Child seat smarts

Steering You Right With Sharon Peters

Q: I will be taking care of my grandchild for the next several months. He’s 9 — obviously too big for a child seat, but he’s small for his age. Is there any way to know if the adult seatbelts will do what they should do in an accident?

A: There is. The American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests this easy test:

  • When your grandchild sits all the way back against the car’s seat, do his knees bend as they should at the seat edge?
  • Does the seat belt cross at the shoulder (and not at the neck or arm)?
  • Is the lap belt as low as possible, actually touching the thighs?
  • Can he stay seated like this for the whole trip?

AAA says if you answer “no” to any of the questions, the kid needs a booster seat to make the belt fit properly.

He probably won’t be happy if he has to go back into a booster seat at his age, but you may be able to lessen the sting by reminding him that it won’t be for very many months.

In fact, AAA recommends a booster seat for kids up to 8 years old anyhow, unless the child is 57 inches tall or taller. So it’s not that far out of the norm.

© CTW Features
What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving, repairing and making the most of your vehicle. Send your questions to sharon@ctwfeatures.com.

 

 

 

 

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