Fall has arrived—and with it, a flurry of activities. With school, sports, music, and more, simply deciding how to get all the children to and from their various activities can be a juggling act. On any given day, you and your spouse may be trading off who takes which kid where.

Keeping track of the schedule and getting to each spot on time is a victory in itself. So when you manage to get to the pickup point on time only to discover that you don’t have a booster seat, it can be tempting to just ditch the seat all together in favor of a regular seat belt. After all, a seat belt is just as safe isn’t it?

That depends entirely on the size of the child. Before you decide to make the switch for convenience’s sake, make sure that your child is physically ready to make the transition. Safety Kids Worldwide states that most children are between the ages of 8 and 12 before they are big enough to ride safely without a booster seat. Your child will be safe with a regular seat belt when he or she passes this simple Safety Belt Fit Test:

  • Your child’s knees can bend at the edge of the seat when their backs and bottoms are all the way against the back of the seat.
  • The lap belt fits across the upper thighs.
  • The shoulder belt fits comfortably across the shoulder and chest (not the neck).

If your child does not fit these guidelines, you’re better off buying another booster seat to make sure your child can ride safely every time. You’ll be glad you did if you find yourself the victim of a Maryland auto accident with your child in the car. When that happens, call a Southern Maryland car accident lawyer who can help you get compensation for any injuries. For a free consultation, call 800-875-9700. 

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