The safety of a child should never be compromised for the convenience of the caregiver, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Many parents allow their children to stop using booster seats before it is time. The most common excuse reported to Safe Journey of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is because their children don’t want to ride in a booster seat and the parents don’t want to argue the point with their children.
It is the responsibility of the parent and of the vehicle driver to insure the safety of minor passengers when traveling, said officials.
It is the law, too. In Tennessee, children are to ride in a properly used car seat or booster seat until the child reaches the age of nine years and the height of 4’9”. Both of these milestones must be met before the child moves into the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt system. Also, when traveling to other states, it is the responsibility of the parent and the driver to observe the car seat and booster seat laws in the state currently driving in. Just as you must obey the speed limit in other states, you must obey the child passenger safety laws, said officials.
The right car seat or booster seat can save a child’s life. The right car seat or booster is the one that fits a child according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for age, height and weight.
According to Tennessee law, the car seat or booster seat must be used properly, so installation is critical. Begin by checking the vehicle owner’s manual to confirm recommended seating positions. Next, check the booster seat’s recommendations for installation and use. Finally, have the installation and fit checked by a certified child passenger safety technician.
Don’t move a child to the vehicle seat belt system too soon. Many children who are nine years old and over 4’9” tall do not properly fit the vehicle’s belt system.