Food Fun and Facts   How to Buy a Booster Car Seat for Kids Aged 4-8

Booster Seat Basics  By Jayne O'Donnell

I know, I know. Getting a 6-year-old who has been riding in the car like a "big girl" to go back to a child seat would be no easy task. But now there's considerable evidence that keeping older kids in booster seats until they reach small-adult size reduces injuries and saves lives.

Still, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says fewer than 7 percent of the 20 million U.S. children ages 4 to 8 are riding in booster seats. That's a frightening statistic when you consider that more than 500 children in this age group are killed in car accidents each year, and thousands more are injured. Safety experts say many of the deaths and injuries could be prevented by the proper use of booster seats.

Understanding the Necessity
When children wear adult safety belts too soon, their internal organs can be injured if the belts ride up and slice into their stomachs in a crash. If shoulder belts are put behind their backs, their torsos can jackknife forward, increasing the chance of head and abdominal injuries. More than 80 percent of 4- to 8-year-old passengers in 30,000 car crashes studied by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance were improperly restrained in adult-size safety belts. And the results were often tragic.

Autumn Alexander Skeen lost her 4-year-old son in a crash when an adult seat belt failed to keep him inside the car. Skeen is now a spokeswoman for Ford Motor Company's educational campaign promoting booster-seat use. "No parent should ever know the pain of losing a child, especially if death or injury is easily preventable," Skeen says.

A Simple Solution
Booster seats raise children up off the seat to position them in adult belts properly. These special seats are recommended for kids who weigh 40 to 80 pounds and are intended for use in the back seat of vehicles that have three-point lap/shoulder belts. (Remember, children younger than 13 should never ride up front in a car that has front air bags.) Children can usually safely use adult belts in the back seat once they reach a height of four feet nine inches and weigh 80 pounds.

Booster seats are available at many major department stores and at Web sites and superstores that carry children's products. Your vehicle's manufacturer or your insurance company may also be able to make suggestions about where to buy a booster seat in your neighborhood. Some insurance and car companies even have special programs that offer the seats for free or at a discount.

ClubMom's AutoPro, Jayne O'Donnell, is a Washington, D.C.-based reporter (and new mom!) whose automotive expertise and investigative reporting skills have helped break some of the biggest auto-safety stories of the past several years.

Copyright © 1999-2003 ClubMom, Inc. All rights reserved.

Britax Parkway Secure Guard Booster Seat

Featuring an innovative design and industry-leading technology, the Britax Parkway SG Booster Seat (Onyx) keeps your child safe and secure during car rides.

The seat's True Side Impact Protection and SecureGuard anti-submarining technology manage crash forces and minimize injury to your child during a crash.

Appropriate for children from 40 to 120 pounds, the seat's narrow footprint allows you to fit three across in most cars--ideal for many of today's small- to mid-sized vehicles.
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Agana Baby

Evenflo Big Kid DLX Booster Seat

The New Big Kid Booster Seat offers a point of difference for your shoppers with it's Activity lights to allow the child to continue to read, color, or play when it is dark outside.

One-Hand Full Body Adjustment which allows the seat to grow in height as well as lap depth with one simple adjustment. Pivoting Comfort Touch armrests improves ease of entry and proper buckle position.

Exclusive Comfort Touch padding providing mattress style cushion throughout the pad.

Features: The booster that grows with your child * 30-100 lbs.
Belt-positioning ,Forward Facing, up to 57" tall, Full body adjustment
Easy one-hand pull handle adjusts height and seat depth quickly, Increased Comfort Touch padding for that extra cushion Comfort
Touch pivoting armrests which improves ease of entry and lap belt position 2 boosters in 1
Rremovable back for easy conversion to a no-back booster for 40 100 lb child
Drink, snack and activity area are retractable for quick access to drinks, snacks, and games.

Deep head supports for napping child , 6-position height and seat depth adjustment.
Removable, washable full wrap cloth pad

Meets or exceeds all applicable U.S. safety standards. Use Care, The Bid Kid Booster is for use forward facing with children that are 30-100 lbs and up to 57 tall.

Read all instructions and warnings on the product, product labels, and instruction manuals before use.

Consult your vehicle owners manual to determine proper placement of child restraint in your vehicle and familiarize yourself with your vehicles components. Machine wash pad with mild detergent, cold water, and gentle cycle .
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