Older Children

Older children who have outgrown booster seats

Older children who have outgrown booster seats should wear the vehicle’s safety belts.

Q: What is the proper way to wear safety belts?

A: An older child should wear a lap-shoulder belt and get the additional restraint a shoulder belt can provide. The shoulder belt should not cross the face or neck. The lap belt should fit snugly below the hips, just touching the top of the thighs. It should never be worn over the abdomen, which could cause severe or even fatal internal injuries in a crash.

According to accident statistics, children are safer when properly restrained in the rear seating positions than in the front seating positions.

In a crash, children who are not buckled up can strike other people who are buckled up, or can be thrown out of the vehicle. Older children need to use safety belts properly.

Q: What if a child is wearing a lap-shoulder

Q: What if a child is wearing a lap-shoulder belt, but the child is so small that the shoulder belt is very close to the child’s face or neck?

A: If the child is sitting in a seat next to a window, move the child toward the center of the vehicle. Also see Rear Safety Belt Comfort Guides on page 36. If the child is sitting in the center rear seat passenger position, move the child toward the safety belt buckle. In either case, be sure that the shoulder belt still is on the child’s shoulder, so that in a crash the child’s upper body would have the restraint that belts provide.

CAUTION:
Never do this.
Here two children are wearing the same belt. The belt can not properly spread the impact forces. In a crash, the two children can be crushed together and seriously injured. A belt must be used by only one person at a time.

CAUTION:

CAUTION:
Never do this.

Here a child is sitting in a seat that has a lap-shoulder belt, but the shoulder part is behind the child. If the child wears the belt in this way, in a crash the child might slide under the belt. The belt’s force would then be applied right on the child’s abdomen. That could cause serious or fatal injuries.

Wherever the child sits, the lap portion of the belt should be worn low and snug on the hips, just touching the child’s thighs. This applies belt force to the child’s pelvic bones in a crash.

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