Parenting: Back to the booster seat
March 29, 2011 (WPVI) -- New guidelines came out last week from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concerning car seats and booster seats... and after studying them, I knew my 9-year-old son wasn't going to be very happy. The booster seat, which he stopped sitting in two years ago, would be making a return in our car.
The new guidelines, which are published in the April issue of Pediatrics, (and online) advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
I remember how Nicholas celebrated when he no longer had to use the booster seat, and was able to finally ride "like a big boy" with just a seat belt.
The booster is back as soon as we buy a new one. We tried to break the news to Nicholas gently, as we were riding home from dinner. He immediately looked up from his video game and exclaimed "no way!" Yet, regardless of how much we tried to explain why, it didn't and still hasn't sunk in that it's in his best interest.
But we as parents understand. It's all about safety, and that rear seatbelts don't protect our young children as much as we would like them to. The booster helps to make sure the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt fits properly.
Studies have shown that the rate of children deaths (16-years-old and younger) in motor vehicle crashes has substantially decreased since 1997... but it is still the leading cause of death for children 4-years-old and older. And for every fatality, roughly 18 children are hospitalized, and more than 400 injured enough to require medical treatment - that's according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Such statistics may be too much for a child to grasp, but not for parents who value the life of their children.
Sorry Nicholas, but its back on the booster seat for the next 3 years.
rick williams parenting reports, parenting, rick williams
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