Child Safety Seat Test for Seat Belts

Posted by JoAnna LaTulippe-Rochon on 21 August 2015

When a child outgrows the height and weight limits of the booster seat, it may be time to use a regular seat belt.  Children may be ready for a seat belt when they are AT LEAST 145 cm (4 feet 9 Inches) tall or have a seated height of 74 cm (29 inches).

But don’t rush your child out of a booster seat! Placing your child in a seat belt too soon increases the risk of serious injury or death in a crash. “Seat belt syndrome” is how doctors describe injuries to the spine and internal organs that can happen to children who are too small for the seat belt. Please read the following to ensure your child is ready to use a seat belt:

• Children 12 years old and under are safest in the back seat, away from the front air bags.

 • Seat belts should be worn for every ride, no matter how short.

 • Wearing your own seatbelt is the best way to show your child that buckling up is important. Be   a good example!

Child Safety Seat Test

Can you check YES by each of these statements to ensure your older child is sitting properly in a seat belt?

  • The shoulder strap is across the chest, and rests between the neck and shoulder. It should NOT touch the neck.
  • My child is sitting up straight with his/her back flat against the vehicle seat.
  • The lap belt stays low and snug on your child’s hips, NOT across his/ her belly.
  • My child’s knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat without slouching

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Your child still needs a booster seat:

 If the seatbelt does not fit properly as per the guidelines in the Child Safety Seat Test
 If your child slouches in the seat.
 If your child is putting the seatbelt behind her back or under her arm to be comfortable.  

Did you answer “no” to any of the above statements? Do you have questions about your child’s seat belt or car seat? Check the seat belt information in your vehicle owner’s manual. For more information including tips and recommendations for keeping your child safe in the car, contact us.

• Phone: Car Seat Information line toll-free at 1-866-288-1388

• E-mail: childsafetylink@iwk.nshealth.ca

• Website:www.childsafetylink.ca