Passing the 5 Step Test: a check before allowing your older child to travel without a car seat
Passing the 5 Step Test.
Our eldest is 11 years and 5 months old and above 36kg so legally he can travel without a car seat restraint. This doesn't mean he can do so safely and we wanted to show you that he doesn't yet pass the 5 Step Test for travelling without a car seat restraint.
(Legally in Ireland a child needs to be using a car seat restraint until either 36kg or 150cm, approx. age 11 / 12).
Can your child sit with their back against the vehicle seat (vertical)?
You can see that his back is not fully against the vehicle back (vertical) seat.
Does your child's knees bend in front of the edge of the vehicle seat cushion?
No and in order for the knees to be comfortably bent at the end of the seat cushion he would need to move forward, then making less contact with the vehicle seat back (vertical).
Is the lap belt sitting low across your child's hips and touching their thighs?
The belt is closer to the soft abdominal area than top of thighs.
Does the sash belt sit across the middle of your child's shoulder?
The shoulder belt is not in the middle of shoulder and is unsafely touching the neck.
Can you child stay seated correctly like this for the entire trip without slumping?
Even at this age he would find it difficult not to slouch as he doesn't fit the vehicle seat comfortably or safely.
Age is not an indicator that a child can be without a car seat restraint. Neither is reaching the 36kg weight limit or 150cm height limit of Backless Booster Cushions / High Back Boosters.
(Backless Booster Cushions on market after March 2017 can only be legally used from 22kg / 125cm)
Our eldest moved from an R44 weight based HBB to a R129 height based HBB and when this is outgrown will have to use a Backless Booster Cushion to continue to travel safer until he can pass the 5 Step Test!
See our range of the safest High Back Boosters here.