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Car seat to booster seat: when should my child make the switch?

Car seats are by far the safest travel option for young children, and it’s important that you’re not too hasty to make the switch from a car seat to a booster seat. In fact, experts agree that your child should only graduate from a car seat to a booster seat if he or she weighs 18kg (40 lbs) or more, has become too tall for his or her car seat, and is four or older.

In fact, the longer you can keep using a car seat, the better, because that means your child is safer while driving. So don’t make the change simply because your child has turned four!

When it is time to move on from your child’s car seat, it’s important that you do make the change to a booster seat – not simply to using a seat belt. That’s because it can be dangerous for your child to use a seat belt, as it’s not positioned correctly on your child’s body. The belt will be too high, usually falling across the neck, and in the event of a crash, your child could be seriously injured.
Because of this positioning issue, some children use booster seats up till the age of eight years old, and it’s advisable to do so until the seat belts in your car are positioned correctly on your child’s body when he or she sits in the car.

Look for a booster seat that uses your cars lap and shoulder belts as they are safer. Also, particularly if your car has a low back seat, look for a seat that has a high back, as this will provide more head and neck protection in the event of an accident.

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