Booster seats are automobile seats that lack a harness. It lifts the child so that the lap and shoulder belts fit properly. A booster seat is used for children who are too big for a car seat but too small for an adult seat belt. Read on about the different types of booster seats:
Types of Booster Seats
1. Backless Booster Seats
This is the “conventional” style of booster seat, which is a cushion that elevates your youngster off the vehicle’s seat to provide a better position for the seat belt. Some backless boosters can be connected to the vehicle seat using the LATCH system, while others just rest on the seat.
Your child’s ears should be in line with the top of the vehicle’s seat back when using a backless booster seat to prevent head and neck injuries. A booster seat without a back should only be used in vehicles with headrests.
There are several advantages to booster seats without backs. Booster seats without backs are frequently favored by older children because boosters with backs and car seats with harnesses may appear “babyish.” Additionally, they are lightweight, compact, and inexpensive, making them an excellent option for families with smaller vehicles, many children in car seats, or the need to often transfer car seats.
2. High-back Booster Seats
Due to the shock-absorbing side bolsters or “wings” around the head, neck, and, in certain models, sides, high-back booster seats give an additional level of safety. Typically, these boosters have seat belt guides that properly set the vehicle’s seat belt over the chest, shoulders, and hips. In many circumstances, a latch can be used to secure high-back boosters to the vehicle’s seat.
When used appropriately, the side-impact protection of a booster seat with a high back reduces the risk of whiplash and other injuries by a significant amount. This makes a high-back booster seat a preferable option for younger or smaller children who still need a belt-positioning booster seat, but require additional head support. Some models also allow the back to be removed, transforming the seat into a booster without a back that is ideal for travel, storage, and older children who no longer require additional head protection.
3. Combination Booster Seats
This sort of seat is simply a high-back booster with a detachable five-point harness for enhanced safety. The longer your child wears a five-point harness, the safer he or she will be during a collision. When your child has outgrown the weight and height restrictions of a five-point harness, however, combination booster seats allow you to effortlessly remove the harness system, transforming the seat into a high back belt-positioning booster.
Those seeking the best “bang for the buck” in terms of purchasing car seats may find a combo booster to be a suitable option. Many combination booster seats, like convertible car seats, may accommodate smaller children who have outgrown their convertible seat but still require the safety and security of a five-point harness.
No type or brand of car seat is “best” or “appropriate.” The safest car seat or booster seat is always one that adequately restrains your child when it matters. Still undecided as to whether your youngster is ready for a booster seat?
What booster seats to avoid?
Certain seats are not approved by physicians and safety professionals.
1. Shield Booster Seats
No longer advised for use is the shield section of this booster seat. It may result in injuries during an automobile accident. If the shield can be removed, do so. (Check the instruction manual for the seat.) Now you have a booster seat without a back! Utilize the seat without the shield by fastening the child’s lap and shoulder belts.
Your vehicle’s seats must have headrests that extend above your child’s ears when she is in a booster seat without a back. If the shield is unable to be removed, DO NOT use this seat.
2. Recalled Seats
Some makers of certain booster seats have issued a recall. These seats are not to be utilized. NHTSA’s has a full list of recalled seats.
3. Secondhand Seats
We do not advocate using seats obtained from garage sales or thrift stores. The seats may have been involved in an accident or sustained damage. It is possible that you cannot notice the harm. Use a booster seat only if you are aware of its history.
Which booster seat is appropriate for my child?
Once you have determined that your child is ready for a booster seat, you may wonder which type to utilize. Similar to other types of car seats, there are a variety of booster seats on the market. High-back booster seats, combined harness-to-booster seats, and backless boosters are the three primary varieties.
As with any other type of car seat, the greatest booster seat is one that gives the best fit for your child, appropriately restrains them, and can be installed in your vehicle. Here is a look at the various sorts of booster seats so that you can choose the one that is best for your child.
How to select a booster seat?
- Select a seat that meets or exceeds the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 (be sure to check the latest standards as well).
- Be cautious while utilizing a used booster seat:
- Never utilize a seat older than six years or one that has been in a collision (it could be unsafe, even if it looks OK).
- Avoid seats that are missing parts, are not branded with the production date and model number, or do not have an instruction manual (you will be unaware of any recalls).
- Examine the seat for the recommended “expiration date” from the manufacturer. Do not use a seat if you have any worries about its history or if it has cracks or other evidence of wear and tear.
- If you decide to purchase a used seat, contact the manufacturer to see how long the seat may be used safely and whether it has ever been recalled. Recalls are rather regular, and the manufacturer may be able to offer you with a replacement part or brand-new unit.
How should a booster seat be installed?
Before installing a booster seat, thoroughly read the owner’s manual for your vehicle and the product manual for the booster seat. The owner’s manual will describe how to utilize the seatbelts in your vehicle with a child safety seat.
Put the booster seat in the back seat so that the front is facing out. It should be placed in the center of the back seat, where there is a shoulder and lap belt. Before each use, ensure that the safety seat is properly positioned. Then, have your child safety seat inspected at a station for child safety inspections to ensure that it is correctly placed.
To ensure the safety of the booster seat:
- Carefully read the booster seat manual.
- Ensure that the lap belt is snug and positioned low over your child’s hips.
- The shoulder belt should fit snugly and lie flat across your child’s shoulder, avoiding his or her neck and face.
- Shoulder and thigh belts must always rest flat and never be twisted. Children of this age can begin to comprehend the significance of strapping up and may choose to do so themselves. Be sure to check their seatbelts and commend them when they buckle up independently.
When do kids outgrow booster seats?
When children are old enough to utilize the lap and shoulder seatbelts while sitting with their back against the vehicle’s seat back and their knees bent over the edge of the seat without slouching, they can stop using booster seats.
The lap belt should be worn low, on top of the thighs, while the shoulder belt should be worn across the center of the chest. They can remain in this position for the duration of the journey. This often occurs when a youngster is 8–12 years old and has reached a height of 4 feet 9 inches (about 150 centimeters).
Booster seats are automobile seats that help keep children safe. When a youngster outgrows a car seat, a booster seat should be used. Booster seats elevate children so that seatbelts lie on the strong bones of the chest and pelvis rather than the abdomen and neck, where they could cause severe injury in a collision.