You’ve got an eight-year-old who wants to sit in the front seat. They think booster seats are for babies and they’re too cool for school.
No matter what you say, they insist they’re too big for a booster seat and refuse to use one. So what do you do?
Well this video might just have them thinking again.
The ‘Boost ‘Em in the Back Seat‘ campaign is tackling the issue head on, with a video to shock you – and your kids – into thinking seriously about car safety.
The viral video shows a ‘big kid’ buckled into the back seat of the car without a booster. Mum’s doing her usual ‘mum’s taxi’ routine, when ‘WHAM’, they have a head-on collision with another car.
It’s a smack-in-the-face, wake-up call about what really happens when your kid isn’t in the right seat.
It may be a slick dramatisation, but it features actual doctors, who see the real deal every day.
Boost ‘Em in the Back!
Dr Phillip Thomas, Pediatrics Resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School says adult seat belts just aren’t designed for kids. This is even though the law allows children to use standard seat belts without boosters after a certain age.
“Many parents think that as their child is in the back seat with an adult seat belt, their kid is safe and it’s just not the case,” Dr Thomas says.
“Far too often we see kids come in with internal organ damage, damage to the large vessels… The shoulder strap sits improperly across the child’s neck, putting at risk the internal structures of the neck, such as the trachea, spinal column and some very crucial vasculature as well, all due to improper use of adult safety belts in kids that should otherwise have been in a booster seat.”
The key message of the video is, don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your kids into the correct car seats now. And it’s one we need here in Australia too.
Keeping children safe
Teresa Thompson, Marketing Director at Britax Childcare, agrees that this is an important message.
“This video highlights how critical car seat safety is for all children not just babies. As children grow up, it is so important they are safely restrained especially those that are not tall enough to go safely into an adult back seat,” she tells Mum Central.
Children should be a minimum 145cm tall before they sit in a back seat without a booster, she says.
“Did you know that vehicle back seats are designed for the average adult male? So the safety features like seat belts and airbags will not be in the right place to protect your children in the event of an accident,” she says.
Teresa recommends parents refer to boosters as ‘safety seats’ rather than ‘baby seats’ to help children feel more comfortable.
What Australian laws say about booster seats
The law in Australia says: “Children aged from seven years old but under 16 years old who are too small to be restrained by a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened are strongly recommended to use an approved booster seat.”
We get it, it can be a bit vague and confusing, but basically any child under 145cm should be in a booster. That said, all kids and cars are different, so if you’re not sure Kidsafe recommends this five step test:
And if that’s not enough to get through to an argumentative eight-year-old, then show them how this booster seat saved Indiana’s life. Stay safe, kids!