How to Know When Your Child is Ready for a Booster Seat

How to Know When Your Child is Ready for a Booster Seat


Chances are you’ll be asking your self, “is my little one prepared to graduate from a 5-point harness automotive seat to a booster seat?”

Automobile seat specialists suggest holding youngsters in a 5-point harness for so long as potential. My good friend Jill, a Child Passenger Security Technician says,

“So as to be protected in a booster—which depends on three factors of restraint from the grownup seat belt—the kid’s skeleton should be mature sufficient to deal with crash forces unfold out over a smaller space, and the kid should be mature sufficient to use the booster correctly. For these causes, specialists like to see youngsters max out a 5-point harness earlier than they transfer to a booster seat.”


Is My Child Ready for a Booster Seat?

Ask your self these questions:

  • Are your little one’s shoulders above the harness when at its high setting?
  • Is your little one a minimum of 40 kilos?
  • Is your little one a minimum of 4 years outdated?
  • Is your little one mature sufficient to sit correctly in a booster seat always?


When you answered sure to all of those questions then your little one is prepared for a booster seat. When you answered sure to all of those questions then your little one is prepared for a booster seat.


Chances are you’ll ask why you’ll be able to’t simply put your little one within the again seat with a seat belt. The brief reply is that a seat belt is designed to match an grownup and simply too massive to assist a little one’s smaller growing bone construction.

Shop Booster Seats




How a booster works:

  • It raises the kid up in order that the shoulder strap lies flat throughout the middle of the chest and rests snuggly between the neck and shoulder. The kid needs to be comfy with the strap throughout the physique and don’t transfer it behind the physique in order that solely the lap belt is utilized. The kid shouldn’t tuck the seat belt underneath the arm which can lead to damage to the ribs in a collision.
  • It is shallow so the kid is in a position to match with knees bent on the sting of the booster whereas holding the again resting in opposition to the car seat again or booster seat again with out slouching.
  • It has guides that maintain the seat belt resting flat on the kid’s higher thighs slightly than shifting towards the stomach. (The hip bones are clearly stronger than the abdomen and a belt resting on the abdomen may lead to critical damage.)

For extra useful booster seat fundamentals see the next diagram from Youngsters’s Well being (TX).

Children's Health (TX) guide on car booster seats


Selecting between a excessive again or backless booster

Technically talking, there aren’t any security statistics evaluating excessive again vs. backless boosters. However placing youngsters into a excessive again booster first is a good thought as a result of it is harking back to a harnessed automotive seat and helps to remind them to sit correctly with the seat belt.

Excessive Again Boosters – are available two sorts
• Belt Positioning Boosters (BPB) have a excessive again that goes above a little one’s ears to assist the bottom of the cranium in an accident. It guides the seat belt to relaxation within the appropriate place and so they usually have a positioning slot within the high for the shoulder strap. Many fashions have the choice to take away the again half and performance as a backless as properly.
• Mixture Seats will be each a ahead going through 5-point harness and be transformed to a highback booster. (Most don’t change to a backless possibility.)
• Each sorts present consolation for a sleeping little one.

Backless Boosters
• Handy, mild weight and usually cheap.
• Ought to solely be used if the car has excessive seat backs or head rests. The highest of the kid’s ears shouldn’t be above the seat again. The pinnacle wants to be supported by the seat again in a rear collision.

After studying an in-depth article from automotive seat specialists concerning which to select, the creator summarized,

Whereas there is no hurt in suggesting a excessive again booster for a variety of causes, there might be hurt in suggesting that a backless booster is not a protected selection.”

The few research cited on this article embrace so many variables that it is troublesome to conclude with certainty that one kind is safer than the opposite.

The creator goes on to say that when used correctly, following the rules of the proprietor’s guide, backless boosters are a protected possibility. The underside line is that any correctly used booster is safer for a little one than merely utilizing a seat belt.

Jill is my go-to professional about all issues automotive seats. I requested her what the same old development is for her 5 youngsters. She usually strikes her youngsters from a 5-point harness to a excessive again booster at age 6, to a backless booster for comfort (corresponding to carpooling) at round ages 7-9 and full time to a backless at round age 9. (After all, make certain to reference the load limits within the proprietor’s guide.)

As our kids develop, it’s typically straightforward to assume they’re larger and stronger than they really are. Don’t be too fast to transfer your little one out of a 5-point harness for comfort sake. Be certain that they’re large enough and mature sufficient to deal with using in safely in a booster.

For extra booster automotive seat security, contemplate studying this text:

* Is Your Child Ready for a Booster Seat?


This recommendation comes from a Child Earth author and doesn’t substitute referring to your native legal guidelines and producer’s tips.