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Healthychildren.org posted this article about car seat safety for children from infancy to school aged. In their article, they stress that children should not transition from booster seats to regular seat belts until the adult seat belt fits correctly, which is usually when the child reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches and is between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. When the child reaches the size requirements to use an adult seat belt, they should always use both lap and shoulder seat belts for the safest ride.
Using a Seat Belt:
The shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat.
The lap belt should be low and snug across the upper thighs and not the stomach/belly area.
Your child should be tall enough to sit against the seat back of your vehicle, knees bent and not slouching. They should be able to stay in this position comfortably through the whole ride.
Keep in Mind:
Do not allow your child to tuck the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back. This adds extra slack to the seat belt system and leaves the upper body with no protection, which will be very dangerous in a crash or with sudden braking.
All passengers should have their own personal seat belt and should not be "sharing" with other passengers.
Question: I've seen products that say they can help make the seat belt fit better. Should we get one of these?
These products interfere with the seat belt's ability to properly fit, as it causes the lap belt to ride too high on the stomach and makes the shoulder belt too loose. These products should not be used, as they can also damage the seat belt.