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Booster Seat Safety for Preteens

Children seated in booster seats in the back seat of the car are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash than children using a seat belt alone. If your preteens are still the right fit for a booster seat, here are few tips to consider:

  • Older kids get weighed and measured less often than babies, so check your child’s growth a few times a year. Generally, kids need to use a booster until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. For most kids, they will be between ages 8 to 12 years old. 
  • If your preteen is still a good fit for a booster seat, make sure the lap and shoulder belts fit snugly. The lap belt should fit low across the hips and the shoulder belt across the shoulder. 
  • Do not place the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back. 

Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap AND shoulder safety belts until your preteen passes the following Safety Belt Fit Test:

  • Your children’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when their backs and bottoms are against the vehicle seat back; and 
  • The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs; and
  • The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest. Children are usually between 8 and 12 years old when the seat belt fits them properly.