Older Children should use car booster seats until just before they become teens. Exactly when you should take your child out of a booster depends on his or her size. There are sound safety reasons for using a booster seat in Georgia.
Some parents can’t wait to get their children out of booster seats. This may be a mistake. Although adult seat belts protect passengers during crashes, they can harm smaller children during accidents.
Seat belts are designed with adults in mind. They don’t hold children securely. Children who use a booster seat cut their chance of suffering a crash-related injury by 45 percent, states the Baby Center. The booster seat does what its name suggests it is intended to do. It boosts your child high enough for the car’s lap and shoulder belts to restrain the child safely.
In the absence of a booster seat, a seat belt can be damaging to a child. The lap belt is likely to rest on a child’s stomach without a booster seat. During a wreck, the child could suffer liver, spleen, or stomach damage due to damage caused by the belt.
If a shoulder belt rests against the neck of a child rather than the chest. It may end up under the child’s arm where it can damage ribs and internal organs in the event of a car crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that all children who outgrow an infant car seat continue to use a booster seat for a number of years, specifically:
- Until they are at least 8-years-old and 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- They have outgrown the manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations for the booster seat they are using;
- A child should only use a regular seat belt when he or she can keep their back against the car seat, their knees bend over the edge of the car seat, and their feet are able to stay flat on the floor of the car.
All 50 states have child restraint laws but the specific laws vary from state to state, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In Georgia, a child restraint must be used for children seven years and younger who are 57 inches tall or less. Children over 57 inches tall can use an adult seat belt. Children 7-years-old and younger must be in the rear seat where this is possible in Georgia.
As a rule of thumb, you should use a booster seat in Georgia as long as possible. It’s worth noting that in Georgia, children weighing over 40 pounds are allowed to be restrained in the back seat of a vehicle by a lap belt when a car, van or truck is not equipped with lap and shoulder belts or if the lap and shoulder belts are being used by other children who weigh more than 40 pounds.
The most crucial consideration when you are switching between types of restraining systems in Georgia is the weight and the height of a child. Until a child is 57 inches high, a seatbelt will not fit the child correctly, no matter his or her age. Using an adult safety belt may be dangerous.
Accidents and injuries involving children are heartbreaking for family members. Wearing a booster seat won’t guarantee your child’s safety but It will lessen the odds of serious injury.
If your child has been injured due to the fault of another driver, please call our Georgia accident attorneys today at (404) 913-1529.