Thursday, March 31, 2011

When to switch to a booster?

Happy April Fools!

Buckling up the right way on every ride is no Fools Joke. It's the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car. But finding the safest way for each member of the family to ride can be confusing if you don’t have the right information.

Once they outgrow their forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel on a BOOSTER SEAT ... but still in the rear seat. They should ride in the back seat in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, at which point they should fit properly in a seat belt.

Follow your car seat manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual on how to install. And you can always get help from a local certified technician for FREE. Find a technician in your area at

A few questions to think about when you think you are ready: If you answer "yes" to any of these you probably are:
  • Does your child exceed the car seat’s height or weight limits?
  • Are your child’s shoulders above the car seat’s top harness slots?
  • Are the tops of your child’s ears above the top of the car seat?
Here's a link to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top picks for boosters.

Don't forget to check for recalls and expiration dates.
One important thing you can do on a regular basis is check to inquire about any recalls or safety notices on child safety seats. AND Avoid purchasing safety seats from yard sales, flea markets and second hand stores or when there is no known history of the seat. I know in my house we love hand me downs, just remember not for car seats. You can check the expiration date on your car seat. Yes, car seats do expire. To find yours check your side label for the expiration date, if you can't find it, find the date of manufacture and consult your car seat manufacturers manual. There are a few car seats that go for 10 years, but most are 6 years.

You can find out more at: OR National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

You can review the car seat safety laws in your specific state here:

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