Booster car seats: high-back, harness & backless

 

A Car Booster is Essential for Your Child’s Safety

A child will transition through a number of safety seats in their life, starting with rear-facing infant seats, through to front-facing seats and finally to booster car seats. Car boosters should raise your child up so that the seat belt fits properly over their shoulder and hips.

When to Transition

There’s no need to be in a rush when it comes to transitioning car seats. If your child meets the weight and height requirements of their current seat, keep using it.

Most Canadian provinces require kids to stay in their front-facing seat until they’re at least 18kg, or 40lb, and 4 or 5 years old. If you have a big toddler, you may need to look for a front-facing seat that will accommodate them until they reach the age requirement. Keep in mind that your child will need to sit in the car booster until they’re at least 145cm tall and 8-9 years old, so it’s a good idea to buy a quality product that will last.

Install the Booster Safely

Most parents agree that baby safety comes first when it comes to their kids, but a large number of children ride in booster car seats that are incorrectly fitted. The booster won't help your child at all if it’s not secure, so take the time to ensure it’s installed safely.

Refer to the car seat manual as well as your vehicle’s manual, and read and follow the instructions carefully. If possible, place the booster in the middle seat. This should be the safest spot in the car and protects your child from a side impact. If you have more than one child, put the youngest in the middle seat as they may benefit the most from this protection.

Sit your child in the booster seat, and make sure they fit properly. If you’re using a backless booster, make sure your child’s ears aren’t higher than the head restraint so their neck and head are protected. Always use a shoulder belt with a car booster, and make sure it fits snugly across your child’s hips and chest.

Make sure that you keep the seat buckled in, even if your child isn’t in it. Also remember that any car seat that’s been in a collision must be replaced, even if it was empty at the time.

Choosing the Correct Seat

When it comes time to choose a car booster seat, think about your car first. If your car doesn’t have head rests in the back seat, then you should buy a high back booster seat, which has that added protection. If you do have head rests, you can look at backless boosters, which are minimal but still ensure the seat belt is positioned correctly. A convertible car seat is an economical option that grows with your child.

Once you’ve decided on the type of car seat, you can look at extras. Some come with cup holders and washable covers to keep sippy cups within easy reach and can ensure quick cleanup. Seats also come with kid’s favourite characters, from Spider-Man to Mickey and Minnie Mouse, which helps kids get excited about sitting in the seat.

Handy Accessories for Your Booster

There are many accessories available to help your kid feel comfortable in their booster seat. Plush straps can help prevent chafing of your child’s skin, and you can find seat belt pillows for long car trips. A tray that fits over the seat can also keep your child occupied with toys during a long trip. A car shade is a great option to add to your car and can protect delicate skin from harmful UV rays. Also consider a kick mat which hangs over the back of the front seat to help keep it clean from footprints.

 

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