- Helping you drive happy

Going to school in a booster seat

A child under the age of 9 is typically too small to ride without a booster By ,

“I’m big now. I go to school, and I don’t need a booster anymore!” 

That’s often what kids say as September comes around. Alas, many parents seem to agree, and they don’t hesitate to remove this crucial piece of car safety for their young children.

A study released by Safe Kids Worldwide, funded in part by a $2 million grant from the General Motors Foundation, found out that nine out of 10 parents take their kids out of booster seats before they are tall enough. Some of them even allow their children to ride shotgun.

The report also shows that seven out of 10 parents do not know a child should be at least 4’9” tall and weigh between 80-100lbs to ride in a car without a booster seat. On average, children reach those specific measurements around the age of 9. 

While the study is based on an online survey of 1,000 American parents of children ages 4-10, it’s safe to assume Canadian parents are no different.

In Quebec, the SAAQ recommends a booster seat for all children under 8, while the Canada Safety Council says anyone under 1.45m (4’9”) tall should use one. 

So, as thousands of little Canadians head back to school these days, please resist the urge to get rid of your child’s booster seat just because he or she is supposedly “big enough now.” The longer they stay in a booster, the safer they will be on the road.