Tracey Brown is the Injury Prevention Coordinator for Cardon Children's Medical Center.
Question: My child has outgrown his car seat. I now hear that he should be in a booster seat. Is this true?
Answer: Most parents understand that their infant and toddler need to ride in a car seat, but many put their kids into regular seat belts way too early, which means that they aren't fully protected if they are in a car accident.
Remember the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that most children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old, or 40 and 80 pounds, should still be riding in a belt-positioning booster seat.
Child passenger safety is about more than babies and toddlers. Too many kids move from a booster seat to a safety belt before they are big enough. A simple backless booster seat can cost as little as $20 and is widely available from department and discount retail stores.
Boosters provide the safest transition from toddler car seats to the adult seat belt, raising the child to a height where the adult seat belt fits properly, helps the child see out the window and prevents him from being thrown forward in a collision. Still no more than 20 percent of kids who should use them do. The facts are in the figures: Children ages 4 to 8 are three times more likely to be injured than babies and toddlers because they are improperly restrained by an adult seat belt.