40 Pounds or Four Years Old: Buying the Best Booster Seat for Your Child

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At some point (about the weight of 40 pounds or the age of four) parents switch from a child-restraint to a booster seat. As with all other products and services, parents want the best for their kids. Use the following to make the best and safest purchase regarding positioning of booster seats, getting backless or high back models, and whether you need one per family vehicle.

Let Weight Dictate the Switch

You can rely on particular models of child restraint seats for up to 80 pounds. You don’t have to move your four-year-old to a booster if they are a light weight for their age. On the other hand, don’t keep your three-year-old in a child restraint just because they won’t turn four for another 11 months. Let a child’s weight rather than their age dictate the switch.

Choose a High Back or Backless

Reviewers are confident that buyers can find both backless and highback models that are safe and suitable, yet each has its idiosyncrasies. For example, a high back booster seat usually leaves the seat belt resting higher on the shoulder. Not a problem if your child sits high in the booster. Backless boosters may be cheaper but might be more uncomfortable if your backseat doesn’t have a headrest. Choose a backless or high back booster depending on how your child fits in the seat and the contours of your backseat.

Make Sure It Fits

Most adults step in a new car and don’t think about whether the seat belt is positioned correctly. Rather than across the lower stomach, the belt should cross the pelvic and thigh area. Also, the upper portion of the belt should cross the shoulder and breastbone. A booster seat’s job is to raise your child so as to rest on the seat as an adult would. If your child does not fit well in the booster, they are not sitting properly and are in an unsafe sitting position.

You May Need a Different Seat per Vehicle

Some child products are interchangeable but a booster seat is not. For example, mom’s SUV has a different backseat than dad’s sedan. Therefore, the same booster seat could be a great fit in one and a bad fit for the other. So when shopping, you want to purchase a model that would fit well in multiple family cars. Some car models are suitable for several types of booster seats. See a range of vehicles at AdrianBrienKia.

Use More Than a Lap Belt

A booster seat is best placed in the middle of the backseat. But many car models only have a lap belt in the middle position and kids should never be fastened in with just a lap belt. Most parents place their booster seat behind the passenger side. That way, the child has a shoulder portion of the seatbelt and remains in view. Read directions and look at diagrams to be sure that you properly set the booster in the back.