According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010 over 1,200 children between the ages of infancy to 14 years old died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 171,000 of these kids were injured. Child safety seats and booster seats are designed to combat these tragic statistics, and now a new study has been released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) regarding booster seats for children riding in cars, SUVs, minivans, and trucks regarding the best car seats and booster seats for children on the market today.
Part of this new study reaffirms a reality on who needs to use these booster seats that may come as a bit of a surprise to some parents — and may be met with some resistance by some children.
Age is Not the Issue for the Youngster: It’s Their Size and How They Fit Into the Seat Belt
The IIHS is suggesting that your child may need to be in a booster seat when riding in a vehicle until they are as old as the age of twelve (12). Children entering their “tweens” and early teenage years may scoff at this report and insist that they are old enough to ride in the passenger seat of any vehicle without the need for a kid’s booster seat – but age is not the issue.
It is the size of the child’s body that forms the basis of the new IIHS recommendations. If the child, no matter their age, is not able to fit into the backseat for proper use of the seat belts there, then the IIHS is arguing that they still should be protected by a booster seat.
When does a child not need to be in a booster seat, according to the IIHS?
When that child can sit in the seat, feet on the floor, and have the safety lie flat over his or her upper thighs while the shoulder strap fits over the shoulder, crossing in the middle of the shoulder between the neck and the arm. For more on safety belts and kids, check out the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration guidelines.
Watch an instructional video on using backless booster seats from NHTSA here: