Transitioning From a 5-Point Harness to Booster

August 5, 2014 Tips & Advice

When to make the switch from child car seat to booster –
We understand there was some confusion about a blog post we wrote titled, “When You Should Change Car Seats to Forward Face”, we apologize for any confusion and  appreciate how many people have engaged with the blog posts we are writing, please let us know what else you would like us to address.
Let’s get back to the drawing board and discuss transitioning a child from a 5 point harness to a booster seat. First, an explanation of Combination or Convertible car seat vs. Booster seat. A Combination seat is a forward facing only seat with an internal harness and has the ability to convert to a booster which would then utilize the adult seat to restrain the child. A Booster is a seat which only restrains the child using the adult seat belt. No harness is available at any stage.
Even if they meet a booster’s criteria, a child’s pelvic bones may not be developed which means there is a possibility of the lap belt not staying down on the pelvic bones which is vital when the belt is loading down during a crash. If the belt rises up on the soft abdomen during a crash a lot of force is put on the internal organs and then the spinal cord. Consider your child’s age, not just their weight before graduating them to a booster. Generally, pelvic bones develop between 5-6 years old.
When can my child ride without a booster seat? This is a common question as children get older the peer pressure from both kids and their parents. The five step is a good rule to follow. The adult seat belt must be positioned on the center of the collar bone and low on the pelvis and the child must be able to sit in position the entire ride.
See attached photo to help you understand a child’s growth pattern.


Photo Credit:  The Car Seat Lady