Follow these tips when purchasing and using a booster seat:
- When choosing a booster seat make sure it meets federal motor vehicle standards which will be stated on the box or the booster seat.
- Use a high back booster seat when the vehicle does not have head rest or use a backless booster seat when the vehicle has proper head rest.
- Always use a lap and shoulder belt when using a booster seat.
- All children 12 years old and under should ride in the back.
- Mail the registration card that comes with the booster seat. This will allow the manufacturers to contact you if the seat has been recalled.
- In the event of a car crash replace your booster seat.
- Second-hand booster seats should be used with caution. Make sure the seat has all labels and the manual. Find out if the seat was involved in a car crash and if the booster seat is damaged at all do not use it.
What happens if a booster seat is not used properly?
Your child may be at increased risk for both spinal cord and intra-abdominal injuries because the shoulder belt can cut him or her across the neck and the lap belt, rather than sitting in the lap. The shoulder belt can also hit your child in the abdomen and cause injuries to organs like the liver, pancreas, spleen or colon.
What do I do if my child won't sit in a booster seat?
If your child refuses to sit in a booster seat and says that you're making him or her feel like a baby, then you say that a booster seat is actually a big kid's seat, not a baby seat, and that it helps to not only keep your child safe in the car, but it helps him or her to look out the window. You also make it clear that it's a non-negotiable situation; if your child does not sit in the booster seat, then he or she does not ride in the car.