The Importance of Booster Seats
Older children have a higher rate of injury than younger ones for several reasons. Many of them place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. They tend to ride out of position, either sliding forward to the edge of the vehicle seat or slouching downward.
Older children are less likely to be buckled up, perhaps because vehicle seats and belts are not comfortable for them.
The State of Wisconsin has joined a growing number of states that now require the use of booster seats by older children up to the age of 8.
Generally, children must be properly restrained in a child safety seat until they reach age 4, and in a booster seat until age 8.
The new law includes the following four-step progression for effective child safety protection in vehicles.
- Rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:
Forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:
- Is less than 1-year-old or
- Weighs less than 20 pounds.
Booster seat is required when the child:
- Is at least 1-year-old but less than 4-years-old
- Weighs at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds.
Safety belt is required when the child:
- Is at least 4-years-old but less than 8-years-old
- Weighs at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds
- Is not 57-inches (4-feet, 9-inches) or taller.
- Is 8-years-old or older or
- Weighs 80 or more pounds or
- Is 57-inches or taller
Child safety seat must be in the back seat if the vehicle is equipped with a back seat
- Children whose body-size, physical condition or medical condition makes safety restraints unreasonable are still exempt from the booster seat and safety belt laws.
- There no longer is a “personal needs” exemption allowing the child to be removed from a safety restraint to attend to the child’s personal needs, such as feeding or diapering, while the vehicle is moving.