Child Safety
Seat Belts and Safety Systems
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What is the safest way to seat a 4-year-old who must sit in the center seat with only a lap belt?


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2004-12-09 00:52:06
2004-12-09 00:52:06

The safest way (and only appropriate way) to seat a 4 year old is in a booster seat. A child should be 6 years old and weigh 60 pounds before they are allowed to sit with a seatbelt only. The safety of your child depends upon the use of a booster or carseat because their little bodies are unable to resist the force of a crash on their own. New Answer: The above info givin by someone else is not totally correct. First, the question askes about a child that must ride in the center seat with only a lap belt. You CANNOT use a booster with a lap only belt, you MUST use a lap/shoulder belt. So in this situation the child needs a harnessed seat that will fit him/her. Depending on the size and weight of the child, he/she likely needs a seat that will harness over 40lbs. There are only 3 of these seats on the market today. Britax Marathon, Britax Husky, and the Nania Airway. I DO NOT recommend the Airway for a number of reasons. So that leaves the 2 Britax seats. Next, a child should be more the 6yo and weigh more then 60lbs to fit correctly in a seat belt only. This just happens to be the law in some states. Of course you can go above and beyond the law to keep your child safe. NHTSA recommends that the child be over 4ft 9in tall. Seat belts are made for adults over 5ft tall, and they simply don't fit anyone under appx 4ft 9in tall. These people (yes even adults if need be) should ride in a booster. Here is a 5-step test that you can do to see if your child is ready to ride in a seat belt only. If the answer is no to ANY of the 5, then he/she should still ride in a booster: 1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat? 2. Do the child


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