Your child is growing up and you think of upgrading to a booster seat? Don’t hurry up to throw away your toddler’s favorite forward-facing harnesses. Just a fact that your child meets the weight and age requirements for most of the booster seats does not mean that your child is ready for it. Keeping in mind that each advance in a car seat is actually a decrease in safety, take your time to decide whether it is really the best time to move your child out of a harnessed car seat.
Is my child ready for a booster seat?
Don’t hurry up to change your child’s harness seat
Most of the booster seats are made for children that have reached 4 years and weight more than 18 kilograms, therefore, it is the best to keep your toddler in a harness at least until he/she meets these requirements. However, we recommend you sticking with a harnessed car seat for a while longer, if you can still keep him/her safe in it. The five-point harness system is considerably safer than an ordinary seat belt used with a booster seat as it minimizes the crash force each part of the body takes in an accident by spreading it over more points on a child’s body. A lot of modern forward-facing seats are suitable for children up to 35 kilograms and 7 years, so it won’t be hard to find a perfect harness seat substitute for a less secure booster seat.
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Check if your toddler has overgrown the current car seat
Height is an important fact to consider changing your child’s car seat, although often neglected by uneducated parents. A lot of toddlers grow out of their child seat before they reach its weight limit. To determine if your child has outgrown his/her car seat by height, check if the harness slots are above the child’s shoulder level. The position of the shoulders above the level of the slots indicates that it is a high time to upgrade to a bigger seat. Moreover, you can always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ascertain if your child has outgrown the seat.
Your child has to be mature enough to use a booster seat
So, is my child ready for a booster? Except meeting weight, height and age requirements, your child should also be mature enough to advance to a booster seat. This includes a child being able to sit still during the trip as a car belt cannot secure a child if he/she does not remain in a proper position. The majority of parents find their children not being ready to stay calm in a booster seat even when they are much older than 4. Finally, remember that a booster seat can be used only if you have a car with a lap/shoulder seat belt that your child can easily unbuckle and escape from his seat while you are driving. If your child is an adventurer, think off keeping him in a harness car seat for a bit longer.
Choose between no-back and high-back booster seat according to your child’s needs
There are two most popular types of booster seats: no-back booster seat and high-back booster seat. The no-back booster seat is more mobile and easier to pack up, however, in order to use it, your car’s seats need to have headrests that come above your child’s ears. This is extremely important to keep your toddler’s head always protected against whiplash during the car ride. For younger children who like to nap in the car, we recommend buying high-back booster seat that can be used in cars with or without headrests.
What did you do when you asked yourself ‘Is my child ready for a booster’? What type of booster seat you picked? Let me know in the comment section.