Once you have a child, you need to make lots of changes in the way you conduct your daily activities, so you can accommodate every need that your little person will have. One such change is the space in your car, as you’ll need to make a very important purchase — a child’s car seat. After a while, when your kid becomes a toddler, you’ll need to go for a booster seat, which is basically the link between his baby car seat and a normal seatbelt in the future. That being said, you need to take your time and make sure you choose a seat that was previously tested and approved for the safety of your little one. And even though it seems pretty straight forward, there are numerous things that you should take into account when making this purchase.
Below, we have listed some of the most important factors that you should consider in order to pick the right booster seat for your growing child.
There will come a time when your child will learn how to travel by car without any special equipment. Until then, they need something other than a traditional baby seat and that comes in the form of a booster seat. It’s just as important to use one of these, even if your child is a toddler. More so, you’re actually obligated to do it, as most states have set in place specific rules and guidelines concerning child seating and restraints. Depending on your location, you want to be across the necessary requirements as set by your local government. Next to this information, there are a few basic things that you should also know:
- Your kid needs to be over 40 pounds in order to fit a booster seat.
- You never know what happens in traffic, so your child needs to be protected at all times. Therefore, you should make sure that the tip of their ear is not higher than the seat’s headrest.
- You don’t need to go for the most expensive seat on the market, as buying one of those doesn’t mean that is the safest or necessarily the best for your baby or toddler.
Three Types of Booster Seats
These seats are specialised equipment meant to protect your child while in the car, in case you’re ever involved in an accident. There are three types of booster seats that you can choose from and the following list explains key specifications of each type for you to be able to decide which one best fits the needs of your child.
No-back Booster Seat
There are a few key elements that you need to know about this type of seat. Firstly, before choosing this one type, you should consider that it can be difficult to take it out of one car and install it into another. Secondly, you need to use it together with a lap and shoulder belt, in order for your child to be safe at all times. More so, as we mentioned above, pay attention to the headrest of the seat, as it needs to rest above your child’s ears. But this time around, you also need to be careful about your own car’s headrest, as the child seat has no actual back component.
High-back Booster Seat
The second type of seat offers a high back component. This one should also be used with a lap and shoulder belt in order to ensure maximum safety. The high back of the seat is meant to protect the child against whiplash during an accident and in case the seat of your own car doesn’t have a high enough headrest. This type of seat is usually preferred by most children, as it’s the most comfortable and suitable for taking naps in the car.
Forward-Facing Seat with Harness or Combination Seat
This type of seat might be the best investment that you make, if you want to save some money for a longer period of time. The reason for that is that a seat like this combines a traditional car seat with a booster seat. Therefore, your child will use the same seat as they’re growing up. If your child is below 40 pounds, you just need to attach the safety seat to your car’s seat and use a harness for protection. As your kid grows older, he won’t need a harness anymore, so you can take that off together with the safety seat and you’ll be left with a high-back booster.
Booster Seats to Avoid
One of the seats that you should avoid is the shield booster seat, which is not recommended due to the actual shield that can cause injuries during a potential car crash. If you’ve already bought something like this, find a way to take the shield off and you’ll end up with a no-back booster seat. But if the shield is not removable, you’re highly advised to use another seat altogether.
For most people, purchasing a booster seat can be a little confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! If you give yourself some time for research, you can easily narrow down your options to one or two seats. Depending on your budget and, of course, on the laws that are being enforced wherever you live, you shouldn’t have a hard time providing your child with the safest possible ride, no matter where you go.