Q: When can my child stop using a booster seat in Lancaster County?
At Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers, our clients are often adults and children who have been seriously injured in a Lancaster car crash. Because we see injuries so often, we firmly believe in child safety seats. Children should be restrained in a federally-approved child safety seat every time they get into the car.
Pennsylvania law states that children must ride in a safety seat appropriate for their height and weight until they are eight years old or 4’9” tall. Once children turn eight years old, they may legally ride in the car without using a booster seat. The problem with the law is that many eight-year-olds are not yet 4’9” tall. We believe these older children should continue using a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall.
How can you determine if your older child is ready to ride in the car using only an adult safety belt? Have the child sit in the back seat with the safety belt fastened. Then check to ensure the following:
- Back should be firmly positioned against the seat
- Knees should bend naturally at the edge of the seat
- Shoulder belt should cross at the center of the shoulder and chest
- Lap belt should be low across the top of the thighs
If your child does not meet the above criteria, they must continue to use a booster seat in order to protect them from serious injury in a car accident. This applies even if a child is already eight years old.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, call us today. Contact a Lancaster car accident lawyer at our firm at (888) 476-0807 for a free case review. You may also wish to download a free copy of our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident? for more information.