To Booster or Not……That is the Question

My daughter turned eight in April.  According to New York state law,she doesn’t need to use a booster seat.

According to the New York State Occupant Restraint Law published on the New York DMV site,

An appropriate child safety restraint system:

  • Is required for all children until their 8th birthday and,
  • Must meet the size and weight requirements for the child based on the Federal requirements and the recommendations of the manufacturer, and
  • Can be a child safety seat, a harness, a vest or a booster seat attached with the vehicle seat belt or latch system, but not the vehicle seat belt alone, and
  • Should not be used in the front seat of the vehicle.

If the child is eight years old and is under 4’9″ tall or weighs less than 100 lbs, it is recommended that you continue to use a child restraint system.

I have heard from people from both sides.  There are some moms I know that got rid of the booster seat once their child turned eight.  I also know some moms that have their eight year olds in five point harness restraints.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Car Seat Information for Families for 2014 school-aged children should use a belt positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet nine inches, which is typically between the ages of eight and twelve.  I asked the kid’s pediatrician at our last visit a few weeks ago what she recommended.  She said the law is once they are eight they don’t have to.  As long as the seat belt is snug across the chest and her feet aren’t hanging over the edge of the seat, then “A” doesn’t have to use a booster.  There are so many varying opinions on this issue, but as long as your child is over eight it seems pretty subjective.

I want my daughter to be the safest she possibly can while riding in the car.  Although she is eight, she is still under 100 pounds.  She hasn’t asked not to use the booster, which is a plus.  There are a handful of times when her booster seat is left in “The Weekend Chef’s” car (usually on the weekends when we have to split up the driving of the kids to different activities and errands!) and she rides in the car without it.   For now though, we are keeping her in her booster seat.  For us, it’s safety first!

Is your child eight or older and still using a booster seat?


2 thoughts on “To Booster or Not……That is the Question

  1. My children are well-under 8 but putting safety first is always best though we turned our kid around to forward facing after his 1st birthday because his legs look squished facing backwards. New recs were for children to be rear facing until 2 years old. Good news is our daughter is still rear-facing. She’s a bit shorter than our son at the same age.


    • Lisa, yes, they changed the backward facing until two years of age recommendation after by kids were way beyond the need. I understand safety first but it seems like a lot of little kids legs would be squished in that position!


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