I have three growing girls and I am also a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) so car seat safety is never far from my mind.
My 10-year-old in a low back booster, my almost 7-year-old in a Nuna Rava car seat that is forward facing and my 3-year-old in the same seat, but rear facing. I often get asked if my kids mind their seating arrangements, especially my older two girls. From time to time they do ask when they can ditch their car seats. I usually approach these questions from a safety standpoint. We discuss that for Emmaline, my 10-year-old, the seat belt will not fit properly until she is 4 feet and 9 inches tall. Even in her booster seat she needs to make sure the belt stays on her hips and on her collarbone for the belt to do the job it is designed to do in the event of a collision.
For Avianna, my almost 7-year-old, a 5-point harness car seat is the best until she outgrows either the height or weight limits of the seat. For the Nuna Rava in the forward-facing position, that is 65 lbs. or 49 inches tall. I make sure they know that they are my treasures and I need them to be safe. No one ever wants to be in an accident, but the truth is that accidents can happen anywhere, so making sure your kids are in the right seat for them and always buckled up properly is of the utmost importance.
Eleanor, my 3-year-old, will remain rear-facing until she maxes out of the seat’s requirements. Did you know that it is common for kids in Europe to stay rear-facing until kindergarten?
Opinions on Car Seat Safety
My children seem to understand why I insist on following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for the best seat for each of them no matter how old they are getting. I have even overheard friends asking why my kids still ride in car seats. My children respond to questions such as these by simply stating the safety reasons, free of embarrassment, which of course just makes my little CPST heart swell with pride.
Keep your car seat’s owner’s manual handy and know its height and weight limits.