Every parent knows that when their child is a baby they need to be secured in a car seat every time they ride in a vehicle of any kind. What is less clear cut though is whether or not you need a booster car seat for an older child or if they are ready to use the adult sized seat belts supplied in your car. The recommendations from medical experts actually state these days that children of up to 4’9” should be secured using a booster car seat which could mean that even a shorter teen has to use a booster seat at all times. But is that really realistic, and what is it that a booster car seat does anyway?
Why Use a Car Booster Seat for Older Kids?
Car booster seats are specifically designed to raise a child child up so that the lap and shoulder seat belts installed in the vehicle fit properly. Car booster seats do not come with built in harness straps but are used in conjunction with the lap and shoulder seat belts in your vehicle, the same way an adult rides.
Without a car booster seat the adult seatbelt in a car may offer little in the way of protection to kids who are less that 4” 9” tall even when buckled and can prove dangerous if they warp around a child’s neck.
How to Get Your Older Child to Use a Car Booster Seat
Older children are usually going to balk at the idea of being told to sit in a car booster seat. A child of 9 or 10 years old will usually believe that such things are for babies, not them , and will refuse to use them at all.
That is where parents have to get a little tough. Not only are you having them uses a car booster seat for their own safety but in many states it has also become the law and traffic police do enforce that law, resulting in the same fines for parents as they would receive if they were not buckled up themselves. If the safety angle does not persuade an older child to comply then perhaps the financial one will, especially if it would mean them losing out on allowance!
You can make life a little easier on yourself and your kids by choosing a backless car booster seat for your older “tween” to use. These are just as safe as they backed counterparts and do not have that overgrown baby car seat look that is the real problem for many kids (its embarrassing) There are lots of great models available and they tend to be less expensive than many other offerings which may be another reason to choose them over other offerings.
When you are shopping for car booster seats it is important that you make sure that model you are considering will fit the vehicle you drive. Check the box or the description before you buy because using a ill fitting car booster seat can be almost as bad as not using one at all!