Booster seats and forward facing car seats are suitable for children from 4-7 years of age.
When you’re looking at buying a car seat or booster seat for older, larger children, it’s important to know the differences between the two types available before you hit the shops.
Booster seats are designed to provide side impact protection, but their primary function to correctly position the vehicle seat belt to safely restrain the child. Booster seats are held in place by the child’s own body and the vehicle's lap-sash seat belt, it is the vehicle seat belt that is the actual restraining device on a booster seat.
A forward facing car seat like our Luna Pro enables children to continue to use an in-built 6 point harness system up until the age of 8 years old, this is a perfect solution for parents that are wanting to keep their older children completely restrained.
The below is a easy guide to help you navigate between the two, so you can owrk out what is best for you.
Forward Facing Car Seats
When using a forward facing car seat it must:
- be securely attached to the car seat by the seat belt
- have it's top tether strap attached
- have an inbuilt harness.
When putting the inbuilt harness on your child, the straps must come out of the slots just above their shoulders. If the straps are more that 25mm below your child's shoulders you will need to move the straps to a higher slot.
You should move your child to a larger forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness or a booster seat if their shoulders:
- are above the highest slot for the harness, or
- have reached the shoulder height marker available on some restraints.
Booster seats are for use with your cars' lap-sash seatbelt by children whose shoulders are above the lower shoulder height marker (approx. 4 years of age) until child’s shoulders reach the upper shoulder height marker (approx. 8 years of age).
Booster seats are held in place by the child’s own body and the vehicle's lap-sash seat belt. A child can be injured in a crash if the seat belt is not properly adjusted.
Tips when choosing and using a booster seat
- Check that the sash of the seat belt crosses your child's shoulder and does not touch their neck. The sash guide on the booster seat can be adjusted to prevent this. Booster seats like our Rodi AP, have built in lap sash guides that will help you perfectly position the lap sash on your child.
- It's important to remember that you must use the top tether strap when you use a booster seat.
- Choose a booster seat with an expandable headrest so you can adjust the height of the booster seat as your child grows.
Choose what's best for your child
Children grow at different rates and there can be big differences in their heights and weights. Therefore you can choose the type of restraint that is best for your child and your travel arrangments.
Even if your child is 4 years old they may not be ready to travel in a booster seat. We recommend you keep your child in their forward facing restraint with an inbuilt harness until they are too big for it and then move to a booster seat.
Front or back seat?
Children aged 4 years old to under 7 years old can only sit in the front seat if all of the back seats are taken by other passengers under 7 years old.
If your vehicle does not have a back seat (e.g. a ute) they can travel in the front seat if they are in a child restraint as long as the airbags are de-activated.