If a child is too small, the lap belt will ride up over the stomach and the belt will cut across the neck. In a crash, this can cause critical or even fatal injuries.
When children outgrow convertible seats at about 40 pounds or age 4, KIPC recommends that they be restrained in booster seats until big enough to fit in adult seats, at about 80 pounds or age 8.
Also, any child who cannot sit with his or her back straight up against the back seat cushion with knees bent over the seat’s edge should use a booster seat. The leading cause of death for children ages 6 to 14 years old is traffic crashes.
A recent statewide survey initiated by the DOT found that 90 percent of Island households surveyed use child safety seats in the back seat for children under 4, which is required by law. However, only 61 percent of children ages 4 through 8 in Hawaii are estimated to be using booster seats.