Booster seats are made to ensure the safety of children. These seats hoist kids up so that seatbelts lie across their chest bones and pelvis instead of the belly and neck, where they acquire critical damages in an accident.
But boosters can only be used up to a certain age, weight, or height. Eventually, children outgrow them. Different types of booster seats are fit for different age ranges.
Parents need to know which seat is better suited for their children. It is also crucial to know how many years children can use a booster seat.
This article aims to clarify just that.
Read on to know how many years are booster seats good for:
How Many Years Are Booster Seats Good For?
Children are advised to use boosters until they can fit the car seat belt properly. The lap belt must lie comfortably across the upper thighs, not the stomach, for a seat belt to fit properly. The shoulder belt should lie over the child’s shoulder and chest and not across the neck or face.
According to AAA, children should keep using booster seats until they are at least four feet, nine inches tall. Kids are generally around the age of 8 -12 when they grow out of a booster seat.
A law in Texas requires all children to use a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old.
Besides age limits, booster seats can also expire over time like normal car seats. That’s mostly a result of wear and tear, changing regulations and recalls, and manufacturer testing.
There’s also likely an expiration date given on the bottom or back of the booster seat. If not, you can check the manufacturer’s website for the booster seat brand and get further details on finding the expiration date.
Are Booster Seats With Anchors Safer?
Booster seats with anchors are the safest option for children. Anchors are minor metals that keep the booster seat in its place. Anchors ensure that the booster seats are secured to the car seat. But every booster seat doesn’t have to have anchors to the car.
It mainly depends on the car’s mechanism and seating. Many car models do not give you the option to anchor the booster seat. But if the car does allow you to anchor the booster seat, then it’s safer to do so as soon as possible.
Do Booster Seats Use Tethers?
Unlike forward-facing car seats that are essentially attached to the vehicle with either a bottom tether or top LATCH system, most booster seats are not attached to the vehicle.
They are not connected to the vehicle, so they do not use tethers. None of the recent high back booster models have a tether strap anymore.
Do Backless Boosters Use LATCH?
Like anchors, some backless boosters can be secured to the vehicle’s seat using the LATCH system, and some just simply sit on the vehicle’s seat. A lot of the newer models do not have a LATCH system installed.
But the more traditional ones still use LATCH to secure backless boosters in the car seating systems. It all depends on which model of booster you get and which model of the car you have.
How Do You Secure A Backless Booster Seat?
Backless booster seat positions the vehicle seat belt over the more vital parts of your child’s body by hoisting up their bodies. Before installing any type of boosters, you should thoroughly read through the instruction manual and the portion of your car owner’s guidelines on child restraint systems.
Every car seat and vehicle is different, and it’s essential to follow all instructions carefully. To secure a backless booster seat, you need to first place the booster seat in the back seat of your vehicle.
Then have your child sit in the booster seat and fasten their seat belt over them. You have to make sure that the seat belt fits your child correctly. The shoulder belt should rest across the chest, and the lap belt should be across the upper thighs.
If your booster seat comes with seat belt guides, use them to achieve good belt positioning. Adjust the vehicle head restraint to a comfortable and supportive position if necessary.
Are Booster Seats Supposed To Be Attached?
Booster seats are not generally attached to the vehicles. They are secured in place with the seat belt of the car. If the seat belt is correctly strapped to the child, then there’s no need for a booster seat to be attached to the vehicle.
To ensure maximum safety, install the booster seat according to its instruction manual and put the seat belt on your child accordingly.
Does A Booster Seat Need To Be Strapped Down?
The car’s seatbelt is what straps down booster seats. They do not necessarily need any LATCH system or tether to strap it down to the vehicle. Anchors can strap them down if your car has the option, but not all cars have it.
Your booster seat’s job is to boost your child up so that they can fit the car’s seat belt properly.
After a child outgrows a 5-point harness car seat, booster seats are the way to go. Booster seats are installed into the car to ensure the safety of children.
Children should keep using a booster seat until they fit adult seat belts correctly. Most children do not fit in an adult seat belt alone until they reach the age of 10 to 12.
Kids over 65 pounds are ready to switch to a booster seat. They can keep on using the boosters until they weigh around 120.
When using a booster seat, read the instruction manual carefully and read the vehicle owner’s manual on child restraint systems. That way, you can ensure that the booster will be installed the right way and your child will be safe.
If you’re buying a booster second-hand, make sure how many years the product has been in use. Also, be mindful of the booster seat’s initial condition and expiration date.
All this will let you maximize the security of your children while buying or installing a booster into your vehicle.