Everything you need to know about a booster seat

Confession: Beanie’s been in a booster seat since he was about two and a half years old. Mainly because he’s always been quite tall and big for his age, but also because I just assumed that this was the done thing.

After he outgrew his rear-facing carseat (he’d hit the maximum weight of 18kgs), we headed to our nearest baby shop. We asked about a suitable replacement for his weight, and we were directed to a booster seat. I guess I just figured that the baby shop employees would know what they were talking about… Which, come to think about it, is a seriously risky assumption. Placing the safety of my child into a complete stranger’s hands without doing in-depth research myself is something I regret. I just thank God that I haven’t had to pay for this decision in any traumatic or life-altering way.

When I first found out about the #CarseatFullstop campaign, I knew it was something I could get behind. I’ve always been adamant that the entire family buckles up. Beanie is strapped into his carseat at all times, even when we’re only heading up the road. I felt quite proud of myself, to be honest.

And I judged those parents who don’t strap their children into carseats. Not once thinking that I might be making a few mistakes of my own! With regards to parents failing to strap their small toddlers and children into carseats, you’ll be surprised how often it happens. Just this past week, I spotted a fellow mom at Beanie’s playschool buckling her 4-year-old up in the backseat of her car, no carseat in sight.

chereen no booster seat

I think most people believe that it’s better to buckle your child up, whether in a carseat or not. But I don’t think many realise that a car’s safety belts are designed for an adult male that’s at least 1,5m tall… So it won’t offer adequate restraint or protection for children.

In fact, according to Volvo’s free Children and Cars manual, when it comes to children aged between  0 – 15, using an adult safety belt offers just 68% better protection than using no restraint at all.

Children strapped into rear-facing child seats have up to 90% better protection and those in booster seats have 77% better protection. In fact, Volvo recommends that children be strapped into rear-facing carseats for as long as possible – at least up until the ages of 3 or 4.

When I first found out that children should be in rear-facing carseats up until the age of 4, I considered buying a new carseat for Beanie. Sure, carseats are expensive and it really doesn’t suit our budget at the moment, but I’d rather have the extra expense than live with regrets, if you know what I mean.

In the end, after much research, we’ve decided to keep Beanie in a booster seat (a booster cushion with a backrest). But we’ve opted to make several adjustments, based on info gleaned from Volvo’s Children and Cars manual.

(Seriously, if you haven’t done so already – do it now. It’s quick, easy and FREE – and it could save your child’s life. I put off reading it for weeks, probably because of fear. But I’m so glad I finally read it. You can download it here).


Click here to find out more about this article’s author, Chereen

Be sure to SHARE!

You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop


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