Categorized | Gear, Toddler Car Seats

How To Choose A Booster Car Seat

A toddler car seat is crucial to ensure a toddler stays protected in a vehicle. If you feel your toddler is ready to move to a booster car seat, here are some tips you must keep in mind when shopping for one.

Research

First and foremost, you have to do your homework before you buy. Check the internet for popular brands of booster car seats and customer reviews so you have an idea which brands are worth checking. In addition, take the time to visit SaferProducts.gov and NHTSA.gov. These websites allow consumers to check for product recalls and a manufacturer’s safety track record.

Choose Between A Backless or High-back Booster

A backless booster seat is affordable and has better lap-belt placement while a high-back booster car seat has a 5-point safety harness, offers more support and security and is more expensive (depending on the brand). Most parents prefer getting a high-back booster for younger children since it provides more comfort.

Get The Correct Size

Getting the right fit is very important when buying a car seat for your toddler. Consider the size of your toddler. See to it your toddler meets the height and weight range of the booster car seat. Most booster car seats have a maximum weight capacity of 40 pounds. Getting the correct size will ensure your little one stays secure and comfortable in the car.

Look For Safety Features

Your toddler’s safety is very important while on the road. Go for a booster car seat that has a 5-point harness that fits your toddler well to protect your child in the event of a collision, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system to make sure the booster seat stays securely attached, cushioned seat for a relaxing ride and a side impact protection to support your toddler’s head from side to side. Most importantly, make sure the booster seat is approved by ASTM (American Society For Testing and Materials) to ensure it has been tested and has met current safety standards.

Check Extra Features

Check out booster car seat accessories such as suspended toys, a cup holder, snack tray, extra storage compartment and removable padding for easy washing.

Test It Out

Test driving the gear is essential. Try out the model in your car to be sure it will fit in your vehicle. The booster car seat should be securely in place with very little sideways movement. Have your little one sit in the booster car seat to make sure it is snug. Press your hand onto the seat to gauge its comfort level. The belts, especially the shoulder traps should be tight yet snug, not slack. There should be no sharp edges, cracks, loose items and chipping paint.

Do not be in a rush to make the switch. If your toddler has not reached the weight limit, keep him in a child-restraint car seat. Choosing a booster car seat should be done slowly but surely. Taking your time can help you pick one that best suits your toddler.

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