how old can a child be to not have to sit in a booster seat anymore?

Mianda - posted on 04/17/2010 ( 67 moms have responded )

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i was just wondering how old a child could be to sit in the regualar seat in the car my cousin that lives with me is eight years old and i heard that at eight years old they can be out of a booster... if anyone knows any information about it please let me know!

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Sharon - posted on 04/17/2010

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Its usually a height & weight requirement. NOT an age requirement.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/17/2010

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I think the "legal" age varies state by state. 8 is probably the most common. But, in truth, they should have a booster until their height allows them to sit back with their knees bent in the seat. Also, the seat belt, if it has the shoulder strap, should fit across their chest. Remember, the booster seat is for safety. If the child doesn't fit the seat well, they should still be in a booster.

Helen - posted on 04/18/2010

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in uk its 12 OR over 1.35m tall.

Personally I think that using appropriate child seats for as long as possible is the sensible thing to do, and I certainly wouldn't want my son travelling with just an adult seat belt at 8, let alone 4, unless he's extremly tall, as the seat belt would not sit in the correct position, and could be dangerous.

Christin - posted on 04/18/2010

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I agree, call or check the Internet sites for the exact law in your area. It is usually an age and height requirement. For example a lot of people think that once their child is 20 lbs they can face forward and that is not true as the younger childs body is not ready to handle the force of an accident despite their size. Then the other direction being once a child is 1 y/o they can face forward despite their size which is also untrue b/c their size makes them vulnerable to injury even if their age meets the requirement. So the real rule of thumb is 20 lbs. AND 1 y/o, however, keeping them rear-facing for as long as possible is really the best option for safety. That way if you are in a crash their neck does not sustain so much force causing whiplash.

The main reason for the restrictions on older children is that the seat belt does not fit properly and can actually cause injury if you are in a crash. The booster seat not only helps keep the seat belt at the appropriate spot on the body, but it also keeps the seatbelt from crushing the child in an accident. I saw a story about at 6 y/o girl that was wearing a regular seat belt and when they had an accident the belt on her abdomen crushed some of her internal organs. She survived but required extensive medical treatment and a long recovery. A booster seat may have prevented those particular injuries.

It always pays to be safe and err on the side of caution. Good luck!

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Nancy - posted on 05/02/2010

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California has a ht. and wt. minimum (though my kids are big now, so I don't know what the current requirements are. However, the main reason to use a booster seat is to position the child so that the lap belt goes low over the hip bones (not the abdomen) and the shoulder belt fits at the shoulder.



If your child's legs aren't long enough for the knees to reach the front edge of the seat when seated, then he/she will slouch down and the lap belt will hit too high. (This could cause serious abdominal injury in an accident)



If the child isn't tall enough for the shoulder belt, then the belt could cut across his/her face or won't hold him/her securely if the car were to flip or roll.



My kids were in booster seats for a long time, but my husband is a pediatrician and he has seen far too many injured children. We decided that we wouldn't be able to forgive ourselves if something bad happened to them because we had neglected to keep them safe. We just always told our kids that they were far too precious to take any kind of chance with (in case a crazy driver hit us!) and they were fine with the boosters. They will follow your lead.

Jennifer - posted on 05/01/2010

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i saw something on the news where i live and they showed how a child shouldnt sit in a seat if the back of their knee dosent meet the edge of the sest, if they cant sit with their legs bent (like when u sit in a chair) than the legs stay straight and are more likely to have their legs crushed or broken, also u can tell by the way the seat belt lays across their lap and chest

Deb - posted on 05/01/2010

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Florida law is 5 years . any weight or height. just 5 years old. Florida Highway Patrol website and DMV websites have it. they recommend booster seats until the seatbelt fits properly, however it isn't a law after age 5

Julie - posted on 04/29/2010

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It depends on where you live. I live in Utah and the law here as of May, 2008 is a child must ride in an approved car seat until age 8 or 80 lbs. whichever the child reaches first. I don't know if it is the same in all 50 of the United States or elsewhere in the world.

Shanna - posted on 04/29/2010

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it varies by state! i hate it when people say its NOT height or weight or age. well check your state some are! lol

Bobbi - posted on 04/28/2010

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In Michigan there is a combination age and height/weight requirement. Effective July 1, 2008, Michigan state law requires that children under age 8 must be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat. Children who are under age 8 but taller than 4'9" may use the vehicle seat belt.
The law in Michigan further states that children ages 8 to 16 must wear a seat belt no matter where in the vehicle they ride.

Leanne - posted on 04/26/2010

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nothing to do with age, it is all weight and height, my daughter had a friend in GRADE 8 that had to be in a booster style seat cause she was under the weight. I would ask your local police or health nurse which criteria your child fits into if any, they may be able to not use it :) Hope this helps

Julie - posted on 04/26/2010

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It depends on the state that you live in. Ohio just passed a law that kids have to be over 40 pounds and 4'9" plus be 8 years old to be out of the booster seat.

Colleen - posted on 04/20/2010

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I think in fl. they go out of toddlers at 40 lb., into a juvinial set till 85.

[deleted account]

According to the National Safety Council, it is not age so much as SIZE. Under 4'9" tall should use a booster seat. Otherwise the seat belt will not fit correctly.

Cveta - posted on 04/19/2010

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What I heard is that the child has to be at least 26 kg or 7 years of age. So if tyhe child is under 26 kg it must be in a booster type chair.

Theresa - posted on 04/19/2010

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It depends where you live. I live in Australia and they have just recently changed all the laws regarding what kids have to sit in what sort of seats.

Sheri - posted on 04/19/2010

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it's based on height and weight, not necessarily age. Easiest solution is to call your local fire dept. They usually know in and out the laws for your state.

Katrina - posted on 04/19/2010

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It's not really age as much as size that dictates when they can move out of a booster even though the laws include an age. The rule is that they can sit in the car's seat with their bottom all the way back and back straight up against the seat back and have their knees bend over the edge and feet touch the floor. The seatbelt needs to rest across the chest and shoulder and not cut across the neck. I saw 4'9" as the standard height for that but every car is different. My 9 year old fits far differently in my husbands Honda Civic and our Toyota Sienna minivan, he still needs the booster in the minivan but can *almost* sit without a booster in the Civic, he has one because it makes the seatbelt fit better for him. The laws all list age and weight but honestly height is very important as you need to make sure the seatbelt fits correctly so it does it's job when it needs to. An ill fitting seat belt can actually cause more damage in an accident. Hope that helps.

Miranda - posted on 04/19/2010

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Most states the rule is 8 years old or 80 pounds before they can sit in the backseat without a booster or carseat. Some states have 6 years old or 60 pounds, so you should research what the requirement is for the state you live in.

Brandy - posted on 04/19/2010

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and just remember ... just because they reach a certain age dosent mean they have to come out of the seats.. its what ever is safest.. they are some little made kids out there.. and i would much rather have them still in a booster seat at 10 than be choked to death or worse just because it wasnt cool

Sam - posted on 04/19/2010

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on bunbury mums wich is in western australia had a post about it . 6mth rear faced in the bak, 4yr and under 5 point harness carseat, 4 to 7 in a booster seat. children 7 and under not aloud to sit in the front seat unless all other back seats are occupied with children under 4. but these are guide lines it will depend on size and weight aswell. my daughter is nearly five and she still is in a 5 point harness booster seat. best bet is to check with your local police and they would be able to point u in the right direction. hope this helped

AMY - posted on 04/18/2010

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OVER THE YEARS I'VE HEARD NUMEROUS CHANGES. HEIGHT N WEIGHT, THEN IT WAS WEIGHT LIMIT..ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO I HEARD IT WAS HEIGHT; I WOULD CHECK W/THEIR DOCTOR OR HIGHWAY PATROL/ POLICE SEEIN' HOW IT A LAW- MY YOUNGEST IS ALMOST 8 NOW & HE IS STILL IN HIS- U COULD SAY IT A COMFORT ISSUE FOR ME..BUT CHECK THOSE PLACES & GOOD LUCK

[deleted account]

Different states have different laws regarding children and booster seats. So check out where you live. Some say age 6 and 60 lbs. others say age 7 and 70 lbs. . But this much I am sure about. . . ALL children ride in the back seat until they are 12 years old because of the passanger side airbags in the front seat

Erin - posted on 04/18/2010

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The general rule is 80 lbs, 4'5",or 12 what ever happens first to be able to ride without a booster or in the front seat with and air bag.

Valerie - posted on 04/18/2010

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However I do think you should go by the standards on the carseat and Somewhat on the childs age as far as anyone under 8 I mean I wouldn't put anyone under 2 in a reg car seat or front facing one, Unless they were stable enough and big enough to support them selves as far as holding their head up and stable. I used Regular car seats til about 4-6 then Booster seats, my son has a Convertible booster seat that still has all the harness's on it and he is 3 when he is about 5 or so I will just put the buckle on it without all the harness things.

Valerie - posted on 04/18/2010

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Well I can't really say I agree with the "HEIGHT" thing either... I mean there are Very Tall kids and some shorter ones, as a SHORT adult I guess I'll be in trouble cus I sure the H aint sittin in no Booster!!! lol

Margaret - posted on 04/18/2010

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If you live in BC, if your child if 40 pounds they can go into a booster seat, I think they have to be in a booster seat until they turn 9 years old. You can check with ICBC.

Manhuei - posted on 04/18/2010

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According to the National Safety Council Guide: Children about 80 pounds(36 kg) and at least 4'9"(145cm) tall can sit in the regular seat with safety belts(leg & shoulder).Children ages12 and under never ride in the front seat.

Trisha - posted on 04/18/2010

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thank you for the link it is very helpful for all states to know the legal age limitations...sooo thanks

Lindsay - posted on 04/18/2010

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The law is 4 feet 9 inches tall AND 80 pounds. They must meet both requirements for the child to be safely restrained in a regular seat. If the child is not big enough they will actually come out of the belt and can be ejected from the car if an accident were to happen.

Tracy - posted on 04/18/2010

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I have a few friends whose kids are 10/11 and are quite short, as well as slender, and will probably be in booster seats for a few more years.

Iridescent - posted on 04/18/2010

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Actually, yes. "Little people" do need to sit in car seats if they don't meet the height requirement. Have you ever seen "The Little Couple" on TLC? Every time she gets into a vehicle, even if she's driving, she sits in a special made booster seat because she does not meet the height requirements, and she works at Dallas Children's Hospital.

Tracy - posted on 04/18/2010

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The age depends on the state. My daughter is almost 10 and my son is almost 8. They both sit in high back boosters, but my daughter will probably switch to backless this summer. I give rides to kids who no longer use any booster seat in their car, but I notice that the seatbelt is high up on their neck when they ride w/out. I'd rather be safe then sorry. Backless boosters are $15-$25 each.

Michelle - posted on 04/18/2010

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Age is really irrelavent when it comes to the law. The law focuses on height, which is most important. Child must be 4'9" in order to be able to sit in a seat without a booster. Hope this helps. :-)

[deleted account]

It's definitely size and weight - not age. My daughter-in-law (age 24) is only 1 inch above the limit. Check with local law enforcement.

Anne - posted on 04/18/2010

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it all depends on the childs height and weight. call your sheriffs dept and they will be glad to help you...

Iris - posted on 04/18/2010

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I am not sure where u are. But I think they have to be either 40 pounds. And the height i am not sure.. But she should be old enough to be put into a regular seat belt now.. But do not put the child in the front seat..

Melanie - posted on 04/18/2010

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LOL ... shame man, sounds like in TX all "little people" (midget) have to travel around in baby car seats no matter their age. Must be quite a sight.

Sally - posted on 04/18/2010

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I am in Australia, here the new rules are that a booster seat must be attached to the car with a harness now til they are 7. Which means no more loose booster seats. My son is 7 and is in a half booster. My 11 yr old has been out of a booster since 7.

Tanya - posted on 04/17/2010

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In New Zealand, they recommend that a child should be in a booster seat until they reach 148cm in height.

Loretta - posted on 04/17/2010

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Maryland it's 8 or 80, so that child has to hit both requirements before going without a car's booster seat

Brooke - posted on 04/17/2010

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Here in Australia new laws have just come in that a child up to 7 years old have to be in a booster seat. I have not heard of any height or weight requirements here.

Amy - posted on 04/17/2010

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It all depends on the laws for your state/province. In Oregon, where I am at, it's 8 years old or 80 lbs, whichever comes first. It is also strongly suggested that if you have a back seat, put your kid there instead of the front.

Iridescent - posted on 04/17/2010

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It's very much an age requirement. You put a 20 pound 4 month old in a forward facing seat, you better believe you'll get a ticket. Every state has at least one age requirement, Alaska being the youngest at 4 years old.

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