Is your child ready for a booster seat?
By Aimee Heckel
As your child blows out his or her fourth birthday candles, you might think it’s automatically time to transition from a carseat to a booster seat. Although some children do move into boosters around age 4, it might not be safe for every child.
Every state has laws about child safety seats. Make sure you know your state’s regulations. All but three states require booster seats for bigger children.
For children who have outgrown carseats, booster seats can decrease the chance of injury in a car accident by 45 percent, experts say.
Here are some tips to help you pick the right booster seat for your child:
1. Never buy a used booster seat. You don’t know the full history of a used booster, and safety standards continue to evolve. Stay on top of the improvements and buy new.
2. Check recalls to make sure your booster seat has not been recalled. It’s always smart to register your seat with the company after you get home, so they can alert you if there is a safety problem.
3. Make sure the seat is installed correctly and you know how to use it. If in doubt, you can always swing by the local fire department to have them help you.
4. If your child weighs less than 40 pounds, consider getting a booster with a removable five-point harness. The Recaro Performance Sport combination seat has a great reputation. Although it’s on the pricier side — more than $220 — it’s designed to be good for kids up to 65 pounds, which is the size of the average 9 and a half year old.
5. Depending on the style of your back seats, pick a high-back or chair-style booster seat. Pick the style that best fits in your car and provides your child with the most extra support. Check which booster fits most securely in the space.
6. Be careful of hard trays, which can damage your child’s stomach in the case of a collision.
7. Check the ratings. Read reviews online and pick a style recommended by experts, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For example, the institute recommends the Britax Frontier 85 combo harness-to-booster. Find that and other Britax boosters at Sears.com. Save money with these Sears coupons, paired with 5 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com.
Read more articles about saving money at Sears.com here.
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