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Last Day for California 6- and 7-Year-Olds to Ride Booster Free

booster seat, child safety

Those who ride don’t decide. New California law requires boosters until age 8.

Tomorrow, thousands of six- and seven-year-olds in California will revisit something they thought they’d already long left behind: life in a booster seat.

A new state law upping the age for riding booster-seat free from six years to eight years old goes into effect Jan. 1.

The new law poses challenges, not just for the kids but for their parents. Getting out the booster seat is often something of a rite of passage. How do you get the kid to go back in?

The Wall Street Journal tracked down a few moms and dads. Looks like folks are using bribery, consequences and good old-fashioned honesty to coax their first- and second-graders back to the Graco.

The new law states that “children must use car seats until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9 inches tall, up from the current requirement of 6 years or 60 pounds.” So bigger kids may  not have to hop back on their little seats. Parents who don’t abide by the new regulation face a possible fine of at least $475 and a point on their driving record. No jail time, though.

We’re big fans of booster seats in our house, often to the dismay of kids coming home with us. But I hate seeing kids with a shoulder strap right below their necks. Plus, I’m not the cool mom so forcing kids to sit in boosters is really part of my M.O.

Do your second-graders still ride in boosters? Does it bug them? What’s the law in your state? This new law doesn’t make California the strictest — 29 other states require boosters until kids turn 8.

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