Graduating from a front-facing car seat to a booster seat is an important milestone. It marks your child’s entry into the ‘big kids’ category. The only problem being- wondering which booster seat to get them? ‘Should it be the high back or the backless booster seat?’
Select your booster seats wisely, as they play a crucial role in reducing the risk of injuries to children by 45%. Being a matter of child safety here is everything you need to know about booster seats and their types.
What are Booster Seats?
The most prevalent cause of death in children was found to be car crashes. A study reported that children (4-7 years of age) wearing seat belts were at a higher risk of being injured than children secured in booster seats. This can be due to the fact that car seat belts are manufactured to protect the average adult. They are not effective with kids.
Booster seats are therefore essential to keep our children safe on the road.
A booster seat (cushions) ‘boosts’ or raises the child into a correct sitting position in the car so that the seatbelt can be placed correctly. This is necessary because unlike a front-facing car seat that uses a 5-point harness system, the booster seat makes use of the vehicle’s seat belt as a restrain.
How Do Booster Seats Work?
The ‘lift’ obtained by using the booster seat, aligns the seat belts properly on the strongest parts of the child’s body, keeping them secure at all times. Parents must place:
- The shoulder belt across the center of the shoulder and chest. Make sure that it is not placed across the child’s neck, under their arm, or behind their back.
- The lap belt low and snug below the hip bones and across their upper thighs.
Improper positioning of the belts can cause damage to the internal organs or the spine in the event of a crash.
Transitioning To A Booster Seat:
According to the Child Passenger Safety guidelines given by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children who have outgrown the limits of their forward-facing car seat must use a belt-positioning booster seat.
This transition usually occurs when the child reaches an age of 5 years (although some boosters can be used from age 4) and weighs a minimum of 40 pounds.