I am looking after my eight-year-old nephew while my brother and his wife are on vacation, and they insist that I put him in a booster seat in my car. They’re helicopter parents that don’t allow the kid play in the front yard by himself and they can not really tell me why he wants to be in the thing, other than, “It is required.” Belts, I get — they keep us. What’s the function of the booster seat, aside from treating kids for as long as possible, like babies? — Tara, Edmonton
Sure, a seat belt keeps you but that isn’t its job.
“Contrary to popular belief, the principal aim of a seat belt isn’t to keep people from being ejected from a car,” stated , a doctoral candidate in the University of British Columbia. “It redirects crash forces to the strongest parts of the body, the hips and torso.”
And, like most things in your vehicle, apart from perhaps the entertainment system, seat belts are made for grown-ups.
“Children between 4 and 8 are too small and the seat belt typically ends up on their belly and across the neck,” said Ishikawa, whose study is probing the attitudes that keep parents kind using booster seats. “That is redirecting crash forces to the internal organs or into the neck.”
In a crash, that force could be 544 kilograms (). If the shoulder belt has slid off, or supporting the child, the child jackknives above the belt and that crash force becomes directed entirely to the belly — causing severe internal injuries to the spleen, bowel and liver, which have been collectively referred to as seat-belt syndrome.
If they Are — car seats — are intended to protect children in which the automobile can’t. Car seats support infants’ necks in a crash. They move to car seats, when they grow from them.
“You’ll find forward-facing car seats that are created for children up to 30 kg,” Transport Canada says on its site. “Even if your child weighs over 18 kg (40 pounds) and your provincial/territorial law states you can use a booster seat, your child is safer in the forward-facing car seat as long as he or she’s still beneath the car seat’s weight and height limits and fits in the car seat properly.”
After that, enter booster chairs. Children are raised by them in which they are supposed to — so seat belts match — and protect. They’re Everywhere except Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Alberta in Canada.
Generally, booster-seat requirements derive height (shorter than 145 centimetres, or 4 feet 9 inches), weight (less than 36-45 kg, or 80-100 lbs, depending on the state) or age (between 7 and 10).
In fact, some children may not meet the weight or height requirements until they’re 12 or 11.
The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) To look at the height and weight limits posted on your booster seat.
“In a crash, kids using seat belts instead of booster seats are 3-1/2 times more likely to undergo a serious injury and four times more likely to undergo a head injury,” it states on its site.
Helicopter parenting in the minivan?
Are we holding back kids by maintaining them in booster seats? There is A vehicle one of those areas where we should be treating children with kid gloves, said child psychologist , who has done research.
“Letting children climb the monkey bars to check their limits has developmental benefits,” Brussoni stated. “However, in the case of automobiles and booster seats, the kid isn’t playing and they do not receive any developmental benefit from not being properly protected in a crash.”
Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death by preventable injury for Canadian children between the ages of 1 and 9.
Provinces without laws have the highest rate compared with the average, Presented in a CPS conference .
In Alberta, that speed was 4.18 per 100,000 individuals in 2012, compared with 2.27 in Ontario.
In america, a 2012 newspaper by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at crash data from five states — Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming — which had passed laws for booster seats for older children.
Booster-seat use tripled, after the laws were in place for a couple of decades and there was a decrease in injuries and deaths.
So why are, if booster seats save lives Who should be riding in cars with seat belts? Ishikawa thinks it is because parents do not understand the aim of seat belts. That is being tested by his analysis. “Before I started studying this, I was absolutely certain the purpose of seat belts was to avoid ejection,” he said. “I suspect more people may be like me, and if they are, then we can target that with instruction.”
Have a driving question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so tell us so we find the answer for your town and state where you are.
Shopping for a new car? Check out the Brand New To see the hottest discounts, rates and rebates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.