Battle of the booster!
Why just me?
Your observant youngster might have noticed that they’re the only family member using a booster seat in the car. Or maybe they’ve noticed their playmates not sitting in a booster seat when jumping out of the car at school drop off. Even if kids are in the same age group, we know that children grow and develop at different rates. In lots of cases, children of the same age have radically different heights and weights. It’s important to realise that vehicle seats and seatbelts are primarily designed for adult bodies, so we need to make the safest choices possible when travelling with our young children in the car.
We know research shows us that young children seated in an appropriate booster seat reduce their risk of injury in a crash dramatically, compared to sitting in an adult seatbelt without a booster seat. And of course all of us want to be injury free! While the legal age to move out of a booster seat is seven, we recommend not moving your child out of a booster seat while they are under 145cm in height. This rule is easy enough to share with your family, but if your youngster needs further convincing as to why they need to wait until their height reaches 145cm, read on!
To help explain this height safety rule to your child, you could try turning this situation into an enjoyable activity for the whole family. Do you have a height chart on the wall at home? Showing your child how they can measure their current height and comparing that to the 145cm safe height will help them visually understand the situation. You could get crafty together and create your own DIY height chart out of coloured poster paper, carefully measuring out centimetre increments with a ruler and personalised decorations.
Get the whole family involved to regularly measure each other’s heights. You could even order a personalised height chart online with your child’s name and birth date. Incorporating a height chart into your family’s routine will serve a practical purpose for your little one to understand the journey why their booster seat is still needed and also become a special keepsake for your family.
In addition to your child being 145cm tall, there are some other steps you should cover off to consider if it’s safe to move your child out of their booster seat into an adult vehicle seat. These checks are:
- Check that your child’s back rests flat against the vehicle seat.
- Your child's knees should naturally bend in front of the edge of the seat cushion.
- The lap belt should sit low across your child's hips and touch their thighs.
- The sash belt should sit across the middle of your child's shoulder.