How do you explain to your kids friends why they need to use a booster? or vehicle safety?


New member
I drive two extra girls home from school every day, They are sisters. One is a big, tall 8 year old and she 5 steps. She sits in the 3rd row between my two girls. The other is 6 1/2 and in my dd's class. She rides in the 2nd row in a literider (our spare booster, not hers). I have a feeling they don't ride in anything or have any kind of rules with their parents. I'm constantly having to tell the younger girl to turn around and face forwards and sit up straight, pull her seatbelt tight across her lap after she buckles, etc.

Anyway, her sister went home sick early yesterday so after school, she wanted to sit in the 3rd row with my girls. The literider is hard to buckle there, it's a very tight fit. I told her no because she needed to sit in the booster. She said her parents don't make her. I told her she needs to because she is not 8 yet (The Utah law here) and she reluctantly sat in the booster. Now I'm afraid she will expect to be out of a booster with me if they still ride with us once she turns 8. She is small like my dd and will need a booster for a long time. I don't want to drive anyone boosterless if they don't 5 step regardless of the law here (I mentioned the law to her in regards to how she should ride with her parents).

How can I talk to her about it? I don't want to talk to her mom about car seat / booster usage. She is a really nice lady and I don't want her to feel judged.
I do feel that the kids need more vehicle safety education, but I don't know how to go about it. I don't want to lecture them. They don't seem to notice or care if their seatbelt is twisted, or tight across their lap, and they try to turn or reach forward to see each other/touch each other or they try to play with the windows, wanting to roll them down to shout out to their friends who are walking (I have to keep the windows locked so they can't roll them down). I remind them all the time to sit still or sit straight but they don't seem to get it or learn why they should. It's mainly the younger one, the older one isn't so bad.


Carseat Crankypants
I say with a smile "In this car you need to use a booster." And that's that. If they ask why, I tell them because the seatbelt does not fit them properly without the booster and a poorly fitting seatbelt can hurt them. I make sure to emphasize seatbelt fit, so if they say "I don't need it at home" I can come back with "in this car you do, sweetie" and not be maligning their parents' decisions.


New member
I would buckle her in without the booster and show her where the seat belt falls on her and explain that in a crash the seat belt would hurt her. I think the Car Seat Lady has a good visual explanation of the need for boosters as well.


New member
If it is against the law you can tell her that gently, assume her parents are unaware of the fact and mention it in passing. "Hey X told me she doesn't ride in a booster today when I told her she needed to but she wanted to ride in the 3rd row with the girls. I was wondering if you had heard that the law says kids need to use boosters until 8". Or something like that.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I'd try Twinkie Physics with all the girls, explain that the belt needs to be on your "strong bones" instead of your "squishy parts."


New member
So should I bring it up again or wait until the next time the booster is mentioned?


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Well, I guess it depends on what the schedule is like, since it's something you'd have to have prepared. But I've found it does a really good job getting kids to "get it" why they need a booster when I've used it. :)


New member
I might give the girl one of the "boost til 8" pamphlets and ask her to show it to her mom. I bet the safe kids' organization in your area has them. There's a website with a really great video about why kids should be in boosters until they fit in the seatbelt, no matter their age.

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