When I find out who heads up the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, I may have to kiss him (or her!) on the mouth. The folks who deal with all things safe in the car have come out with a suggestion that many kids should remain in a booster seat until -- get this -- 12 years old!
And to that I say thank you! It's about time somebody said it!
Not so happy? Maybe you're one of those parents who just couldn't wait to get their kid out of a booster seat?
I feel you; I really do. They are a pain in the tuchas, especially when your kid is legally old enough to be sitting in the regular car seat. Unfortunately, what the state says is OK isn't always the safest thing for kids.
More From The Stir: Putting Your Child in a Booster Seat Too Soon Could Have Tragic Consequences
In my state, my 8-year-old is legally approved for a regular adult safety belt. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Association reserves the car's regular seat belts for "children who reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches before their eighth birthday." Guess what? My 8-year-old is nowhere near 4 feet 9 inches.
Going booster-less is legal for my kid. But it isn't necessarily safe, and moms like me face a stigma when we keep our kids in the seats.
There are judgy moms and grandparents who look at us like we're over-bearing and over-cautious. Then there are the bratty little snots who come up with gems like "My mom says I don't have to sit in a booster seat anymore. You must be a little baby!" and make you want to kick them out of the carpool.
We're treated like WE'RE the problem.
But we're not.
The problem is bad information.
A kid doesn't magically age out of a booster at age 8. It turns out car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. But the IIHS reports that kids in boosters -- the data is of kids ages 4 to 8 because those are the ages of most kids currently using them -- are 45-percent less likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash.
Keep kids in boosters longer, and we could keep more kids alive.
To me, it's a no-brainer.
How long is your child going to be in a booster. Would they make it until 12?