Children Too Large For Booster Seats
Children who are large enough to wear the shoulder belt
comfortably, and whose legs are long enough to bend
over the front of the seat when their back is against the
seatback, should use the seat belt in a rear seat. Use this
simple 5-step test to decide whether the child can use the
vehicle’s seat belt alone:
1. Can the child sit all the way back against the back of
the vehicle seat?
2. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably over the front
of the vehicle seat – while they are still sitting all the
3. Does the shoulder belt cross the child’s shoulder
between their neck and arm?
4. Is the lap part of the belt as low as possible, touching
the child’s thighs and not their stomach?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If the answer to any of these questions was “no,” then the
child still needs to use a booster seat in this vehicle. If the
child is using the lap/shoulder belt, check belt fit peri-
odically and make sure the seat belt buckle is latched. A
child’s squirming or slouching can move the belt out of
position. If the shoulder belt contacts the face or neck,
move the child closer to the center of the vehicle, or use
a booster seat to position the seat belt on the child
Never allow a child to put the shoulder belt under an
arm or behind their back. In a crash, the shoulder belt
will not protect a child properly, which may result in
serious injury or death. A child must always wear
both the lap and shoulder portions of the seat belt
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING YOUR VEHICLE