Why Use a Booster Seat Instead of an Adult Safety Belt?
- Safety belts are designed for small adults who
are at least 80 pounds and 4 feet 9 inches tall. Until age
eight, most children
have not developed strong hipbones, and their legs and body
are too short for the adult safety belt to fit correctly.
- A belt that rides up on the tummy could cause serious internal
injuries to vital organs. Many young children do not sit still
or straight enough to keep lap belts low across their
thighs or the strong hip bones.
- Booster seats are comfortable for children because they allow
their legs to bend normally and help them sit up straighter
so the adult safety belt fits. Booster seats also allow kids
to see out the window better.
Using A Belt-Positioning Booster Seat Correctly
- Place the booster seat flat on the vehicle seat.
- Sit the child on the booster seat, place the lap and shoulder belt over the
child and buckle the safety belt.
- Adjust the shoulder belt and thread through shoulder belt positioner
(if available) so that shoulder belt lays snuggly across the center of
the child's shoulder. Check safety belt fit often.
- Buckle the booster seat in even when the child is not in it. A loose booster
seat can injure others in a crash.
VS. Highback Booster Seats
| Backless belt–positioning booster seats use the vehicle
lap and shoulder safety belt and provide good belt fit on the child. Some types
may come with a removable shield; remove the shield and use the seat with
the vehicle lap and shoulder belt .
|| High back belt–positioning booster safety seats use the vehicle
lap and shoulder belt. Some are combination child seat/booster seats with
a removable harness. They can be used with the harness for younger children
under 40 pounds, and then as a belt–positioning booster seat for an older
High back belt-positioning booster seats give children head protection
if your vehicle does not have head restraints. If your vehicle has head restraints,
a backless belt-positioning booster seat will work and make the safety belt
fit properly. Make sure your vehicle's head restraints cover at least the
top of your child's ears if you are using a backless belt-positioning booster
If the vehicle has only lap belts, it's safer for
a child to use a lap only safety belt than to ride without any restraint. Be sure to keep
the lap only safety belt low and snug across the thighs. If the lap only safety belt rides up on the
stomach, it could cause serious injures in a crash. Check with your vehicle
manufacturer to have shoulder belts installed in your car.
WARNING: Devices advertised to improve belt fit
for older children and adults are presently not covered by government safety
standards. These products are not recommended. They may help with shoulder
belt comfort, but may put too much slack in the shoulder belt or cause the
lap belt to ride up.
BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTER SEATS ARE THE BEST SOLUTION FOR CHILDREN WHO DON'T
FIT THE ADULT SAFETY BELT REGARDLESS OF YOUR CHILD'S AGE.
seats MUST be used in combination with lap and shoulder safety belts. The back seat is
the SAFEST place in the vehicle to install child safety seats.
Vehicle Installation Tips
Find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
in your area
Air Bag Safety Information
NHTSA Ease of Use
Ratings for Child Safety Seats
Is my child ready for an adult safety belt?