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January 30th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Parents ignore booster seats when carpooling

Even though some parents put their little ones in booster seats while in the car, they don't always require them to use one when they are carpooling with other kids– that's according to a new survey published in this week's journal Pediatrics.

The research, conducted by the University of Michigan, found more than 30% of parents do not enforce the rule of booster seats when their kids are with another driver. Investigators also found 45% of parents do not require their little ones to use a booster when they're driving other children who don't have booster seats.

"The majority of parents reported that their children between the ages of four and eight use a safety seat when riding in the family car," says Dr. Michelle Macy, a clinical lecturer of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a pediatrician at U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. "However, it's alarming to know that close to 70% of parents carpool, and when they do, they're often failing to use life-saving booster seats."

Researchers believe car overcrowding and lack of time to coordinate booster seat switch offs are to blame for the lack of safety for kids in carpooling situations. Some parents seem to look the other way. But it's against the law, and many don’t understand that.

“If parents don’t have a booster seat for a child under eight, it’s not safe,” stressed Macy.  “We realize life happens and things come up, but parents know they need to go by the laws or come up with options that are just as safe.”

Most states require children to use a booster seat up to the age of eight. National recommendations encourage booster seats be used until a child grows to 57 inches, which is the average height of an 11-year-old, according to the study. Researchers also noted half of parents surveyed said they did not know the age limit on booster seats in their states and another 20 percent guessed incorrectly. That's why, study authors say, pediatricians should make it a top priority to let parents know about these laws.

"According to current recommendations most children should be using booster seats beyond the age cited in state laws. As many parents may not even be aware of current booster seat recommendations, pediatricians should make it a priority to share this vital information with them," says Macy.


soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Peteteevy

    Все вроде неплохо, есть над чем задуматься. Если будет интересно вот есть хорошая компания

    Трейн Укрейн

    January 30, 2012 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Aaron

    What's the law regarding transporting children in the trunk when you don't have enough room in the vehicle?

    January 30, 2012 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GB

      Ha! I remember riding in the trunk at least once when I was a kid. It was fun (and a short trip, thank goodness). I also remember bashing my teeth on the dash board more than a few times while I was standing in front of the passenger seat.

      Times change. Not always sure its good, but its surely safer.

      January 30, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • rocksor

      Remember the old VW beetles that had the little trunk space behind the rear passengers? Me and my brother used to ride there when there were too many people.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • J.C.

      I remember riding in the "trunk" (cargo compartment really) of a 1978 Honda Civic. Even for a nine year old, it was tight.

      January 31, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
  3. Talk about a nanny state!

    By the requirements mentioned I would have been in high school before I should have been allowed to ride in a car without a booster seat. Think this might be getting a bit absurd? I can totally understand why someone who is probably driving your children to play a violent team sport might not want to spend the extra 30 minutes or so waiting for you to remove the seat from your car, install it in theirs, and then do the whole thing over again in 2 hours. Just like ABS and airbags, if it was really that vital to have children placed in a way that the seat belt hits the correct areas of their bodies auto makers couldn't work out an adjustable belt.

    January 30, 2012 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • denim

      And that's just for the first kid. What about the other 6? The idea of booster seats isn't practical in that situation. Most people grew up just fine before these silly laws. Why not pack your kid in cotton and crate them up before "shipping"?

      January 30, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • denim

      Actually, it would make more sense to modify the standard seat to adjust to whomever was occupying it at the moment, from an infant to an adult, on the fly.

      January 30, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Nanny state, do you even know what a booster seat is? They're not installed in the car, they take less than a second to plop on the seat. The kid sits on top, you buckle and go. It's not that hard.

      January 30, 2012 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Everybody's kid would be a LOT safer in a car – even if they didn't even use a seat belt – if all cars came equipped with a cell phone jammer that was activated when the car was turned on. Better the government works on preventing idiots from using their cell phones than picking on undersized young adults.

      January 30, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      My 21-year-old daughter is 58" tall, so I guess she can keep driving w/out a booster seat. My other daughter's college roomie is 20, and she's only 56" tall, does she have to drive with a booster seat now?

      January 30, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • MomofThreeKids

      Actually for kids of the ages this article is talking about, you can just get the little boosters to get them up to seatbelt height. Those don't require installation and only weigh a couple of pounds (easy enough for the kid to carry to the other car) and/or cost less than $20 (so you can buy a spare for your carpool).

      January 30, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • Seattle's Best

      Guys, you have no idea what you're talking about!

      - Children under 13 years old are to be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.

      - Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (which ever comes first), must use a child restraint. The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.

      - Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat for a child weighing more than 40 pounds.

      - Children 8 years of age or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a child restraint.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:12 | Report abuse |
    • Seattle's Best

      ...except for the ones who do know what they're talking about.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:17 | Report abuse |
    • MightyTiny

      At 59", I DID have to use a booster seat to learn to drive in high school. The instructor refused to allow me to drive until he had ordered and received a special booster seat which allowed me to safely reach the pedals and steering wheel. Parents and adults must realize these laws and recommendations are in place to ensure the safety of children. I often tell my kiddos who inherited their mom's small stature, "Who cares what 'others' think. If you're dead, you won't be able to think at all. I'd rather have you around for awhile."

      January 31, 2012 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  4. HenryMiller

    "National recommendations encourage booster seats be used until a child grows to 57 inches, which is the average height of an 11-year-old..."

    It's this kind of wildly unrealistic idiocy that makes people ignore completely the promulgators of such "national recommendations." Getting an 11-year-old into a baby seat? Good luck with that. And don't protest that it's not really a "baby seat." Your opinion doesn't matter–it's the opinion of the humiliated 11-year-old that matters. It's the opinion of the daughter of some Asian friends of mine who, at 13, may not yet be 57 inches tall. You're going to try to make a girl who's starting high school next year ride in a baby seat? Yeah, right...

    January 30, 2012 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      How very right you are. Neither of my kids reached 57 inches before ninth grade, and both were skinny as well. I'm only 61 inches – will there be a booster seat requirement for me next?

      January 30, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • Seattle's Best

      No, no, no!

      If a child is under eight years old, a booster seat must be used EXCEPT for those children who have already met the height requirement. After the age of eight, a booster seat is not required.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jenni

      In most states the law is a certain height or a certain age, whichever comes first. So if you hit the required age first, then you can skip the booster seat even if you don't meet the height requirement, same goes if you hit the height first. The way it's going, my daughter will hit the height before she does the age.

      The issue is how the seatbelt goes across you if you're under a certain height. They should just make those adjusters required on shoulder straps and then you can adjust it according to your height. That would fix the problem and is exactly what is recommended for those who are over the legal age, but not the height.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:52 | Report abuse |
    • Why humiliated?

      An 11 year old would not feel humiliated if it weren't for you making it sound that it is humiliating to be in a "baby seat". The little back-less boosters are not even visible from outside the car! Why would they feel humiliated?
      And guess what! My mom learned to drive in a country that did not even have the concept of a car seat at the time. But she is tiny and felt uncomfortable with the poor positioning of the seatbelt and she felt she could not properly see either, so she was actually adding a firm pillow on the seat under her! That is how she showed up for her driving test! That is how she continued driving until she got a new car that was more comfortable. I found it funny, but nobody actually made fun of her for that!

      January 31, 2012 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • badMAMAjama

      I would have to disagree. There are laws put in place for a reason, to keep our kids as safe as possible. People have done research and are continuing to research on ways to better protect our kids while riding in the car. My son is fairly small for his age, and if he has to ride in a booster until he is 11, then that's what he will do to keep him safe! He is a CHILD, & will do as his mama says! It's not about "being humiliated" in front of all your "friends" or not looking cool enough. It's about taking that extra step to make sure your kid is safe! I hope your child is not worried about what everyone else thinks, because that in itself is another issue entirely...

      January 31, 2012 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
  5. Enough

    Henry I completely agree with you except it's not just asians. My 29 yr old german-irish daughter is only 58 inches now. As a junior in high school she obtained the last inch. Was she supposed to drive using a baby/child/booster/small adult seat? I'm surprised the idiots who support this legislation haven't yet figured out a politically correct term for the vertically challanged elevation support device.

    January 30, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Aaron

    All this while School Buses have neither seat belts nor booster seats.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      School busses are something like 800% safer than family vehicles. In 2009 three (yes, 1,2,3) school bus passengers died while riding on a school bus. That includes adults and children. Compare that to 1,200 children (birth to 15) killed in motor vehicle accidents as passengers. Boosters cut risk by more than half. So, yes, I'm going to worry about those hundreds of kids whose lives may have been saved, and the countless thousands who would have been spared injury (boosters protect against particularly devistating abdominal and spinal cord injuries) had they been properly restrained.

      January 30, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Nicole – perhaps you should worry about all the cell phone useage on the road. Eliminate that and all those kids you're worried about will be A LOT safer!

      January 30, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • badMAMAjama

      School buses are safe UNTIL the unthinkable happens. We had a school bus crash into an 18-wheeler here and a boy was thrown out of the hatch on the top of the bus, a teacher was thrown out, and a young girl on the bus is now paralyzed from the waste down. She will never walk again. I think boosters and seatbelts should be also required in school buses. I never understood why school buses don't have seatbelts in them, which is why I won't let my kids on one.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
  7. tacc2

    Why can't require auto makers to make adjustable seatbelts that would work on children without a booster seat?

    January 30, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      They're working on it. Some vehicles have intergrated boosters. It's very difficult to make a seatbelt that properly fits a 200 lb, 6 foot tall man fit a 30 lb, 3.5 foot tall four year old. It's sort of like making a pair of pants that fit both individuals. Plus, right now the seat belts also have to be adequate to install child restraints (harness seats), which limits the technology that can be utilized to protect passengers.

      January 30, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      We had very simple padded triangles that seatbelts slid through that kept the seatbelt off the faces and necks of our children while still making them 100% effective. I ought to know, we had a car accident and they were fine. They didn't even get the seat belt bruise that I got. My kids would not have been any safer in a booster seat, in fact, they may have been harmed if the seat had broken loose, as some are wont to do. Instead of asking cars to make adjustable seat belts, I'd rather they made cell phone jammers that activated everytime the car was turned on. I think that would make the roads a LOT safer for everybody.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Death rates have actually come down as digital device usage has increased. If you look at the rates and the decrease in deaths you'll see that we're saving thousands of lives a year just through changes we've made in the past two decades. Including the use of child restraints and boosters.

      It isn't an either or situation. We need both- we need attentive drivers, and we need people who are properly restrained. The people who are arguing for child safety seats and seatbelts are the same people who are arguing for no texting while driving.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
  8. Sam Reed

    As a parent in California, I'm tired of the government acting like they are Mommy and Daddy. My daughter will be 17 years old before she's 4'9". I have no memory of ever riding in a booster seat, and I turned out just fine. I will be voting against all California Democrats for stupid nanny laws like these. And to the pediatric association, car seat manufacturers and other people that keep promoting these stupid rules: go screw yourselves, stop worrying about my kids, worry about your own. I don't appreciate being told how my family should live their lives. I will use my own judgment to ensure the safety of my children.

    January 30, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      No one is trying to make your 17 year old ride in a booster. They are saying it's possible she would be safer in a booster (it's also different as she's has gone through puberty which reduces the need for extra protection and improves belt fit). Generally speaking people want to keep children, 12 and under, in boosters until they fit the belt. Because they want to prevent devistating spinal cord and adominal injuries that are caused by the seatbelt not fitting properly.

      January 30, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      I hear you. My kids were undersized in high school and would have been utterly humiliated had they had to sit in a glorified baby seat. The safety rationale is misplaced. Kids will be a lot safer if everyone in the car paid attention to the road instead of all the electronic gadgets.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Jenni

      If you'd look at the actual law, you find that there is an age OR height requirement. So if you child is 12 and short, they'd still be fine without the booster because they're over the age requirement. It's usually recommended that anyone under a certain height who isn't in a booster use an adjuster on their seat belt so that it fits properly. That's all you would have to do for a child who is shorter than average, and is exactly what is recommended for that situation.

      Believe me, our daughter hates her booster. She was free from it for about a month when the law changed here and you have to be in your booster now until age 12 or a certain height. She's 9 and has a few inches to go, so back to the booster she went. She tells me that even though she hates her booster, she'd rather be safe if we were in an accident.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:57 | Report abuse |
  9. Dana

    Yeah, everybody here rode without booster and they "turned out fine". My stomach turns when I read this as I drive to work every day and see countless cars at 70 mi per hour on 45 mi speed limit road. You guys risk yourselves and your kids, but mine will be in the booster till she is at least 10 and a half. She is almost 10 now.

    January 30, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      My stomach turns every time I see an idiot driver with a cell phone in the hands or up to the ear.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Lower the speed limit. It would have the added benefit of saving gas.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • Jenni

      Yes, we all went without boosters and turned out fine. That's not surprising since the ones who didn't turn out fine are likely in a cemetery somewhere.

      January 31, 2012 at 05:54 | Report abuse |
    • KJC

      Thank you, Jenni! Just because ancedotally, you "turned out fine" does not mean the law has no basis. It is based on statistics that actually show if you use the booster, you are less likely to be injured. If you turned out fine, you probably did not get into a life-threatening car accident. Good for you! But that's like saying cigarettes are safe, because you've smoked them for 50 years and don't have cancer. Well, I would say I am happy for you, but that doesn't change the fact that more people who smoke will get cancer than those who don't. Same issue with the seat belts fitting properly. Use some scientific logic here!

      January 31, 2012 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
    • dave843

      We turned out fine because we all wore those things our parents made us put on that kept us safe, what were they called again? Oh yeah REGULAR SEAT BELTS.

      August 15, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • dave843

      KJC the 'basis' for the law is probably heavy lobbying from the companies who manufacture the baby, I mean booster seats. No I'm wrong, our wise overlords always have our best interest at heart.

      August 15, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
  10. Bluegrass Spartan

    As has been posted – we grew up without booster seats and came out just fine. Yes, if they're in a booster seat, they'll be safer. Safer still if jacketed in protective body armor.
    Vehicles have never been safer, what with crumple zones, air bags and ABS. I suspect that the politicians who enact these laws not only piggy-back some porkbarrel projects on the back end of them, but don't have actually get the children into the car to run errands, then out at store #1, then back in then out again at stop #2, then in again, then . . . . They likely have their nanny do it for them.

    January 30, 2012 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      Or even safer – no kid rides in a car. Period. Ever.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      A girl a year ahead of me died in a motorvehicle accident, she was in 3rd grade. In high school I met two teens who suffered spinal cord injury and were paraplegic from automobile accidents (one was injured as a child, the other as a teen). So, yeah, a lot of people survived relatively injury free- I survived, you survived. Heck, I road in the bed of pick up trucks. That just means we were lucky.

      January 30, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • c s

      It is really simple, if you had been killed in a car accident, you would not be here to make a posting. All of the kids killed in car accidents are no around to make a post. How can you speak for the dead?

      January 30, 2012 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  11. Nicole

    Oh, and the issue isn't the shoulder belt fit, it's the lap belt fit. Those adjusters pull the lap belt up. The high lap belt causes the child's torso to slide underneath the seat belt, causing something called "seat belt syndrome" which is a constellation of abdominal and spinal cord injuries that are very dangerous.

    The only known danger of having the seat belt on the neck is that it is uncomfortable and kids put the seat belt behind them or under the arm. Actually, those seat belt positioners tend to position the belt low on the shoulder which increases the chance of the upper shoulder rolling over the seat belt, increasing head excursion and thus the risk of brain and spinal cord injuries.

    January 30, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. oHIo

    I wonder how many of these parents fail to wear a seat belt themselves. Or how many, particularly women, wear the seatbelt under the arm which increases the risk of injury. Safety equipment is only safe when it is used correctly and consistently.

    January 30, 2012 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Momtolots

    You want your child safe or dead from an accident? Put him/her in a booster if between 6 and 12, and for under 6, harness (no booster). If the belt sits on their stomach (like for most 9 and 10-year-olds), that's a funeral in a crash. If on the hip bone, like a booster will position the belt, that's a life saved. Any parent who would not use a booster is risking having their child dead from a preventable cause. And yes, short kids beyond the age of 11 and 12 will benefit from a booster too. Ask someone who has lost a child...then decide if you want to call it a baby seat. We rear-face to age 4 or 5, harness to age 8, and booster to 12 or more. I don't want my kids dead and car accidents are the #1 cause of death. Crash forces are not forgiving.

    January 30, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. kynnade

    i think they should have boosters seats for 1 to 6 year old because already were having an issue with bullying , if u pull up to your school with child in a booster seat at 7 there is going to be a problem and why r they worrying about cars at least they seat belts buses don't have anything and then there are humps on the road that hurt our children or if they r sleeping on the window on the bus they could get knocked out and left on the bus. i think we should have the right over our children if they get hurt its on us or who ever it is a free country

    January 30, 2012 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tina

      Actually, it's not 'on you', if your child gets injured or paralyzed in a crash and could have been safer in a car seat or booster; the lasting effects of it are ON THEM. They are the ones who will have to deal with the repercussions of that FOR LIFE. I am a libertarian (political affiliation-look it up) and am still for the extended use of child safety seats.

      Oh, and if some little idiot is bullying your child at the age of one for being in a car seat, then you need to step up and defend your child. My youngest is five and just got into a booster because of height, if she were shorter, she'd still be in a harnessed child safety seat. Where we are, it's the norm for parents to care for their children and keep them in child seats and boosters until the limits of the items... No (made up) bullying for kids here for safety!

      January 31, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
  15. Sandy

    Here's the problem with stories like this one: there is a world of difference between a four year old and an eight-year old kid, and carpooling across town and a few miles in a school zone. What percentage of these parents are driving eight-year-olds home from school in 25 mph traffic on quiet, residential streets? No way to tell from the statistics. Potentially there is not much risk, and think for a moment of the logistics involved.

    January 30, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Momtolots

    I will not drive any child under 13 without a booster, period. Unless the child 5 steps and I verify it, in my vehicle. That goes for anyone over 13, too, though all the 13-year-olds we know 5 step. So yes, small people, teens, adults, etc. should have a booster too if they are the correct weight for it (and the biggest only go to 120 lbs.).
    Plus, we take off our coats in the car no matter how cold. When you carpool, make the kids remove their coats. Make sure the belt fits right. You don't want to be responsible for someone's child dying because you didn't take precautions. It's simple. Booster for kids. No coats in car.

    January 30, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Curleehead

    Big brother needs to mind his own business!

    January 30, 2012 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kate

    I fail to see what's logistically challenging about buying a $20 backless booster for an older child, and even getting a spare for carpooling. It's nothing like a "baby seat" and it could well save a child's life. Then again, our toddler is rear facing and will remain so to the limit of her seat (at her current growth rate, she'll be at least 3), and will be harnessed forward-facing well beyond that before moving to a booster when she is mature enough to do so. Today we know that children under 2 are 5 times safer if they're rear facing, and we know that older/bigger children should remain harnessed and in belt positioning boosters until they can five-step. When you know better, you do better! This is not a marketing ploy or needless nannyism. I'd never forgive myself if some moron crashed into us while texting, and our child was hurt or killed because foolish pride prevented me from doing what is known to be safest.

    January 30, 2012 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Kathy

    If the car companies would start installing the 5 point seat belts system, booster seats wouldn't be a problem.

    January 30, 2012 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. CJ

    My daughter doesn't ride with anyone else without a booster, and no one else's kid rides in our car without one either. No exceptions – and if they don't like it, they can find someone else to ride with. I'm not going to get a ticket because some other parent is too lazy to supply a booster for their child, nor am I willing to risk the safety of their child in the event of an accident. It boggles my mind why they'd be willing to risk their own child's safety.

    January 30, 2012 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Casey

      Get over yourself. I grew up without booster seats and I remember sharing a buckle in the front passenger seat with one of my best friends on multiple occasions. I slept on my stomach as a infant in the now drop side cribs and so did my children. I did not grow up wearing helmets when riding a bike or having padding on to roller skate. At some point, you have to draw the line. Kids don't and can't live in a bubble.

      January 30, 2012 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • badMAMAjama

      You would think people like Casey would want to protect their child any way possible, guess not though. We don't live in the 50s or 60s anymore! And if something is proven effective in saving my childs life should something happen, then I am willing to do what I can to keep him safe! I think that your rules are good rules, CJ, and I am with you 1000%. Yes we cannot keep our kids in a "bubble", I'll admit, my son doesn't wear a helmet when riding his trike, because he rides it in the driveway. But when he does go and ride it out on the sidewalks, then he will definately wear one. Who doesn't care about keeping their child safe??

      January 31, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
  21. PlayCracktheSky

    What the heck is 5-step?

    January 30, 2012 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      It's a guideline for determining proper seat belt fit, you can google "five step test" to see what it is. It's something like lap belt sits low on hips touching thighs, shoulder belt hits between the neck and shoulder, behind is flat against the back of the seat (no slouching), knees bend at the end of the seat and feet are flat on the ground, and the person can maintain this position throughout the trip (so not straining to sit properly).

      January 31, 2012 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  22. BoAv

    Bring a tall man 6 feet 2 inches booster seats do not concern me but what does is what passes for safety in cars. I see people texting while listening to the radio, and while having a conversation. The solution is not to jam cell phone signals because other people in the car but to have strict laws and cell phone blocking for teens under 18. I do not get when a some purchases a car for image or the biggest one they can afford. When I took to Europe this summer the biggest car that appeared the most was a small sedan. The problem in the US is that we drive tanks, no one can see children crossing the streets, bicycles on the side of the road, or cars in the blind spot. I am sorry most used American made cars are lean on safety features. BMW, Meecedes, and Volvo all have had brake assist since the early 2000s. Brake assist allows a car to stop more quickly because it sense you pushing on the pedal and sends out a pre-charged brake fluid, systems like this are staring to show up on American made cars but it is already to late to change people's minds mine included. Booster seats are good but what is better is choosing a vehicle that had good safety features,quick braking, and tight and responsive handling, unfortunaly for the American auto industry, I will be driving my used BMW 325xi and not a new American tank.

    January 31, 2012 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. NHMom

    Lets see statistics of how many children are injured because they are not following the recommendations. That would be meaningful information. Also a study that looks at the overall effect of good driving vs. religious use of booster seats in protecting children. I spent my whole childhood in the back of a station wagon without a chair or a seatbelt.

    January 31, 2012 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlie

      Wow, out of the hundreds of idiot moms out there. There is one that actually has some logical sense. There are no actual logical facts that supports booster seats. When we are shown the data, it doesn't differentiate between booster seats, regular seat belts, and no seat belts. This evidence shows the corporate scam for what it is. They are bending the facts to make booster seats seem safer. I'm willing to bet my entire life savings, that nobody on earth could prove a booster seats make a single percent difference when compared to wearing a regular seat belt. Let alone, can anyone find a report of a child or short adult fatality that could have been saved by a booster seat.

      November 25, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
  24. Ray Fulton

    FYI My Dodge has two convertible booster seats for your kids or grandkids however the seatbelt crosses the neck too closely my 44" 4 year old observed

    January 31, 2012 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. badMAMAjama

    How can some of you act like we don't need these regulations & children shouldn't have to use boosters? These laws are set in place for safety reasons! I would want to keep my child safe in any way possible, and if doing something as simple as strapping him in his seat could save his life, then your DAMN right I'm going to buckle his tail in there! & this other talk about your child possibly being "humiliated" if they have to ride in a booster seat when they are 11, SO WHAT??! Wouldn't you rather have your child safe then "cool"?? I'm sure my son is going to HATE me when he is still riding in a booster seat in 5th grade (he is small so I wouldn't doubt this happening), but he is a CHILD and will do as MAMA says!!! Grow a pair people and stop letting your kids run over you and stop encouraging them that the way they look matters more than what's right!!!

    January 31, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave843

      Maybe you should just strap him to the sofa in your living room so you can keep an eye on him at all times.

      August 15, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
  26. Brendan

    So which is it, age or height? If they're too small for a seat belt to fit them properly/safely, does it really matter how old they are? The corollary to that is, if they're 7 1/2 and fit the (seemingly arbitrary) height/weight requirements, why should they need a booster seat?

    It's idiotic to say that a short/slender 12 year old is safe without a booster seat, but a taller/bulkier 7 year old isn't. It's even dumber to say that that small slender person is safe in the front seat at 13, but that taller/bulkier person at 9 isn't.

    Age isn't nearly as important as size and the sooner that is recognized, the safer everyone will be.

    January 31, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Samuel (Sam) Getaneh Bogale Kathy Stumm-Bogale

    This article rings so true! Safety should always be first!

    January 31, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.