Car Seats & Travel Safety

Seat Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat Installation Tips

Many states have passed laws requiring booster seats for children up to 8 years old and 80 pounds, or 4-feet 9-inches tall.

Types of belt-positioning booster:

  • High-back boosters are recommended when the car has low seat backs, and backless boosters may be used if a child’s head is supported up to the top of his or her ears by the vehicle’s backseat or head support.

Installing a belt-positioning booster car seat

  • Read the owner’s manual for your car to find out how to use your car’s seat belts with a booster car seat.
  • Booster car seats are always installed forward-facing.
  • If possible, booster seats should be placed in the middle of the back seat if there is a lap and shoulder belt at that location that fits properly. Otherwise, another location in the back seat may be used.
  • Be sure to check the tightness of the car seat before each use.

Securing your child’s seat belt

  • Make sure the lap belt is low and tight across your child’s hips – not twisted.
  • The shoulder belt should lay flat, never twisted, and be snug across your child’s shoulder and stay clear of his or her neck and face.
  • During this stage, children begin to understand the importance of buckling up and may want to buckle themselves in. Be sure to check their seat belts and offer praise when they voluntarily put on their belts. Be sure that their seat belt remains buckled.

Using a seat belt without a booster

  • Check your local laws regarding booster seat requirements.
  • Kids can generally stop using a booster seat when they’re big enough to use the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts while sitting without slouching with their back against the vehicle’s seat back, with their knees bent over the edge of the seat and with their feet flat on the floor.
  • Transitioning from a booster seat usually happens when a child reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches, but every vehicle and every child is different.
  • The lap belt should rest low, on top of the thighs, and the shoulder belt should lie comfortably across the middle of the chest. The child should be able to stay this way through the entire trip.