Kids usually grow out of booster seats between the ages of 7 and 12. Once they outgrow the weight limit on booster seats or are able to sit in a seat properly with their feet touching the ground, they can say goodbye to car seats altogether. But it’s not enough to teach them how to buckle the seat belt, you have to be sure it fits and is being used correctly.
- His or her back should be able to sit flat against the seat while their feet are flat on the floor.
- The seat belt should go across the child’s shoulder and chest, not the neck or face. Some cars allow you to lower the seat belt on the side panel of the car, this can help get it in the correct spot for some kids.
- The belt portion should lie just at the top of his or her thighs. It should not lie across the midsection or stomach.
- Never let your child put the seat belt behind their back as it could result in serious injuries in the event of a crash.
As your child becomes older, they naturally become more resistant and rebellious. It’s good to enforce seat belt buckling when they’re young so it becomes a habit. Always reiterate that his or her seat belt must be on before you can put the car in drive. You should also teach them to wear a seat belt while in the car with other people. As they get older they will travel with other parents and friends who may not pay attention to this detail, and you won’t be there to enforce it.
If you would like more information on seat belt safety, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.