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How do I Evaluate Booster Seat Safety?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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Many areas require both toddlers and younger school aged children to use a booster seat in the car, as regular seat belts are often tailored to adults. Therefore, evaluating booster seat safety before buying one is important, and can be done in a few ways. One of the first details to take into consideration should be the height and weight of the child. The seat should also be able to fit the car correctly, so the car's existing seats should be considered before choosing whether to purchase a high back booster seat or a backless kind. Additionally, booster seat safety often depends on the age of the seat, and whether it has been recalled.

Most booster seats have a minimum and maximum limit for both height and weight, so be sure to read the product description before buying one. If your child has just recently outgrown an infant car seat, a standard booster seat may still be too large, so consider buying a combination seat that falls somewhere in between the two types. For maximum booster seat safety, it is important that your child is not too tall or short for the chair, as this will not allow the belt to fit correctly. Also, children who are too heavy for the chair risk breaking it, especially in a car accident, which is why the weight limit is important to heed.

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Booster seat safety also depends on you choosing the best one for your car. For example, a car with a back seat that does not go up very high often calls for a booster seat with a high back, as this provides lots of head and neck support for your child. On the other hand, if your car's back seat is quite high, a backless booster chair is likely adequate. This type also tends to fit best in contoured seats, so keep this in mind when considering booster seat safety.

If you are thinking about saving money by purchasing a used booster seat, it is often best to get it from a friend or relative who you trust. This is because it is not advisable for you to use a booster seat that has been in a car accident, which means that not knowing the history on a used seat is a risk. Additionally, most manufacturers place an expiration date on their seats since the material may become brittle and unreliable over time, so be sure that the used seat you are considering is not expired. Finally, you can further ensure booster seat safety by finding out whether the seat in question has been recalled. Of course, you will likely not have to put as much thought into such booster seat safety points when buying a new product, but you should still consider checking the recall list to make sure that the store is doing its job.

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