Children who are moved out of a booster seat too soon are 3.5 times more likely to sustain a significant injury, but RACV research has found that some parents are unsure of when to safely move their children out of booster seats
Is your child ready to use a seatbelt?
Without knowing it, parents often move their children out of booster seats too soon which puts them at greater risk of head, neck, spinal and abdominal injuries in a crash. That’s why RACV is urging parents to reassess whether their children are big enough to wear a seatbelt in the car instead of sitting in a booster seat.
The law requires children to be in a suitable restraint (booster seat or seatbelt) between the ages of seven to 16 years. However, this doesn’t simply mean that a child should stop using a booster seat when they turn seven, because it depends on the individual child.
Take a 5 step test to see if your child is seat belt ready!
Seatbelts are designed for adult use and some children don’t achieve a good fit until they are 145cm tall or 12 years old. At age seven, less than 2% of children are tall enough to fit into an adult seatbelt.
To help parents and guardians determine whether a child is ready to use a seatbelt, there is a simple five-step test (see video here: 5 step test video);
- Does the child sit all the way back against the seat?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
- Does the belt cross the shoulder properly between the child’s neck and arm?
- Is the lap belt as low as possible and touching the child’s thighs?
- Can the child stay comfortably seated like this for the whole trip?