Ensuring the safety of your child is one of a parent’s top priorities, which is why knowing how to properly use children’s booster seats and car seats is so important. Booster seats and car seats are designed to protect children from harm during the inevitable bumps, jolts and impacts that occur while driving. When used correctly, these safety devices can be life-saving pieces of equipment.
First and foremost, it is essential to have an understanding of the different types of booster seats and car seats available for young children. There are various models for each type, all tailored for different age groups depending on their size and weight. It is also important to check with your country or state’s laws about car seat and booster seat usage – some places may require them by law even if you think your child does not need one yet. The proper installation of the device is also key; a professional technician should be consulted if you need help ensuring your device has been correctly fitted in your vehicle.
By taking the extra time to understand the correct use of children’s booster seats and car seats, we can ensure our little ones receive maximum protection and keep them safe while on the roads.
What’s the Difference between a Booster Seat & Car Seat?
Booster seats and car seats are two different types of safety devices used for children in cars. Boosters seats are used to help children achieve the right seat belt fit while sitting in an adult-sized vehicle seat. Unlike car seats, they do not provide a secure enclosure, instead relying on the vehicle’s seating and anchoring systems. They come with or without a back, and while they don’t offer as much protection as a car seat, they are considered safer than wearing no restraint at all.
On the other hand, children’s car seats provide a secure enclosure around the child and can be secured in place using either their locking mechanism or the seatbelts of your vehicle. Car seats must meet certain safety standards for construction materials and design, so it is important to check that the model you have chosen satisfies these criteria before use. They must also be appropriate for your child’s age, size, and weight – many models come with their weight range so it is important to find one suitable for your child’s circumstances. Depending on where you live, there may be laws governing which type of car seat you need to use when transporting children in your vehicle.
Do You Have the Right Seat Belts in Place?
It is important to ensure that your booster/car seat is secured with the right seat belts or anchor straps to guarantee the safety of your child. Without the right seat belts, a children’s car seat may not be able to protect your little ones in the event of an accident.To avoid such a situation, it is crucial to install and use only those seat belts which are designed for the given booster/car seat and are appropriate for your vehicle.
In addition, make sure that you check all seatbelts and anchor points regularly for wear and tear which could potentially harm the safety of your child in the long run. That’s why Orion Safety Belts is the perfect option for you and your child. Our top-tier seat belts and installation teams will make sure you get the peace of mind you deserve.
When Do You Start Using a Booster Seat Vs a Car Seat?
Generally speaking, children up to two years old should sit in a car seat with harness straps. Seat belts are designed for adults and may not provide enough security for a young child in the event of an accident. After two years of age, a booster seat should be used until the child is big enough to fit properly into an adult-sized seatbelt (usually around the age of 8). A car seat should always be used if your vehicle does not have airbags in the front seats due to the risk posed by potential deployment on impact.
Types of Booster & Car Seats
Generally speaking, while there are many different models of car and booster seats that are made by the different brands on the market, it usually comes down to broad categories. Let’s look at childrens’ car seats first:
- Rear-facing car seats: These provide maximum protection for your child by distributing the force of a collision across their body, protecting them from neck and head injuries. They are designed specifically to fit newborns and infants, as they have deeper shells and inserts that give extra support and cushioning.
- Forward-facing car seats: For when your child is older, a forward-facing seat provides more security than a backless booster but is not as supportive as a rear-facing seat. It is important to choose a seat with side impact protection technology for optimal safety
In terms of booster seats, here is what parents and adults driving around kids should be aware of:
- High Back booster seats: This type of booster seat can be used for both children aged 4–5 years old and those up to 8 or 10 years old who are above the manufacturer’s minimum height requirement. The built-in headrests and shoulder straps make it easier for smaller children to wear vehicle seat belts properly when seated.
- Backless booster seats: These types provide mainly comfort rather than protection, as they do not have any additional supports or padding beyond what the vehicle’s seat belt system provides. They can be used by children between the ages of 4 and 8 or 10 years old once they reach the manufacturer’s minimum height requirement.
- Combination booster seats: A combination booster seat can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing depending on the size of your child, making it useful for longer periods. It also has reinforced sides which offer additional protection against side impacts compared to other booster models.
How to Install Children’s Booster Seats Vs Car Seats
Installing a child’s car seat is different from installing a children’s booster seat in several ways. Car seats are designed to be used for infants and toddlers, while booster seats are meant for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seats. The height requirements for an adult seatbelt must be met before switching to a booster seat.
Car seats are typically secured with either lower anchors or a lap-shoulder belt system, depending on the model of the vehicle. Booster seats, however, must always use a lap-shoulder belt system to secure them as they do not include lower anchor straps. Additionally, car seats must also be installed more tightly than booster seats as they are not designed with built-in cushioning that the weight of an adult would provide in a crash.
Installing the Booster Seat for Kids: Step-by-Step Breakdown
- Select an appropriate booster seat that fits the child’s age and size.
- Ensure both vehicles’ seat belts are working properly and all other seats in the vehicle are locked.
- Secure the booster seat anchor straps or lap-shoulder belts onto the car’s lower anchor points or seating area, respectively.
- Double-check that the booster is secured tightly against your vehicle’s seating, your child sits upright and there is no slack between their body and the booster seat harness straps used to keep them secure.
Installing the Car Seat for Kids: Step-by-Step Breakdown
- Read and follow the instructions or guidelines provided with your car seat.
- Select an appropriate car seat for your child’s age and size, and check that all its safety features (harness, tether straps etc.) are in working condition.
- Place the car seat in the forward-facing position on the vehicle’s rear seat.
- Attach either the LATCH (lower anchor and tether) system or lap/shoulder belt onto the car seat base.
- Adjust the harness straps to fit your child securely, making sure there are no twists in them and that they’re snug against their body.
- Once installation is complete, double-check that the child’s car seat is installed tightly against your vehicle’s seating; Your child sits upright when buckled; And there isn’t any slack between their body and the harness or belt used to keep them secure in their seat.
In conclusion, the proper use of children’s booster and car seats is essential for ensuring the safety and security of children while travelling in cars. It is important to check all seatbelts, anchor points, and the car seat itself regularly to guarantee that they are working properly and fit your child’s size and age. This will help prevent any injuries that may occur in an unfortunate event. So remember to always stay safe when travelling with a child by making sure their booster or car seat is installed properly! If you’d like to explore more car safety tips from industry experts, get in touch with us and check out our blogs!