Originally Posted by blessedwithboys
i realize i am the worlds biggest dork. LOL i am making my 11.5yo ds use a low back booster in the back seat of the car. our state allows him to sit in the front at age 12. we have a passenger airbag, and he is slight of build. i am really starting to rethink letting him move up front.
can he sit up front and still use the booster?
is his emotional need to stop feeling "like a baby" more important than his physical safety?
neither the back nor the front belts fit him very well sans booster. maybe i should compromise and let him ditch the booster, but make him stay in the back?
First off, you are NOT a dork. You are a VERY smart momma for using a booster with your DS. Thank you.
Secondly, vehicles and their safety belts are not designed for children. The lap/shoulder belts are designed to restrain the average adult. Hence the recommendation to use a booster seat until your child passes the 5 step test. Here it is: http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.htm
I understand your son's reluctance and embarassment using a booster seat. In this case, I would recommend a backless booster (cannot be seen from outside of the car) IF your vehicle has a high back and head rest in the seating position where he sits.
Why are booster seats so important? The Booster seats main responsibility is to "boost" the child up so that the lap and shoulder belt lies across the correct and strongest parts of his body. Should you wreck and he is not in a booster and should be, the crash forces will be experienced at his neck and most likely abdomen. Spinal cord injury (paralysis) and bleeds within the abdomen are typical injuries experienced by children who are restrained by only the lap/shoulder belt and should be in a booster. They are almost always fatal or result in permanant paralysis.
It is not recommended that one use a belt positioner. They are not crash tested and will not hold should you wreck. They do nothing to protect an occupant.
The safest place for any child 15 and under is the back seat. So using a booster in the front is not recommended.
Crash forces experienced by anyone or anything in a vehicle in even a low speed crash, are very violent. Putting it into perspective....Newton's theory of motion...You are travelling 30 mph and you wreck. Your son weighs 75 pounds. The seat belt you have him in will now be restraining him as if he weighed 2,250 pounds. speed times weight equals pounds of restraining force. Think about that force upon his neck or on his stomach. If that's where the seat belt is when you wreck, that's where your force will be exerted.
He will not have to use a booster forever. However, I am sure you realize he will live forever with his injuries or you with his death, should you wreck and he is only restrained in a lap and shoulder that doesn't fit him to restrain him. You will make the best decision for him I am certain.
Lastly, child restraint laws vary by state. You may want to verify applicable laws in your state. Any other questions please ask.
CPS tech/instructor and momma to 2 sons in seats