Our new study helps answer some of the questions parents have about when to switch from a booster seat to just a seat belt. We surveyed 1,000 parents of children ages 4 to 10 and found that an alarming number of parents are allowing kids to use a seat belt alone before they are big enough. In fact, 7 in 10 parents do not know that a child should be at least 57 inches (4’9”) to ride in a car without a booster seat.
Booster seats protect children who are too big for a car seat but too small for a seat belt. And booster seats can reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent compared to seat belts alone. It’s very important to keep kids in a booster seat until they are at least 57 inches tall, (4’9”) and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds.