Last time, we covered the booster seat rush and how it’s up to five times safer for qualifying kids to remain in a five-point harnessed car seat or convertible seat. Now, let’s address kids who have grown out of the five-point harness and are ready for booster seats.
Position of booster seat straps is vital to your child’s safety
Pay close attention to the straps. There’s a reason the shoulder and lap belts are labeled as such. They should not lie across the neck or stomach areas, respectively. If they do, adjustments may have to be made, or your child may not actually be ready for that booster seat, after all. To find out if your child is ready for a booster seat, please refer to our previous post on this topic, Tip of the Day: The Booster Seat Rush.
7 more tips to keep your child safe!
- High-back vs. backless booster seats: For back seats without headrests, high-back booster seats are recommended. For, those with headrests, backless boosters are fine. Keep in mind boosters with side impact protection offer extra safety features.
- Always consult your vehicle manual and the booster seat manual to see what seat will best fit in your car. And if you can try to install it before you buy it, even better.
- Replace any booster seat (and car seat) involved in a collision, regardless of visible damage. Most car insurance companies will cover this expense. And when you dispose of the seat, cut out the cover and mark it ostensibly “DAMAGED.” That way, no one else will use it and risk another child’s safety.
- All child restraint systems have expiration dates. Calendar your child’s booster seat’s. When it expires, dispose of it responsibly, and replace it with a new one (try not to buy used seats).
- Follow the care instructions for cleaning of the seat. Harsh detergents and cleaning chemicals can damage the seat and it’s shell. If this happens, even small tears and/or cracks, replace the seat.
- To prevent a potentially dangerous projectile, always buckle in an empty booster seat before driving.
- Your child should use the booster seat until meeting the manufacturer’s weight/height limit or until being able to properly wear a seatbelt.