New standards and studies on using booster seats have shown that children not only need to stay in them longer, but they may also need to return to them if they have already “graduated” from them.
Experts in the car seat industry explain that for many kids, peer pressure makes using a booster seat “uncool.” Parents understand that a booster seat is important for car safety, but how can they convince their kids to use them?
Focus on Comfort
Not only does the seatbelt not do the job it’s supposed to do for the smaller members of your family, it is downright uncomfortable. Your child understands that she needs to be safe in the car one way or the other. Show her how uncomfortable the seat belt is. Seatbelts will rub across her neck and be uncomfortable around her abdomen. A booster seat, however, is designed for maximum comfort for your child.
Explain to your child that he needs to stay safe whenever he is in the car. It may be necessary to explain that experts have decided that children need to stay in booster seats longer than before, and that even though he “graduated” from his booster seat, new findings show he is much safer if he goes back to riding in one. You can be explanatory without being graphically explicit, but make sure he understands exactly why it’s important to be in the booster seat.
A Different Point of View
Show your child that she can see much more when she is lifted off the seat. A booster seat gives her an unobstructed view during car rides.
A booster seat is far different than a clunky old car seat. They are sleeker, more streamlined, and cooler than a car seat. Today’s booster seat uses materials and designs that are more inviting for children, like camo or pretty colors. Let your child help pick the booster seat if possible. Your child may not be able to control the fact that he needs a booster seat, but he can control which one he chooses.
Because I Said So
Through this entire process, the ultimate message is that this is not a negotiation. Your child needs a booster seat in the same way that she needs a bicycle helmet or kneepads. This is one of those decisions that your children may not like, but that is necessary to keep them safe.