Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Ask the Pediatrician

comments

The right time to move a child out of his car booster seat

By Dr. Rhonda Patt
Dr. Rhonda Patt
Dr. Rhonda Patt is a pediatrician with Charlotte Pediatric Clinic and past president of the Charlotte Pediatric Society.
Virginia Daily Life
Michael Reilly - AP

Q. My son is 8 years old and weighs 65 pounds. Many of his friends are riding in the car without booster seats, and now he wants to stop using his. When is the right time to pull the booster seat?

Car seat safety can be a confusing topic for parents, in part because state laws often differ from American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations.

For example, North Carolina law states that a child is required to ride in a booster seat until the age of 8 years or 80 pounds, whichever comes first. In contrast, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride in booster seats until they reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches, because this is when a standard seat belt will fit properly. An average child will not reach this height until around age 11.

According to buckleupnc.org, N.C. child passenger safety laws should be considered “minimum standards.” As a pediatrician, I recommend that my patients follow the more conservative AAP guidelines and continue to ride in a booster until they reach 4 feet 9 inches.

For more information about child car seat safety and guidelines, visit healthychildren.org.

Rhonda Patt is a pediatrician with Charlotte Pediatric Clinic. Email living@charlotteobserver.com; put “pediatrician” in the subject line.
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Quick Job Search
Salary Databases