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Heads Up: New child seat laws effective January 1st.

This topic contains 54 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Karen 7 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #171929

    ErinO
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    Children now have to remain in their booster car seat until age 8 or a height of 4’9″ under new laws that went into effect for 2012. In previous years the laws allowed children out of their booster seats at age 6 and 60 pounds.

  • #230853

    EGL Admin
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    Is it 8 or 4’9″ or 8 and 4’9″? I think it’s both. I was talking to friends who have a 10 year old and they said she had to use a booster seat too.

  • #230908

    Karen
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    From the chp website:

    Children *MUST* be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4′ 9″ in height.

    http://www.chp.ca.gov/community/safeseat.html

  • #230895

    violarose
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    How do you feel about it?

  • #230875

    LC
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    Why not just make it an even 5′ and drop the age limit? Nanny staters rule.

  • #230892

    Curlzz01
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    I think it’s ridiclous.. These days cars are made way safer.. So why make 8 year old kids ride in booster seats in the back.. Back in the day we had no seat belts, rode in the back of our fathers trucks and somehow managed to survive… Now I have get the booster seat back out for my 7 year old grandaughter. that should be riding in front with me by now………….

  • #230866

    joy
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    The “I lived, so safety laws are stupid” argument has never made any sense to me. Kind of like the over emphasis on what is technically legal (like when the age to be out of a car seat was 4 years old years ago) versus logic. No matter whether you will get a ticket or not, your 41 pound 4 year old had no business in an adult seat belt.

    Car seat belts do not fit properly until children are a certain height. What is so hard to understand about that? And why would people so emphatically want to do anything other than the safest thing with their children in the car?

    I challenge anyone who thinks this law is stupid to approach any LEO or firefighter who has scraped a child off the road and ask them what they think.

  • #230893

    Curlzz01
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    Ok Joy My grandaughter is 4’8 right now.. She is going to have to be in a damm booster seat till november unitl she turns 8.. My seat belt fits her perfect in my back seat right now.. But now I have to put her back in the booster seat so my ass dosent get a big fat ticket… I totally believe in keeping my grandkids safe at any cost but I think the new law is just a little too much………

  • #230894

    Curlzz01
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    Oh and by the way My daughter was scraped off the pavement when she was 17years old.. She was a front seat rider with a group of kids that hit a tree in wilton… She had a seat belt on and had some road rash and minor back pain from that wreck.. But in the end she is Ok

  • #230890

    tomwaltman
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    Bubblewrap. Liquify all food. Helmets 24/7. No swimming, running, or having contact with any other animal. We do want them to be safe from all potential harm.

  • #230903

    ErinO
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    Yes, I agree that the law should just be based on height. The whole point is that they need to be tall enough for the seat belt to fit properly. Maybe that will come later in yet another iteration of the law in years to come.

  • #230876

    newmom
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    When we were rear ended 1.5 years ago by a guy going 50 MPH, my son (2.5 at the time) was holding a bottle of milk at the moment of impact. That bottle flew from the back seat, driver side, of my Pilot, diagonally through the space between both front seats, bounced off the front windshield on the passenger side of the car, back to front passenger seat, then landed on the floor of the front passenger side of my car. That could have easily been my son or my daughter bouncing around in the car like that had they not been in properly fitted child car seats and booster seats. Instead, they were both physically fine.

  • #230862

    adiffer
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    Does anyone here know what it takes to alter the seat belts to fit properly for their children? If you go to the trouble of doing that I think you should be able to dodge the booster seat requirement, but someone will have to have the courage and cash to challenge the law on that if they care about it enough.

    One alternative is to alter the seat belt laws forcing manufacturers to make the adjustments and certify their vehicles for sale in CA. That would cost far more than the booster seats, right? Not worth it for practical reasons.

    The final alternative is to standby and let the kids die when it is known that the belts could be made safer. That sounds like an invitation for litigation to me, so I look at the recent law as something that might stop that. It isn’t just about safety, though I would think that would be enough.

  • #230904

    ErinO
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    Just use the booster seat. It’s cheap and easier than challenging laws or changing the way seat belts are manufactured.

  • #230854

    EGL Admin
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    I agree it is about safety. That should trump everything else. Some vehicles have the adjustable seat belts where you can adjust the height. It’s not about law enforcement and I doubt cops will be looking for this. It’s more a recommendation.

  • #230865

    doclaguna
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    More booster seat laws = lobbyists from the companies who make these stupid things.

  • #230898

    pepsilvr
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    I am so glad my child is 10 and at least 4’10. She actually the size of a few adults we know and bigger than one or two we have seen. I do have adjustable seatbelts whice make the seatbelts fit her properly. I don’t let her sit in the front becuase she weigh enough to engage the passenger air bag. There is no manual shut off. The air bag engages at around 85 pounds.

  • #230867

    joy
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    @doclaguna 56872 wrote:

    More booster seat laws = lobbyists from the companies who make these stupid things.

    So you disagree with the height recommendation?

  • #230879

    cme5
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    Score another victory for the safety Nazis. And I know, we can’t argue against these items because we come across as not caring about safety.

    So, if they put in height limits, what about short adults? Will they be required to sit in booster seats?

  • #230855

    EGL Admin
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    @cme5 56883 wrote:

    Score another victory for the safety Nazis. And I know, we can’t argue against these items because we come across as not caring about safety.

    So, if they put in height limits, what about short adults? Will they be required to sit in booster seats?

    I would say no because they are adults.

  • #230868

    joy
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    Just because short adults may be less than optimally safe in the car is no reason not to protect children. That doesn’t make sense.

  • #230899

    pepsilvr
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    There also seems to be a comfort issues I would think. I remember when my daughter was still riding in a booster she would complain about her legs hurting on long rides. I think the pressure would affect the circulation or something becuase the seat would be resting at a wierd spot on her legs. I wonder i they consider how comfortable it would be to have to ride in booster seat after a certain age/height I assume the type of car my xcome into play some too.

  • #230880

    cme5
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    Adults riding motor cycles have to wear helmuts and adults have to wear seat belts.

    And my feelings about this dumb law has nothing to do with if adults may be less safe. It was just a question.

  • #230869

    joy
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    Why exactly is it a dumb law though? Booster seats cost like 20 bucks and take zero effort to install. I just don’t see the downside. At all.

  • #230900

    pepsilvr
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    Was just at bel air @ franklin and laguna and saw a child riding in the front seat of a van. The child looked to be no older than 5. There was a booster seat in the back seat but is was holding everything but the kid. All I could do was shake my head.

  • #230901

    kindrlindr
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    I went out and bought a new booster seat for my son. He will be 8 on Jan 16th. It’s the law. Follow it. It cost me under $20 at Target.

  • #230905

    ErinO
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    Yup, it’s better to spend the $20 now than to get pulled over and have to pay the $485 fine for not having him in the seat.

  • #230856

    EGL Admin
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    How are the cops going to prove the child is under 8? Cops are not going to enforce this law unless the child obviously looks younger like a toddler. Again this is about safety, not the law.

  • #230877

    newmom
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    I have several different neighbors that I see driving down the street with their small kids and toddlers literally bouncing around the front and backs of the cars. I don’t get it. Not just because I’d worry about getting a ticket, but because I’d worry more about the kid getting killed from not wearing any seat belt and jumping around in the car.

  • #230881

    cme5
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    Joy – I think its dumb because the seat belts do the job. That’s what they are for. My 6 year old was in a booster until recently but we stopped using it because the belts fit him great. They have a mechanism that allows them to slide down so that the cross belt is not choking him.

    Its not about the 20 dollar booster, we still have 2 that we can use again. Enforce the current seat belt and child seat laws and maybe you can curtail the kids bouncing around, but in all reality, all the legislation, rules, and laws cannot make irresponsible parents responsible.

    Crazy state we live in, 7 year old kids need to be in booster seats in the back seat of vehicles but pitbulls are not regulated;)

  • #230906

    illbnice
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    Will you use it on January 17th?

  • #230907

    illbnice
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    @kindrlindr 56937 wrote:

    I went out and bought a new booster seat for my son. He will be 8 on Jan 16th. It’s the law. Follow it. It cost me under $20 at Target.

    Will you use it on Jan 17th?

  • #230896

    violarose
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    I am glad my girls are past this stage of insanity. If you want to go along living in this nanny state without complaining, fine. but I am going to be a voice for common sense.

  • #230857

    EGL Admin
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    @illbnice 56960 wrote:

    Will you use it on Jan 17th?

    That’s a good question.

    Cme5, I agree you can’t legislate parenting but it can help if there are laws like this. Otherwise even good parents might think its okay at 4 or 5 because they don’t realize it. Just like kids in the front. It took the government to let us know that is more dangerous for kids and small adults. Peer pressure also helps too. If you have a friends that are not doing it then if you give them crap they might. We have friends putting their 10 year old back in a booster and the mom was giving me crap for not putting my soon to be 10 year old one. Our 7 year old was still using his booster even though we could have stopped at 6.

  • #230882

    cme5
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    We have friends putting their 10 year old back in a booster and the mom was giving me crap for not putting my soon to be 10 year old one.

    You’ve got to be joking.

  • #230858

    EGL Admin
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    It’s a safety thing. The seat belts hit the kid in the neck.

  • #230883

    cme5
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    What are you driving a 1961 Corvair? Most cars have adjustable seatbelts to account for the shorter, and larger, person.

  • #230859

    EGL Admin
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    ’07 Tundra and ’03 Suburban. Tundra has adjustable seat belt height but it is still too high up on him. I don’t have a Prius, Volt, Subaru or whatever the hell you Libs drive. πŸ˜‰

  • #230870

    joy
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    It is also not just about the seat belt choking the child. The seat belt has to sit across the top of the thighs rather than the belly and that really only works if the child’s knees reach the edge of the seat and bend in the proper spot. Hence the height issue.

    And cme, while I totally agree about the pitbulls, I don’t believe you (or several others here) have really looked into this before spouting off. The seat belts do the job? Not for everyone, every size. It doesn’t seem like you to do that. Others? Yes. You? No. πŸ™‚

  • #230871

    joy
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    Good article containing a safety belt fit test.

    “Children seated in a booster seat in the rear of the car are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash as compared to those using a seat belt alone.”

    “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death to children 3-14 in the United States.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Again, I do not understand the anger/resistance here.

  • #230872

    joy
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    The AAP’s Technical Report – Child Passenger Safety – Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention.

    In part:

    Cases of serious cervical and lumbar spinal cord injury, as well as intraabdominal injuries, to children in motor vehicle crashes resulting from poorly fitting seat belts have been described for many years and are known as the “seat belt syndrome.”57 First described by Kulowski and Rost in 1956,58 the term “seat belt syndrome” was coined by Garrett and Braunstein in 196259 to describe a distinctive pattern of injuries associated with lap seat belts in serious crashes. Two predominant factors have been hypothesized to explain this constellation of injuries: the immaturity of the pediatric pelvis to properly anchor the lap portion of the belt and the tendency of children to scoot forward in the seat so that their knees bend at the edge of the vehicle seat. From this position, in a rapid deceleration, the belt can directly compress abdominal organs against the spinal column, and the child’s body may “jack-knife” around the belt, putting high tension forces on the lumbar spine, which may lead to distraction injuries of the posterior elements of the spine, such as Chance-type fractures.

    Durbin et al12 published results of the first real-world evaluation of the performance of booster seats compared with seat belts for young children. These authors determined that the risk of injury after adjusting for child, crash, driver, and vehicle characteristics was 59% lower for 4- to 7-year-olds in belt-positioning booster seats than those using only seat belts. Applying these results to Wisconsin state data from 1998 to 2002, Corden60 determined that there would be an approximate 57% reduction in deaths and hospitalizations if all 4- to 7-year-olds were in booster seats. A recent updated analysis of booster effectiveness in preventing nonfatal injuries was able to examine a greater percentage of older children using booster seats; 37% of the more recent study sample using booster seats were 6 to 8 years of age.24 In this study, children 4 to 8 years of age using belt-positioning booster seats were 45% (95% CI: 4%–68%) less likely to sustain nonfatal injuries than children of similar ages using the vehicle seat belt. Among children restrained in belt-positioning booster seats, there was no detectable difference in the risk of injury between the children in backless versus high-back boosters.

    Rice et al61 extended the data on booster seat performance by estimating the effectiveness of booster seats in reducing the risk of fatal injuries to children 4 to 8 years of age. Using a matched cohort analysis of data from the FARS, Rice et al determined that booster seats reduced the risk of fatal injuries by 67% for 4- to 5-year-olds and 55% for 6- to 8-year-olds compared with unrestrained adults and children. They also determined that seat belts alone reduced the risk of fatal injury by approximately 62% for 4- to 8-year-olds compared with unrestrained adults and children. They did not demonstrate a significant difference in fatality risk reduction for booster seats when compared with seat belts (RR: 0.92 [95% CI: 0.79–1.08]). The authors postulated that although booster seats, which improve seat belt fit, may reduce the risk of nonfatal injuries (some of which may be attributable to improperly fitting seat belts), they may not improve the likelihood that children will survive a severe crash with major occupant compartment intrusion or during rollovers. It may be that properly fitting seat belts are no better than poorly fitting seat belts at preventing fatal injuries in these severe crashes.

  • #230860

    EGL Admin
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    I think it’s partially convenience and partially people think because they didn’t use them as kids that they don’t need to use them for their kids. What I hated was the rear facing seats because once they were in your car you didn’t move them for a year. They were a pain to get back in. Even once they were forward facing it was still not fun moving them around. The boosters are easy. I don’t understand the resistance there.

  • #230897

    violarose
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    Ok my mom is an 80 pound women, do I tell her to go in a booster seat? lol I think I will ~ just to see the look on her face. Oh wait, she moved out of this nanny state ; )

  • #230884

    cme5
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    The nominal incremental benefit of a booster seat vs. a seat belt for kids of that age is a waste. If you are looking to improve child safety in cars, you might want to look to prevent their head from the whiplash effect. The whiplash effect is probably the worst case damage to a child in a non fatal accident as it can paralize a child for life. The booster seat does not offer protection from this. Why not require some sort of device that prevents a childs head from doing this? Like they do in NASCAR.

  • #230863

    adiffer
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    I’d prefer one of those X belts.

  • #230885

    cme5
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    Might as well stay home. Too dangerous out there. Might get in a car accident, jumped by gangstas, or attacked by a pitbull;)

  • #230864

    adiffer
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    heh. I think people should get basic training about seat belts, defensive driving, and collision avoidance like we should do for first aid. The life you save might be someone else’s, or it might be your own or your kids. Who knows?

    The people around me (my ‘hood) like to ride bicycles, but prefer to go without helments, lights, and they like their dark clothing… at night. The kid next door got killed doing that and no one in the neighborhood has adjusted. Did I mention they prefer doing all that while riding on the wrong side of the road? It’s obvious they don’t see it as suicidal, but to me it sure looks like it. I suspect people see the child seat/belt laws in similar ways.

  • #230886

    cme5
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    Well, maybe that’s natural selection at work. To me there’s a huge difference between a blatant disregard for basic safety common sense and putting a 7 year old in a seat belt rather than a booster. Someone that doesn’t adhere to the rules isn’t going to follow this anyway.

  • #230873

    joy
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    @cme5 56997 wrote:

    The nominal incremental benefit of a booster seat vs. a seat belt for kids of that age is a waste. If you are looking to improve child safety in cars, you might want to look to prevent their head from the whiplash effect. The whiplash effect is probably the worst case damage to a child in a non fatal accident as it can paralize a child for life. The booster seat does not offer protection from this. Why not require some sort of device that prevents a childs head from doing this? Like they do in NASCAR.

    Now I think you’re just trying to piss me off. πŸ™‚ You didn’t read anything I linked or posted, did you?

    These authors determined that the risk of injury after adjusting for child, crash, driver, and vehicle characteristics was 59% lower for 4- to 7-year-olds in belt-positioning booster seats than those using only seat belts. Applying these results to Wisconsin state data from 1998 to 2002, Corden60 determined that there would be an approximate 57% reduction in deaths and hospitalizations if all 4- to 7-year-olds were in booster seats.

    So you’re saying that if they were able to do something to reduce deaths of children due to pitbull attacks by 57% you would consider that to be “nominal” too?

  • #230891

    tomwaltman
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    And I am quite sure that you could reduce most childhood injuries/deaths by wrapping every child in bubblewrap. If I can get a 100% reduction study done, are you game for that Miss Joy? Huh? Are ya?

    Come on folks. This is silly stuff. I don’t buy the whole “It’s for the KIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDSSSS!!!” bit, but don’t see a lot of harm in requiring booster seats until age 8 or an appropriate size. And yeah, you can’t legislate intelligence or good parenting. But that is another story altogether…

  • #230887

    cme5
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    LOL – um, I went to that study, I think you cherry picked some info and left out other information, like how it focuses on hieght and weight rather than age. And, how the study used info from 3 different types of belts from cars made in 1993. The seat belt in our old 1993 Honda Civic is much different than that of the 2006 Pilot. Plus, the study talks about the correct use of seat belts and the correct positioning.

    Here’s a passage:

    Correct fit of the belt is defined as follows:

    The shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or face.

    The lap belt is low across the hips and pelvis, not the abdomen.

    The child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with his or her knees bent without slouching and can stay in this position comfortably throughout the trip.

    My 6 year fits this description in his seatbelt. This study confirmed my belief that the seatbelt works.

  • #230888

    cme5
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    Tom – you are correct, in all reality there is no harm. It just seems to me we keep adding more and more of these laws. Sooner or later if we don’t fight the Safety Nazi’s at the beach we’ll be fighting them in the City;)

  • #230902

    kindrlindr
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    To answer your question, yes I will keep him in it while he is in my car. I won’t freak though if he rides in his dad’s car or on a field trip with his class(we still use parent drivers) without it. I have noticed that he is much better seated with the shoulder part when he is in the booster. He is almost 4′ 9″ though, so I am not sure how long he will need it. ;o) My 2nd son would have hated this law. He was so small until he was 15 he wouldn’t have passed the height requirement. Thankfully he is much taller now.

  • #230878

    Raven
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    And to think that some of us rode in the back of pickup trucks!!! LOL!!!!

  • #230861

    EGL Admin
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    yep! and it shows! πŸ˜‰

  • #230874

    joy
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    @cme5 57004 wrote:

    LOL – um, I went to that study, I think you cherry picked some info and left out other information, like how it focuses on hieght and weight rather than age. And, how the study used info from 3 different types of belts from cars made in 1993. The seat belt in our old 1993 Honda Civic is much different than that of the 2006 Pilot. Plus, the study talks about the correct use of seat belts and the correct positioning.

    Here’s a passage:

    Correct fit of the belt is defined as follows:

    The shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or face.

    The lap belt is low across the hips and pelvis, not the abdomen.

    The child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with his or her knees bent without slouching and can stay in this position comfortably throughout the trip.

    My 6 year fits this description in his seatbelt. This study confirmed my belief that the seatbelt works.

    Actually, I chose not to paste the whole article so as not to scare you all off. I didn’t cherry pick anything. My 7 year old is about 54 inches and does not fit the seat belt properly. And he is tall for his age. Your six year old must be a giant.

  • #230889

    cme5
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    He’s about the same size, maybe slightly taller than others in his class. The seat belts in our cars fit him as described, maybe his legs are not in correct position.

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