Archive for the ‘booster seat safety’ Tag

When is it OK for Your Child to Ride in the Front Seat?

Recently, we’ve started letting our oldest child who is 10 years old (and big for his age) ride in the front seat. Our logic was he’s as tall and weighs as much as an adult so why wouldn’t he be OK?

Apparently, our logic isn’t aligned with what the experts say on the matter.

As with so many parenting issues, the question of when to let your child ride in the front seat can be confusing. But I did discover the age most experts agree on and why.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that children stay in the back seat until age 13.

Dr. Susan Bolton, a pediatrician at Christie Clinic, says the size of the child doesn’t matter. It’s all about their age.

“All children under 13 years of age should ride in the back seat regardless of height and weight,” Bolton said.

Bolton says there are several reasons why. A major factor is younger children haven’t fully developed their bones yet, which increases the risk to vital organs in a motor vehicle crash.

“Although children under age 13 may weigh as much or be as tall as some adults, their hip bones are not fully developed,” Bolton said. “Even if the lap belt starts out in the right place, it can ride up onto the abdomen in children which increases the risk of injury to the abdominal organs in a motor vehicle crash.”

Bolton added the sternum (the breast bone) may not be fully developed until 11-17 years of age, which puts the child at increased risk of injury to the heart and lungs in a crash.

Also, the three items in the vehicle that are responsible for the most injuries during a motor vehicle crash are the windshield, the dashboard and the air bag. Bolton said children properly buckled up in the back seat are not likely to come into contact with these items.

Studies have shown that after the age of 13, the risk of injury to a child in a crash becomes equal to the risk in an adult.

The Illinois Secretary of State guidelines, which are based on AAP recommendations, also say children should be kept in the back seat until they are teenagers.

In fact, the state of Illinois guidelines go on to say 8-12-year-olds who aren’t big enough to fit properly in a seatbelt alone should sit in a booster seat. (The image below shows how a seatbelt should properly fit your child.)

man-in-belt-with-captions

The general consensus says seat belts don’t typically fit children properly until they are at least 57 inches tall (4 feet 9 inches) and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds.

That means small 7th graders should be in a booster seat? I imagine that would be a tough sell for some tweens.

I’m guessing it’s also going to be difficult for my son when I tell him he has to return to the back seat with his little brother and sister.

I’ll just blame it on the experts.

For more information about children’s seatbelt safety laws and guidelines, go to the Secretary of State’s website.

Read more at: http://www.chambanamoms.com/2016/08/19/okay-child-ride-front-seat/

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Top Booster Seat Mistakes

1. Letting your child use a regular seat belt too soon.

Why it’s unsafe: Seat belts are designed for an adult and can cause seriously injuries if they don’t fit properly.

What AAA recommends: Use a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits properly with the lap portion of the belt fitting low across the child’s hips and the shoulder belt across their sternum and collar bone. Proper belt fit may not be possible in some cases until age 12 or 13.

2. Allowing children to place the seat belt under their arm or behind their back when using a booster seat.

Why it’s unsafe: Improperly worn seat belts can cause injuries! A seat belt placed under the arm can cause fragile ribs to break which can in turn cause additional injury. A seat belt behind the back eliminates upper body protection and can cause serious spinal injury or even ejection.

What AAA recommends: Make sure children wear their seat belt properly with their booster seat and remain in proper position the whole trip.

3. Skipping a booster seat when carpooling or riding with friends

Why it’s unsafe: Most crashes occur close to home and can occur at any time – even a one-time exception could result in serious injury.

What AAA recommends: Don’t compromise safety for convenience. Use a booster on every trip and make arrangements in advance when carpooling to ensure your child has their booster seat.

4. Using a low back booster in a seat without head rests.

Why it’s unsafe: Riding in a backless booster seat in a vehicle with no head restraint can cause head, neck and spinal injuries in a crash or sudden stop.

What AAA recommends: Make sure your vehicle has head restraints to protect your child before considering using a backless booster seat. If not, use a high back seat that offers head/neck protection.

5. Not buckling in empty booster seats.

Why it’s unsafe: Booster seats that are not in use can go flying in a sudden stop or crash and cause injury if they are not buckled in the vehicle.

What AAA recommends: Buckle up booster seats even when children are not riding in the car to keep yourself and other passengers safe.

As read on: http://safeseats4kids.aaa.com/top-booster-seat-mistakes/?sf31132198=1