If lawmakers have their way things are about to change for a great many children who could be considered “tweenagers” as the booster seat requirements for children traveling in cars have been updated by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a part of an overall rethink about car seats and car safety for kid of all ages.
Though these guidelines are not yet law many states already have booster seat requirement laws in effect so these new guidelines may affect them and cause state lawmakers to rethink their booster seat requirements as well.
What are the New Booster Seat and Car Seat Guidelines?
The new car booster seat requirements recommendations as well as new car seat recommendations include:
Children should ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old , or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. This is a big change from the previous guidelines for rear facing car seats that stated that when children reached the age of one, or 20 pounds in weight the use of a front facing car seat was acceptable.
Children should be strapped into a booster seat until they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old.
Children should not be allowed to ride in the front seat of a vehicle until they are at least 13 years old.
Booster Seats for Tweens?
If parents are considering following these new booster seat requirements they are likely to face one very big challenge – trying to tell a 8 or 9 year old child who considers themselves to be a big kid (or not a kid at all) that they will have to sit in a booster seat, even when they are being driven to school. With this in mind we set out to see if we could find car seats that would meet these new booster seat requirements that tween-agers might actually like, or at least not hate too much.
One of the seats that would meet the new booster seat requirements that we found was the Evenflo Big Kid AMP No Back Booster Car Seat. This seat should be acceptable to tweens for a number of reasons. To begin with it has no back, so from the outside of the car no one could really see that the child is sitting in a booster seat at all (important for the school run). The second is that these seats are accented with bright groovy colors and do not look at all babyish. You can choose from vibrant shades of pink, blue or red and the sleek black body of the booster seat is nicely unobtrusive.
From the all important safety point of view this booster seat is an excellent choice as well. It is designed to accommodate children who weight between 40 and 100 pounds and who are up to 57 inches (4’7”) tall. This does not quite meet the new booster seat requirements on height but it should suit a great many older kids who suddenly find themselves having to sit in a booster seat again.