Every parent understands that they need a rear-facing infant seat installed in their vehicle to travel home safely after the birth of a baby. Most parents also readily strap older babies and toddlers into forward-facing car seats.
However, once children start moving around on their own, many parents stop using specialized restraints, especially if the children start complaining about them. By the time a child is in kindergarten, they will probably have a number of arguments against riding in a booster seat.
It can seem like an unnecessary conflict to fight with your child about the need for a booster seat every time you ride in the vehicle. Why are booster seats important until children are bigger and older?
Seat belts and other vehicle safety systems aren’t for children
The collision protection systems in modern vehicles undergo rigorous testing to make them as effective as possible. Vehicle designers have to make certain decisions, like the size of the body that restraints will protect. The risk caused by airbags, for example, is why there is a firm rule that children under the age of 12 should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle.
Even in the rear seat of a vehicle, the strength and location of restraints and other safety devices are designed for adult human proportions. These systems don’t function as well for those who don’t meet minimum height and weight criteria. Safety experts say that children under four feet and nine inches tall should ride in a booster seat regardless of how frustrated they are by that requirement.
Learning more about how children of specific sizes should be safely restrained, what traffic laws mandate and what happens during car crashes can help you better protect your family.