Protecting Larger Children Accord

When a child is too big for a child seat, secure the child in a rear seat using the lap/shoulder seat belt.

Have the child sit upright and all the way back, then ensure the following:

  • The child’s knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat.

  • The shoulder belt crosses between the child’s neck and arm.
  • The lap part of the seat belt is as low as possible, touching the child’s thighs.
  • The child can stay seated for the whole trip.

If a lap/shoulder belt cannot be used properly, position the child in a booster seat in a rear seating position. For the child’s safety, check that the child meets the booster seat manufacturer’s recommendations.

Some U.S. statesand Canadian provinces/territories require children to use a booster seat until they reach a given age or weight (e.g., 6 years or 60 lbs). Be sure to check current laws in the state or province/territory where you intend to drive.


Allowing a child age 12 or under to sit in the front can result in injury or death if the passenger’s front airbag inflates.

If a larger child must ride in front, move the vehicle seat as far to the rear as possible, have the child sit up properly and wear the seat belt properly, using a booster seat if needed.

See also:
Protecting Infants Accord
An infant must be properly restrained in a rear-facing, reclining childseat until the infant reaches theseat maker’s weight or height limit for the seat, and the infant is at least one year old....
Installing a LATCH-Compatible Child Seat Accord
ALATCH-compatible child seat can be installed in any of the rear seats. A childseat is attached to the loweranchors with either the rigid or flexible type of connectors. Locate the anchor marks...
Protecting Smaller Children Accord
If a child is at least one year old and within the weightrange indicated by the childseat manufacturer, the child should be properly restrained in a firmly secured forward-facing childseat. We...