Friday, February 25, 2011

When to Transition to Booster Seats

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car safety seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car safety seats on the market, and some much information on how to use them; it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things including your child’s size, age, maturity level and the type of vehicle you have.

Toddlers/ preschoolers and young school age are the most at risk (from 3 to 7). Although the recent passed Mass Booster Seat Law gives us a pretty good guideline for when to transition our children from booster seat to seat belt, there continues to be a need for child passenger safety awareness education. And there are too many considerations and no clear cut standard to determine when is appropriate to transition our children form a 5 pt harness to a booster seat.

Unfortunately the guidelines are not so clear on transitioning our toddlers from 5pt harness to booster seats. A few years back most car seats held children in harnesses only up to 40 pounds, at that time because of the limited choices most 40 pounds children would transition to a booster seat regardless of age and maturity. Now, recent research suggests that in many occasions’ children who are less than 4 years old, regardless of their height and weight, are not mature enough to stay bucked in position to withstand the impact of a car crash. In response to this finding, more and more manufacturers are developing and marketing a variety of Child Safety Seats that can hold a child in a 5pt harness up to 50, 60 and even 80 pounds.

The recent influx of high weigh harness child safety seats help us better transition toddlers into better seats. Having all this options, is making not necessarily making things easier for parents to chose the appropriate child safety seat for their children, but is providing them with other safety options.

If you have questions in how to choose the best child safety seat for your 3 to 7 year old child you can call us at 413 794 6510.

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