I’M A BIG KID NOW
Another school year has begun. They’re another year older and one step closer to being a grown up in every sense of the word. Especially in their minds. They’re back at school, making new friends, and ever eager to impress and fit in. They have a built in desire to be independent, and graduating out of their car seat is no different.
You’ve heard it all before right? I’m a big kid. I’m not a baby anymore. I don’t need a baby seat. None of my friends have to sit in baby seats. It’s not cool! So what are you to do? What’s the truth? Is it just as safe in a regular seat belt? Do they really need to be in a booster seat? What’s the difference? How do we keep them safe and avoid the battle of our common sense versus their witty excuses?
The truth is that letting them sit in a big boy or girl seat with a seat-belt designed to protect a fully grown adult ISN’T just as safe. It’s not the same. Their bodies are NOT just smaller versions of our. Their bone structure is less mature. They ARE smaller but that means the same energy from hitting that tree had a lot more room to spread out on me and you than it did on them. Reality is that being in a booster seat is SAFER. It correctly positions the seat-belt over their bones and not their neck and belly. This helps to stop the movement during an accident. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration NHTSA generally recommends booster seats for kids 4 to 8 years old, less than 40 pounds, and under 4 feet 9 inches, although it’s a really good idea to check with authorities regarding your local laws.
The solution? Make their booster seat fun. Dress it up. Let them put their favorite stickers on it. Personalize it! Talk about it. Refrain from using phrases like “baby seat” and replace them instead with chants like “belts over bones”. It’s not about being grown up. It’s about their safety. Let them know that this seat is specially designed to protect them. Most importantly, set a great example. Always buckle up, and ALWAYS use the booster seat for your child.
For more information regarding the use of booster seats please visit www.NTHSA.gov
To find a local car seat inspection check www.safekids.org
This blog post was written by :
Jeremy B. Richter
Critical Care Paramedic
Child Safety Advocate
Founder of SAFE DAWG
SAFE DAWG is a child injury prevention program that teaches safety to kids K-8. A big part of their program includes Free car seat checks. Jeremy is a National Child Passenger Safety Technician. Stay tuned for more safety post from Jeremy.