Requires children over 40 pounds and ages 4 years up to 8 years old or 4'9" to be restrained in a booster seat. The law will take effect July 6, 2009 and for the 6 months only a warning will be issued if the child is not in a booster seat.
1. A child must ride rear-facing until at least 1 year AND 20 lbs. Research indicates and the AAP recommends that children should ride rear-facing as long as possible to offer the best protection when riding in a vehicle. Most current convertible seats will go rear-facing to 30-35 lbs. It is strongly recommended to keep your child rear-facing up to 18-24 months if at all possible.
2. A child should ride in a child restraint with an internal harness as long as possible. Many seats can be used up to 50, 65 or 80 pounds with an internal harness. Some of these seats can then be used as a booster seat. These seats could be an excellent choice for a younger child that is either heavier or taller.
3. High back boosters are a good choice for transitioning a child from a child restraint to a booster seat especially if the child falls asleep in the car. The high back boosters might also offer protection if the vehicle has a side airbag as the high back booster with "side wings" helps to keep the child correctly positioned in the vehicle away from the window. Some of the high back boosters can become a no back booster.
4. No back booster seats might be a good choice for an older child that does not want anyone to know that they are in a booster seat. It would also work well for a child that is in a carpool since it is light weight and easy to transport. Parents/caregivers need to make sure that either a headrest or the vehicle seat back is adjusted so that the back of the child's head is protected.
5. Booster seats must be used with BOTH lap and shoulder belt!
6. Most child restraint (CR) manufacturers recommend that seats should only be used for 5-7 years. Check with the manufacturer before reusing the CR for another child.