Seat belts: How do I know when my child is ready for the vehicle shoulder and lap belt?
Children are typically large enough for the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt when they are 4’ 9” tall and 80 pounds. Use the following checklist to determine whether your child is large enough to ride safely in the vehicle seat belt.
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, your child can ride using the vehicle’s seat belt system. If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to safely use the seat belt. Placing the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm, slouching in the seat to touch the floor, and problems with the shoulder belt touching the face are all indications that your child still needs a booster seat.
- Does your child sit with their back against the vehicle seat back?
- Does your child’s knee bend comfortably around the vehicle seat edge?
- Do your child’s feet touch the floor?
- Does the seat belt rest on the shoulder (not on the face or upper arm)?
- Does the lap portion of the belt stay low on the hips?
- Can your child ride comfortably in this position for the whole trip?
Source: Minnesota Department of Public Safety