. They always ended up with mashed cookies in the crevices, spilled juice and milk along the seat and smears of who-knows-what along the restraint belts. Once my three boys each graduated to a booster seat, things were better (read: easier to keep clean) but by the time my youngest son was in one, our hand-me-down seat was completely revolting. I was happy to finally pitch it ‘but sad that that was my very last time to need a booster seat, if I’m completely honest).
But I lived with the grossness of it all and never took my kids out of their car seats until they were the right height and weight. I was always conscious that if we got in an accident their tiny heads and bodies would spring back or forward and they’d end up severely injured.
Recent news from Safe Kids Canada finds most parents agree booster seats are important. A poll they did found that most parents of kids under 10 feel a booster seat is necessary and four out of five households support a booster seat law, but surprisingly only 30 percent of kids who should be using booster seats actually seat in them when riding in the car.
According to Safe Kids, car crashes are the leading cause of death for Canadian children under the age of 14. Transport Canada says that 3,500 are injured each year and 61 children are killed. "Seatbelts are an effective safety device, they are designed for adult bones and not young children," says Pamela Fuselli, Executive Director of Safe Kids Canada. t.If your child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat and they are under 4′ 9″ tall, they need to be in a booster seat. It can reduce the risk of injury by 60 percent. When a child is too small for a seat belt it cuts across the neck, rides up on the abdomen and can cause life-threatening injuries to the neck, spine and internal organs if they are in a car crash.
Here are four tips for parents:
– Your child is ready for a booster seat when they have outgrown their forward-facing car seat, around the age of four or five.
–Make sure to secure both the lap and shoulder belt properly so that it can hold your child and the booster seat in place during a crash or sudden stop.
–There are two different kinds of booster seats: a high-back seat which provides head and neck protection in cars without head restraints and a no-back booster which is used in cars with adjustable head restraints.
–Your child may be ready for a seat belt when he or she reaches at least four feet nine inches, around the time he is nine.