When your child out of the car seat, it still won't be big enough to use a seat belt. Booster car seats (sometimes called "boosters") are designed so that children can sit higher in the car. Their use radically reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident. take effect, you must choose the right booster seat for your child and, in addition, you must know how to install it in your vehicle correctly and safely.
Part 1 of 2: Choosing the Right Booster Seat
Step 1. Compare prices and see what types of booster seats exist
You can choose from several models that vary in design, the material with which they were manufactured and the price. Choose one that fits in your car, is suitable for your child, and can meet your current and future needs.
- There are booster seats without a back, in which the child's back will be supported by the back of your vehicle's seat.
- There are also high-back booster seats where your child can rest his back to rest. These are very similar to the safety seats used by younger children. They are recommended for cars that do not have heads in the rear seat.
- There are seats that can be used first as safety seats and then, when your child is old enough, as booster seats.
Step 2. Choose a booster seat in which the child is comfortable
Since they are not supported in the same way as the seats in your vehicle, but rather are supported by the weight of the child and the seat belt, it is very important to find one in which your child is comfortable. It should not be too big or too small.
Step 3. Make sure the booster seat fits in your car
It will be supported on the back seat of your vehicle, fastened with the seat belt. This is why it is imperative that you get into the vehicle and into the back seat. Check that:
- the booster seat fits completely in the back seat of your vehicle and does not have any hanging edge;
- the booster seat rests fully on the seat, without inclines or unevenness;
- At least one of your car's shoulder seat belts (not just a lap belt) can fully encircle the booster seat so you can secure it properly.
Step 4. Register your booster seat
As soon as you buy it, register it according to the instructions that the manufacturer has given you. This is a necessary step for the warranty to be valid, in addition to helping the manufacturer to contact you in the event of a recall of the product from the market for being defective.
Part 2 of 2: Install the booster seat
Step 1. Read the instructions
Although the general method for installing these types of seats is the same, each model is slightly different in design than the rest, so you will also have specific installation instructions. You should always read the instructions that come with the product you purchased to make sure you understand how it works and that you also know how to install it.
Step 2. Place the booster seat in the back seat of your vehicle
Booster seats should always be placed in the back seat, never in the front. It is best to locate them in the center, as long as they fit there correctly. If your vehicle has a lap seat belt in the center, install it on the left or right side.
If you cannot install the booster seat in the middle of the rear seat, place it on the side (left or right) from which you can best see your child from the driver's seat and from which it is also easier to remove it when parking in crowded streets with people and cars
Step 3. Use the guides or snaps, if your model has them
Some designs have guides or clips to help you loop the seat belt around the booster seat. If your model has them, read the instructions to learn how to use them.
Step 4. Check that the booster seat size is right for your child
Once you've finished properly installing the seat, sit your child in it (while the vehicle is not moving) to make sure it fits properly. Fasten the seat belt as you normally would and make sure that the booster seat will stay securely secured in the back seat as long as your child is sitting there, and that it is snug but comfortable.
- Adjust your seat belt, if necessary. You should use both a shoulder belt and a lap belt. The latter should be supported by the child's torso (not the stomach) and the shoulder should cross his chest.
- To officially verify that you have properly installed the booster seat, you can approach a police department, a fire station, or some other security center.
Step 5. Regularly check the booster seat for proper size
As your child grows, you may need to adjust the seat belt or adjust the position of the seat. Also, it may move slightly while you drive. For all these reasons, it is a good idea to regularly check that the position and size are adequate. Make sure the belt is properly positioned around your child's chest, and that the booster seat stays securely attached to your car seat.
Step 6. Hold the booster seat even when you're not using it
As long as the child is in your car, he should use it. However, when not in use it must also be properly secured (for example, tied to the seat or stored in the trunk). If not, a loose booster seat that moves around can cause some damage or become a dangerous distraction when driving.
Step 7. Use the booster seat for as long as necessary
It is recommended that children use this type of seat until they are 8 years old or until they have reached 145 cm in height (4'9”). Once the child exceeds the age or height previously indicated, you can use the seat belt like any adult.