Keeping your child properly secured while they are in a vehicle is going to be absolutely vital to their safety, but many parents don’t know when to make the transition from a car seat to a booster seat. Do you go by age? Weight? Here is a closer look at some of the regulations regarding these types of seats and just a few of the signs that your child might be ready to move up to a booster seat.
Why a Car Seat?
When your baby is smaller, using a car seat is extremely important. In addition to protecting them from multiple angles, the car seat is also going to support their neck. Older kids are used to supporting themselves on bumpy roads, but newborns don’t have the neck strength to hold their heads up when they are going around corners or decelerating. Once they are larger and stronger, they can then move up to a booster seat.
Booster or Forward-Facing Car Seat?
All newborns should start with a rear-facing car seat, but there will come a point when you need to turn that car seat around. A rear-facing car seat is the safest option during an auto accident, and one of those devices will prevent a wide variety of injuries in many different scenarios. As they grow larger, you will need to turn the car seat forward before they move to a booster seat. Around the age of two, the average child must switch to a forward-facing car seat.
Height and Weight Restrictions for a Booster
As a general rule, parents should try to keep their children in car seats for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there will come a point when they are too large for those devices, and that is when they must move up to a booster seat. Every car seat is slightly different, but the instructions usually claim that children should graduate to a booster seat once they are around 50 pounds. At that point, their legs will probably be too long to fit in a car seat.
Importance of Booster Seats
It might be tempting to simply put a lap harness over your child once they are too large for a car seat, but that will leave them very vulnerable during a collision. Your child must have a harness firmly across their chest as well as their lap in order to remain as safe as possible. The booster seat will increase their height so that both harnesses are in the correct positions. If you’ve been in a collision you should throw away your car seat and get a new one. You should contact a car accident lawyer to help with the healthcare, and auto replacement costs.
Your child is going to stay in their booster seat for quite some time, and you must make sure that they use that equipment whenever they get into a vehicle. The average child can’t safely sit outside of a booster seat until they are at least 10 years old, and some smaller kids must wait until the age of 12.