Now that school's started or will start for most kids this week, we'll be back to carpooling to school and driving our kids and others' kids to activities such as soccer practice, gymnastics, Scouting, and friend's houses. Speaking from experience and from having smaller than average children, it's a pain to have a bunch of booster seats in your car. And it's a pain to put them in other parents' cars for my kids. And it can be tricky convincing kids who are not yours that they have to ride in a booster seat in your car when sometimes they don't in their family's car. But it can save their lives if the worst were to happen. And now for most kids under eight, booster seats are a must-have accessory.
Effective July 1, 2011, the booster seat age limit in Georgia changed from six years old to eight years old. Many parents are anxious to get rid of those bulky plastic annoyances in their cars, but the new law is designed to protect children's delicate systems from
car wrecks that could seriously injure or kill a child if not properly restrained and "boosted" in a booster seat. The older the child, the more likely their hips will have developed enough to catch the lap strap of a belt without a booster seat. Prior to age eight, children's hip bones aren't developed enough to secure the belt in an impact; the belt will simply slide up causing possible abdominal injuries. Further, the shoulder part of the belt needs to hit in the correct spot on the shoulder. If the child is too short (under 4'9"), the belt will cut too high on the child's neck, possibly causing terrible injuries in a forceful collision. The booster seat boosts kids up and positions both the lap and shoulder belt appropriately.
A child under eight is exempted from the new booster seat law if he or she is at least 40 pounds and at least 4'9" tall. A good round-up of information is