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How old does your child have to be before they go into a regular seat belt?

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Asked by SHANTIKA at 2:44 PM on Mar. 30, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (16)
  • It's not an age thing really, it's more of a weight and height thing.

    A child can start using a seatbelt alone once any one of the following criteria is met:

    •Child turns eight years old
    •Child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.)
    •Child is 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 2:49 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • 4 and 40 lbs with a booster in PA

    Answer by jreneei at 2:49 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • Lawsvary by state and are typically based on some combination of your child's age, weight and/or height. Personally, my son is 3 and I'm in no hurry to switch him. When he maxes out his current seat, I plan to move him one that has extended harness use (i.e. harness up to 65 lbs). I believe it's safer for him (better distributes the force in case of an accident) and I know he can't undo the harness. I've seen a couple of people post on here that their 3 yr olds figured out how to undo the seatbelt and did it regularly. That possibility scares me...

    Answer by momofryan07 at 2:49 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • My kids were very tall and thin. There was no way they could wait until 8. I know it was illegal, but I started putting them in a seatbelt at 4 when they reached 40 pounds because that was the law when my oldest daughter was small (she is 24 with her own now, and I have a nine year old)

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • My post is for using a belt with no booster seat. The belt with a booster seat is earlier than that.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 2:54 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • check your state laws google them

    Answer by mom2snsb at 3:02 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • eight years, eighty pounds, and 4'9"....minimum

    Answer by catholicmamamia at 4:01 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • The bare minimum varies by state (but are your kids just a minimum? Probably NOT). The IDEAL time is when they are EIGHT years old, EIGHTY pounds AND (not or, but AND) 4'9".

    Answer by RanaAurora at 4:07 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • It's weight/height regulated. Check your state laws, they vary.

    Answer by clhadley at 4:26 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

  • When they pass the 5 step test is when they are able to go w/out a booster. This usually actually does not happen at 8, but sometimes between 9 and 12 years old. They pass if you answer Yes to all of these questions:

    The 5-Step Test.
    1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
    2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
    3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
    4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
    5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

    Answer by mommy2aftan at 5:00 PM on Mar. 30, 2010

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