When can my child switch to a backless booster? If your child is at least 40 pounds and over five years old, they might be able to switch from a harnessed car seat to a booster.
However, drivers must first ensure their children are tall enough for the vehicle’s belt-positioning system (BPS). According to NHTSA, the shoulder belt should fit across the centre of your child’s chest and not hang off their arm or cross neck.
The lap portion of the belt should reach low across the hips rather than upper thighs—and it shouldn’t sag or move more than an inch above or below where it rests on her legs. If you can easily pinch excess webbing between your fingers when buckling up, then she needs a booster.
It’s also worth noting that the shoulder belt should not slip off your child’s shoulder. If you’re unsure whether or not to make the switch, check with your local law enforcement agency. Many police departments offer free car seat checks, where certified technicians will ensure both you and your children are riding safely.
They’ll also help install any necessary equipment and answer questions about when it’s safe for kids to stop using a booster. If they suggest doing so sooner than age eight (or 57 inches), ask them why—and if there’s an alternative option in case you disagree.
Like most major milestones, moving from a harnessed system into boosters is different for every family; but parents shouldn’t decide on their own without considering proper height guidelines and feedback from professionals.
The shoulder belt should fit across the centre of your child’s chest and not hang off their arm or cross neck. The lap portion of the belt should reach low across the hips rather than upper thighs—and it shouldn’t sag or move more than an inch above or below where it rests on her legs.
If you can easily pinch excess webbing between your fingers when buckling up, then she needs a booster. It’s also worth noting that the shoulder belt should not slip off your child’s shoulder.
Can my 4-year-old sit in a booster?
If your child is under the age of eight (and does not meet the height and weight requirements for a seat belt in an aeroplane), they should be riding in a booster seat. You can use either a car seat or booster until your passenger reaches 57 inches tall, regardless of their age.
It’s important to keep them in one while driving because it helps protect against injury during accidents by distributing crash forces across wide portions of the body instead of just at the hip bones where lower belts are anchored.
Using both prevents ejection from vehicle seats when safety belts are used properly according to manufacturer guidelines.
The high back boosters also help children sit up straight so that airbags don’t cause injuries as easily if there’s no proper restraint between them and the bag.
Do booster seats need to be anchored?
Booster seats are important for children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seat but aren’t yet big enough to use an adult belt. They elevate the child so that the lap or shoulder belt fits better, improving safety in case of a crash. But they only offer protection if you install them correctly and securely.
Here is some advice on how to do it properly:
– Read the instructions that come with your booster seat and vehicle owner’s manual
– The next step is to check the tightness of the booster seat in your car.
How do you know if it’s secure? It should not move more than an inch side to side or front to back at the belt path (where all three-lap, shoulder and pelvic belts meet). Make sure there are no twists in any part of the belt.
Do this while someone sits on top of it. If they can move freely when pushed by hand, then try again until you get a snug fit without slack.
Then test for security: Grab both shoulder portions and pull up and forward firmly away from where they attach to the lower anchor belt. If it moves more than an inch, try again until you are successful!
Loosening the Vehicle Seat Belt or Lower Anchor Belts to Install a Booster Seat When installing a booster seat using either the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt or LATCH lower anchors, many vehicles have enough space between the child restraint and vehicle seat cushion to fit most boosters without making any adjustments under the seating positions (in other words, do not push down on or kneel on top of your infant restraint) when attaching hook/strap connectors at these locations.
To make sure that your booster is installed properly:
– Sit in the car with back straight against the backseat
– Use both hands to pull the belt all way out then let it retract to remove slack
– Attach hook/strap connectors and pull belts tight again to check for less than an inch of movement at the belt path. If it moves more than that, try adjusting lower anchors or recline the car seat back a couple of inches then do this test again until you get a snug fit without excess play in the belt system.
Booster use doesn’t stop when your child reaches 40 lbs either! Many children need boosters past age four as they continue to grow toward adult size and their bones become bigger which helps them be able to sit with good posture using only the vehicle’s lap portion rather than having a booster push into their stomach area.
It is recommended that kids who still require a booster should ride rear-facing in the back seat until they reach at least 40 lbs and four years old.