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

Chances are you may be asking your self, “is my toddler ready to graduate from a 5-point harness automotive seat to a booster seat?”

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

“So as to be protected in a booster—which will depend on three elements of restraint from the grownup seat belt—the child’s skeleton must be mature adequate to take care of crash forces unfold out over a smaller area, and the child must be mature adequate to use the booster appropriately. For these causes, specialists like to see children max out a 5-point harness sooner than they switch to a booster seat.”

Is My Child Ready for a Booster Seat?

Ask your self these questions:

  • Are your toddler’s shoulders above the harness when at its excessive setting?
  • Is your toddler a minimal of 40 kilos?
  • Is your toddler a minimal of 4 years outdated?
  • Is your toddler mature adequate to sit appropriately in a booster seat at all times?


When you answered certain to all of these questions then your toddler is ready for a booster seat. When you answered certain to all of these questions then your toddler is ready for a booster seat.

Chances are you may ask why you may have the option to’t merely put your toddler inside the once more seat with a seat belt. The transient reply is that a seat belt is designed to match an grownup and just too huge to help a toddler’s smaller rising bone development.



How a booster works:

  • It raises the child up so that the shoulder strap lies flat all through the center of the chest and rests snuggly between the neck and shoulder. The child wants to be comfortable with the strap all through the physique and do not switch it behind the physique so that solely the lap belt is utilized. The child should not tuck the seat belt beneath the arm which might lead to injury to the ribs in a collision.
  • It is shallow so the child is in a place to match with knees bent on the sting of the booster whereas holding the once more resting in opposition to the automotive seat once more or booster seat once more with out slouching.
  • It has guides that keep the seat belt resting flat on the child’s larger thighs barely than shifting in the direction of the abdomen. (The hip bones are clearly stronger than the stomach and a belt resting on the stomach could lead to essential injury.)

For additional helpful booster seat fundamentals see the subsequent diagram from Youngsters’s Well being (TX).

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


Selecting between a extreme once more or backless booster

Technically speaking, there are not any safety statistics evaluating extreme once more vs. backless boosters. However putting children into a extreme once more booster first is a good thought as a results of it is harking again to a harnessed automotive seat and helps to remind them to sit appropriately with the seat belt.

Excessive Again Boosters – can be found two kinds
• Belt Positioning Boosters (BPB) have a extreme once more that goes above a toddler’s ears to help the underside of the skull in an accident. It guides the seat belt to rest inside the acceptable place and they also normally have a positioning slot inside the excessive for the shoulder strap. Many fashions have the selection to take away the once more half and efficiency as a backless as correctly.
• Mixture Seats will likely be every a forward going via 5-point harness and be remodeled to a highback booster. (Most do not change to a backless chance.)
• Each kinds current comfort for a sleeping toddler.

Backless Boosters
• Handy, gentle weight and normally low cost.
• Ought to solely be used if the automotive has extreme seat backs or head rests. The highest of the child’s ears should not be above the seat once more. The pinnacle desires to be supported by the seat once more in a rear collision.

After finding out an in-depth article from automotive seat specialists regarding which to choose, the creator summarized,

Whereas there is no damage in suggesting a extreme once more booster for a number of causes, there is perhaps damage in suggesting that a backless booster is not a protected choice.”

The few analysis cited on this text embrace so many variables that it is troublesome to conclude with certainty that one type is safer than the alternative.

The creator goes on to say that when used appropriately, following the foundations of the proprietor’s information, backless boosters are a protected chance. The underside line is that any appropriately used booster is safer for a toddler than merely using a seat belt.

Jill is my go-to skilled about all points automotive seats. I requested her what the identical outdated growth is for her 5 children. She normally strikes her children from a 5-point harness to a extreme once more booster at age 6, to a backless booster for consolation (corresponding to carpooling) at spherical ages 7-9 and full time to a backless at spherical age 9. (After all, make sure to reference the load limits inside the proprietor’s information.)

As our youngsters develop, it’s usually simple to assume they’re bigger and stronger than they are surely. Don’t be too quick to switch your toddler out of a 5-point harness for consolation sake. Be sure that they are massive sufficient and mature adequate to take care of utilizing in safely in a booster.

For additional booster automotive seat safety, ponder finding out this textual content:

* Is Your Child Ready for a Booster Seat?


This advice comes from a Child Earth creator and would not substitute referring to your native authorized pointers and producer’s ideas.