Best Booster Seats for your Child

Buying the right child car booster seat can be as nerve-wracking as buying that very first infant seat. There are many options on the market for the car seats and laws relating to how long a child must use a booster autombile’s seat vary from state to state and can change.

Booster car seats are generally used from around the age of 4 until the child is about 4’9″ tall. Children should always sit in their booster vehicle’s seats in the back seat of the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children remain in their forward-facing toddler seat until they have outgrown it.

There are several different types of booster seats available.

  1. The first is the basic no-back seat. It is supposed to be used with a vehicle with head-rests and simply boosts the child up to the appropriate height so the seat-belt can be fastened safely. Evenflo makes a no-back seat that gets excellent reviews. The AMP no back seat can be found at Walmart.com.
  2. The second type is the high-back seat. This seat has a built-in head-rest in case the vehicle doesn’t have one. It must be used with the lap and shoulder belt as well. Cosco offers an affordable high-back car seat which can also be found at Wal-Mart. Their high-back booster is reasonably priced, safe and comes in different colors and designs.
  3. The last type is the combination forward-facing booster/toddler seat. This seat may be the best value for the money because parents can use it as a toddler seat until the child reaches the upper weight limits and then convert it to the car vehicle’s seat removing the harness and by using the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts. Evenflo’s Chase booster car seat is a great option for parents looking for a combination seat. This seat can also be found at Wal-Mart and is reasonably priced.

Parents can expect to spend anywhere from $25 for a basic no-back car seat to over $100 for a combination booster/toddler seat. Depending on the price, different child car seats can offer different extra features such as cup-holders, snack holders and arm rests. Regardless of the type of seat a parent chooses, they should always review the weight limits and instructions.

Types of Booster Car Seats

If your child is big enough and more than 40 pounds (almost for years old), it’s time to use a booster vehicle’s seat. Although cars have seat belts for the children, the law recommends using the baby car seat not until they are 4’ 9” tall. There are different kinds of booster-seat just perfect for your budget.

  1. A combination booster seat is a combination of a forward-facing seat and a booster autombile’s seat. It has a 5-point harness which can also be used as a seat-belt positioning car seat. This is ideal for children who are not yet ready to use the traditional booster-seat. The harness allows the children to be more secure especially if they do not reach the minimum weight requirement. The harness straps can be removed once the child reaches 40 pounds and the vehicle seat belt can already replace the harness once they are 80-100 pounds. Never use the internal harness if the child has grown to more than 40 pounds because using a harness beyond its intended maximum weight will definitely cause car seat damage once the vehicle encounters a crash. Practical choices for combination booster-seat are those with the highest strap slots and weight limits. These will allow your child to use the seat longer.
  2. A high back booster seat has a tall back portion which allows extra support for the child’s upper body part. Unlike with combination booster-seat, it does not have an internal harness rather it works by adding height to the child while sitting to makes use of the vehicle’s seat belts. The seat belts are positioned on the hip and shoulder bones to protect the body from injury if crash occurs. Another advantage of a high back baby car seat is the top portion having side-impact protection. Aside from protecting the child from injury, this feature also makes the children comfortable while sleeping or leaning. You will know if your child has outgrown the high back seat if the child’s ears are already positioned above the top of the booster shell. When this occurs, convert it to low back child seat or adjust the height.

  3. The backless booster seat as the name implies does not have a back which means the child sits against the vehicle’s back. This type of booster-seat is more popular to older children who can already behave properly inside the car. Backless car seat also works with children of different weights. Make sure that when you buy one, it fits the car properly and it suits the weight requirement of the child. The backless booster-seat also uses the lap and shoulder belts to fasten the child. However, unlike the high back seat, it does not have a head support for leaning or sleeping.

Booster-seats are very important for your child’s safety. It decreases the chance of injury because the child is boosted up to make way for the seat belts to tighten in proper place. Wherever you and your child go, whether in your local grocery store or to a long-ride vacation travel, always make sure that your child’s car seat is in place.

Read: Convertible car seat buying guide and review

Keeping Your Child Safe With a Child Booster Seats

Keeping a child safe while riding in a car is an imperative task that all parents face. Younger children, such as infants and toddlers, are required to use a car seat. As a child becomes older they outgrow car seats and move on to child booster autombile’s seats.

Booster vehicle’s seats are designed for children that are school aged or around 4 years and up. Some children outgrow their car seats early and will make the jump to car seats prior to this age range. You can verify if your child has outgrown her car seat if the following factors are met. Your child either weighs or has grown taller than the stated requirements on their car seat. Their shoulders reach an area above the top harness slots and finally if your child’s ears are at or above the top of the seat then it’s time to make the change to a booster.

Car seats that are designed for infants and toddlers are equipped with harnesses. These harnesses restrain the child to the car seat while the seat itself is attached by your vehicle’s seat belts. Booster vehicle’s seats work by raising the child up allowing the lap and shoulder belt to fit properly. They are not outfitted with harness straps but instead allow the use of your vehicle’s seat belts. Characteristically booster car seats include a type of plastic guide to assist parents in properly using the vehicles lap and shoulder belts.

All booster vehicle’s seats must be installed correctly with a lap and shoulder belt. A parent should never install a booster with a lap restraint only. Make sure the lap belt is situated across your child’s upper thighs in a low and firm position. The shoulder belt should always be located across the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder.

In addition to standard child booster autombile’s seats, high back and backless boosters are also available. High back models are used in vehicles that do not have head rests or have lower seat backs. Backless seats are more economical and can be transported easily to different vehicles. Please keep in mind that backless boosters should be only used in vehicles that do have head rests and standard or high seat backs.

As with all child safety seats make sure to follow the included instruction manual for proper use. In most cases children can make the jump to using the vehicles seat belts when they are between the ages of 8-12 and at least 4’9” tall. Until those requirements are met the car seats are available to keep your child safe.

Child Booster Seats Guidelines

The most important job you could ever have is that of being a parent. This includes keeping them as safe as possible of course. Every year many, many children are injured in car crashes and some are even killed. If they had been in properly used and installed car seats the turn outs might have been different.

  • There are many types of child safety seats on the market. Deciding which is the best one for your child and your car depends on a variety of a factors. There are four types of car child safety seats available. The first car safety seat is the infant-rear facing type. These include a base that is left in the car. The seat itself snaps into and out of the base. They hold infants up to between 22 and 32 pounds depending on the model. They are small, have carrying handles and are used for travel( see also: travel car seats) only. Another car safety seat that is very much like this one is the convertible seat. This type of seat can be used rear facing for infants and then turned around for older children. This makes it useable for a longer period of time. They are larger and clumsier than infant seats. These can hold heavier babies and have higher height limits than infant only seats. They have two types of harnesses. A five-point harness that attaches at the shoulders hips and between the legs or an overhead shield that has a padded tray type shield that comes down over the child and rests in front of them.
  • Forward facing toddler and preschoolers seats include the convertible seats mentioned above, forward facing toddler seats that can hold children who weigh up to 40-80 pounds, combinations forward facing booster car seats that hold children 40-65 pounds and plain seats that hold children up to 80 – 120 pounds.
  • Some cards today come with forward facing seats already built in. Also, keep in mind that laws vary from state to state as to age and weight requirements for car safety seats.
  • Older children can wear seat belts. They should not wear these alone (without a booster seat) unless they are about 4’9″ tall.
  • Remember also that there is no “best” seat or “safest” seat. Do not let price be the only deciding factor. A higher price does not mean a safer or better seat. Also, do not used a seat whose history you don’t know (one you bought at a garage sale for example). Never use a seat if it is too old, has cracks in it, does not have a date of manufacture and model number on it, does not come with instruction, is missing parts or was in a crash.
  • Make sure you follow the directions carefully when it comes to putting the seat in the car. If you need help you can look on the National Highway Transit Safety Authority to get a list of certified child seat fitting stations that will check if you car safety seat is installed correctly.

Child Booster Seat Safety

There is a Buckle Up Law in the United States. The reason for this law is to save the lives of those riding inside the car in case of an accident. Wearing seat belts offer those inside the vehicle protection against serious injuries. Many drivers, passengers and small children-wearing seat belts- walk away with minor injuries when their car flips or rolls down an embankment due to a motor vehicle accident.

Infants should wear a child booster vehicle’s seat from the day they are born. Infant sized seats are sold in a variety of sizes and styles according to the age and weight of a child. The prices vary according to the type of protection and comfort they offer for the child.

Many of the more expensive child booster car seats are heavily padded around the head area. It also fits closer to the child’s head than those seats used for older children. This is important because an infant does not have control of his head should the car come to a sudden stop. The extra padding acts as a bumper against the pressure that a sudden stop or accident can cause. When the child outgrows their smaller sized seat a new seat should be purchased.

Child booster autombile’s seat safety depends on where the child is seated in the car. Infants should always sit in their infant seat placed in the back seat. They should also be facing towards the rear of the car. This is the best measure of safety for both the infant and very young child so they will not thrown forward in a car accident.

Child safety seats that are used for an infant, should fit a child until they reach a specific age and weight. Check out this information when you are buying the child booster autombile’s seat. Once the child faces towards the front of the car and no longer fits in the original child seat, a new appropriately sized child car seat should be purchased.

Once a child reaches the age of three or four, and weighs about 35-40 lbs. they should be placed in child booster vehicle’s seat in the rear seat until old enough to fit into the automobile seat belt. The automobile lap belt should be able to lay over the upper part of the thigh, with the shoulder belt fitting comfortably over the chest.

Child Booster Seat Laws

When it comes to child safety in a moving vehicle, it seems that all of the states have slightly different safety and child booster seat laws on the books. Although these laws seem to vary slightly from place to place, the main ideas of most of the state laws are very close to the guidelines that are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many people are clear on the laws for younger children in automobiles. These laws usually require an infant rear facing seat until the age of 1 and a regular car seat until the age of four. Many people however seem to be a bit unaware of laws for older children after they have outgrown a car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that any child under 80 pounds and 4’9″ (around the age of 8 for most children) should ride in belt positioning car seat. All but 3 of the 50 states have a law that is modeled after this suggestion.

The reason for the need of a booster car seat for children too old for a car seat mainly has to do with the way an adult seat belt works when holding a small child. Many times the lap belt which lays across the lower abdomen of an adult, will fall directly across the stomach of a smaller child. In a crash this can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries to the internal organs. The shoulder strap can also be very dangerous to a small child in the event of an accident. This strap often is positioned very close to the child’s neck, which can also cause drastic and sometimes fatal injuries.
Not only are child booster autombile’s seats a way to keep your loved ones safe, but not using them is many times against the law.

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