I'm a firm believer in using booster seats until children reach the required age and weight for regular seat belt use. My state (Virginia) has one of the strictest booster seat laws in the country, requiring the use of a booster seat until the age of eight.
But while my youngest is eight-years-old, she is very petite. So even though I can legally have her out of a booster seat now, I'd rather be on the safe side considering her height and weight. She doesn't mind the seat, so that makes my decision even easier.
Even with the use of a booster seat, however, there are still many dangers. Because of "seatbelt slack" (looseness in the lapbelt), children are still at risk for injury or death while in a booster seat. In fact, the auto industry cites seatbelt slack as a major contributor to injuries and deaths in vehicular accidents.
A loose seatbelt leaves room for a child to be thrown around during normal vehicular use. In sudden stops or front-impact accidents a child could possible "submarine" under the lap belt. In rollover accidents, children can be actually be ejected from the seatbelt even though the seatbelt was buckled.
While this information can be very concerning, there is a solution. Keeping the belt tightly secured is obviously the goal and a new product on the market, SeatSnug, does just that.
Here's a description of the benefits of SeatSnug from their website:
"The brand new SeatSnug® allows the lap belt to be lightly tightened around a child’s hips while riding in a vehicle, preventing seatbelt slack or looseness from developing.
By gently securing a child while riding in a booster seat, SeatSnug® substantially eliminates bouncing, rocking, tipping, falling over, submarining, and ejection, thus reducing the potential for injuries and death in vehicular accidents. At the same time, SeatSnug® improves child stability and comfort."
The device is simply clipped onto an existing seatbelt, and it works by keeping the lap belt tightly secured over the child's hips, while still allowing the freedom to move the shoulder belt for comfort.
This is the same technology used for keeping drivers safe on a race track, so you know that this has been tested and proven to work. Click here to read more about this CG-lock technology.
"The CG-Lock technology received The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval as a unique car safety device that stabilizes children in booster seats to increase child safety and comfort. SeatSnug® is a CG-Lock technology product designed specifically for children, to provide peace of mind to Moms and Grandmoms, while they drive children around."
Here's an important comparison video that demonstrates the dramatic difference between a booster seat with SeatSnug and one without:
Visit SeatSnug today for more information on how to protect your child.