A booster seat is a car seat designed to lift a child up so that the seat belt fits them correctly. Booster seats are used for children who have outgrown their forward-facing baby car seats but are still too small to sit in a vehicle seat without one. Booster seats help keep kids safe by positioning the seat belt correctly over their hips and shoulders.
Booster car seats reduce the risk of serious injury by ensuring the vehicle seat belt is adequately positioned across the child.
Most children are ready for a car booster seat when they reach the weight or height limit of their forward-facing car seat. This is usually around 15-20kg or 4 years old, but every child is different. Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their car seat, they should ride in a booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits them correctly.
The official resource from ChildCarSeats.com.au, a consortium of government agencies and motorist organisations who share a common interest in improving safety for children travelling in vehicles, details the following...
Your child should be moved when:
Their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the child car seat; or
Their eye level is higher than the back of the seat; or
The top insertion slots for the shoulder straps are below the level of the child's shoulders; or
If your child's car seat has shoulder marks, move your child to a booster seat when his/her shoulders have passed the upper marks.
The lap portion of the seat belt should fit snugly across your child's thighs, and the shoulder portion of the seat belt should fit snugly across the centre of their chest and shoulder. If the seat belt is not positioned correctly, it can cause serious injuries in a crash.
Always read the car seat manual and the vehicle owner's manual before using a booster seat.
Make sure the booster seat is appropriate for your child's weight, height, and age.
Always make sure your child is buckled up correctly before each ride.