Children must ride in the booster seat until the seat belt is engaged. Parents wonder if their tall little ones are ready to ride in booster seats and when or if there is an age requirement for the transition.
It’s easy to check the weight and height restrictions of the various boosters to ensure your child is a good fit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
However, many parents don’t realize that there are also important maturity requirements to meet before riding the booster.
What is Booster Seat Age?
Booster seat age refers to the age at which a child is ready to move from a car seat to a booster seat. The appropriate age is usually at least 4 years old, but it can be several years more for a variety of children. It is safest for most children to remain in a 5-point seat belt car seat until they are 5 or 6 years old.
When can my child stop using a Booster Seat?
Children should normally be in the booster seat until the adult seat belt is properly seated when the child reaches about 4 feet 9 inches in height and is 8-12 years old.
Most children do not wear seat belts alone until they are 10 or 12. If the child is large enough to use only the vehicle seat belt, knee and shoulder seat belts should always be used for the best protection.
All children under the age of 13 must ride in the back seat. The child exceeds the height or weight limit of the 5-point seat belt car seat and is ready to use the booster seat.
This is usually when you reach 65 pounds or 49 inches or more. You can check the height and weight restrictions in the car seat manual and whether converting to a booster seat is possible.
When you believe your child is mature enough to sit properly in the booster seat with the seatbelt properly positioned at all times.
It is important not to rush the transition to booster seats. If your child still fits a car seat’s height and weight requirements, it is the safest choice.
How do I know if my child is ready to ride without a booster seat?
The best way to determine if your child can safely ride without a booster seat is to check the seat belt position. If the seat belt sits across the centre of the chest and shoulders without cutting the child’s neck, Or if your child sits comfortably over the edge of the seat with its back on a chair and legs bent at the knees.
Also, make sure the lap belts are low and snug on your child’s upper thighs! If the above things happen properly, your child will be ready to sit without a booster seat.
Make sure to follow the new rules for rear car seats.
A year ago, parents would have been instructed to use a rear car seat for their children under two in the back seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has now amended its recommendation urging parents to place their children in the back seat until they reach a seat height or weight limit of up to 4 years old for some children.
The rear seat is the safest location for young children, reducing the risk of serious or fatal injury by more than 70%, so it’s best to face the rear if possible.
Once your child has skipped the rear-facing car seat, the next step is a harness-equipped forward-facing car seat. Again, we recommend using these seats until they are too big for a child to use, typically around 65 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you need to stop using the entire booster seat
When the front-facing seat is larger, the child is ready to use the belt position booster seat. Experts recommend that your car’s regular knee and shoulder belts last as long as possible until you can properly wear them. It is typically about 4’9″ tall and is between the ages of 8 and 12. Both lap and shoulder belts are recommended.
How tall must a child be to sit in a car seat?
With age-specific car seat safety rules. Automakers typically design airbags to protect adults over 5 feet tall and weigh about 150 pounds.
How tall do I have to be to sit in the front seat in California?
All other children 8 to 16 years of age or taller than 4 feet 9 inches must wear a seat belt in the vehicle. Children under the age of 8 must be seated in a child car seat in the vehicle’s back seat.
A child in a rear protective seat cannot ride in a front seat equipped with an active passenger airbag.
Do 7-year-olds need a car seat in Australia?
No, children between 6 months and 4 years old must use a rear-facing or forward-facing child seat with an integrated harness. Children between the ages of 4 and 7 must use a forward-facing child seat with an integrated harness or an approved booster seat.
When can my child stop using a booster seat in California?
Children under 8 must be secured in a car or booster seat in the rear. Children 8 years of age or reaching 4’9 inches in height may be secured with a booster seat but must at least be secured with a seat belt.
What are the weight requirements for booster seats in California?
California law requires all children under 2 years of age to ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is more than 40 inches tall. Children under 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat.