Parents moving kids out of booster seats too soon, Safe Kids says

Washington – Nine out of 10 parents move their child from a booster seat to a safety belt too early, according to a new report from Safe Kids Worldwide.

The report, released Sept. 15, included 1,000 parents of children ages 4 to 10. It found that seven out of 10 parents do not know a child should be at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall – and weigh 80 to 100 pounds – before graduating from a booster seat to a safety belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that booster seats are necessary to elevate the child so the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts are properly positioned and do not cross the child’s neck or stomach.

Compared to safety belts, booster seats can lower the risk of serious injury by 45 percent, according to the report. In 2012, one-third of the 340 children ages 4 to 10 who died in car crashes were riding without a restraint.