When to Switch Car Seats? Everything You Need To Know

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
11 min read

When is the best time to replace out the car seats with your child? In the future, when your child outgrows their infant car seat, you’ll need to find a new one.

With a variety of convertibles available today, you may find one that will fit your child from infancy through their teen years, depending on your budget.

The average age at which a child will need a booster seat or other sort of safety restraint in a vehicle is between five and six years old.

Some states allow youngsters as young as 12 or 13 to ride without additional special equipment, but check with your state’s legislation first!

When can my child use a backless booster seat?

Even when a kid reaches maximum weight and height for their car seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that they continue in a strapped or convertible car seat.

What you need to know before you switch to a booster seat! | HaltonParents

Typically, a child can securely use a booster seat when they are between the ages of five and eight, however this might vary based on both your child’s size and the car manufacturer’s guidelines.

What is the weight of a booster seat?

Children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seats should use booster seats. They increase the safety and comfort of your child’s ride while also allowing them to sit up higher and get a better view of the road ahead.

What is the law on children’s booster seats?

The purpose of a booster seat is to elevate youngsters so that the adult seat belt can properly fit their smaller frames.

If a youngster has outgrown the restraints on his or her lap and shoulder, it can be difficult for him or her to utilize an adult seat belt alone.

Parental concerns over the safety of their children can arise when parents employ both because they have no other choice in the event of an emergency braking or collision.

All states require children to ride without a booster seat after reaching 57 inches in height, which usually occurs around the ages of 12-13. However, this isn’t necessary if you keep your child in a booster seat until they reach this height.

At what age does the 2-hour car seat rule end?

Those under the age of eight are exempt from this restriction. As a general rule, children should remain in a booster seat or safety belt until they weigh at least 80 pounds and are at least 57 inches in height.

There are a number of different types of car seats that can be used depending on your child’s height, so it is vital to keep this in mind.

Children should be kept in their convertible car seats until they are at least 40 pounds, rather than turning them forward-facing too early, which can lead to increased injury risk because the body is not yet strong enough to withstand impact effectively with an adult-style restrained system without putting other passengers at risk during collisions, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Prices for rear-facing infant carriers have dropped dramatically and can now be found for as little $50.

Can a 7-year-old sit in the front of a car?

At least seven years old, a child is old enough to sit in the driver’s seat of a car. Booster seats and other kid safety restraints are required by law for all passengers under the age of eighteen.

To ensure the safety of tiny children in the event of a collision, these goods have been built with particular constraints.

If you utilize these things appropriately, your children will be better protected than if they were simply wearing an adult seat belt! Please get in touch with us right away if you’d like to learn more about safe restraint techniques for babies and young children.

Is your kid ready for a booster seat? Plus, tips for a smooth transition

When to change the earliest from an infant carrier to a toddler seat?

BeSafe recommends that you continue to use an infant carrier for as long as possible because it affords you as a parent a great deal of freedom and provides your kid with excellent side protection. Consider switching to a toddler car seat sooner rather than later. You should only switch to a toddler car seat if your child is able to sit up unassisted, as these seats are more upright and less stable than infant carriers.

In order to use a toddler seat, your child must have achieved the height or weight limit specified by the seat you intend to use. This might be either a minimum weight or a minimum height, depending on the law.

When to change the earliest from a toddler car seat to a booster seat?

At BeSafe, we recommend that you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least four years old. If all three of the following parameters are met, we recommend that you transition your child to a booster seat.

  1. If your child is under the age of four, you should not enroll them.
  2. According to the regulations, your youngster has achieved the seat’s weight limit of 15 kilograms or 100 centimeters, whichever is greater.
  3. The high-back booster seat is appropriate for your child’s mental maturity. As a result, your youngster is no longer in the seat’s designated protection zone when you lean forwards a lot.

When to stop using your toddler seat the latest?

Make sure your seat has a weight/height limit.

As soon as your child’s seat reaches the maximum height allowed by UN R129 approval, you must stop using it. Additionally, weight restrictions for ISOfix-installed UN R129 seats can be found on the seat’s approval sticker or user manual. Once your child reaches any of the two weight/height restrictions, you’ll need to switch to a new seat.

ECE R44-04 toddler seats have a maximum weight limit that can be found on the approval label and in the user manual. It’s time to make a shift once your child reaches this point. Although theoretically you can use the seat until your child reaches its maximum weight, in practice your child may outgrow the seat before that point. This can be found in step 2!

Tie your seat belts and ear-to-head restraint levels, then move on to step 2.

Changing the car seat when the top of the child’s ears touches the headrest is a sign that it’s time to do so.

Additionally, make sure that your child’s shoulders are properly supported by the seat’s shoulder straps and follow the instructions in the seat’s user manual. According to several manufacturers, the shoulder belts should not extend below the shoulders of your child when they are in the car seat. If, with the headrest/belts on the highest setting, the shoulder belts are no longer coming squarely onto the shoulders, it’s time to switch out the harnesses.

You can expect your child to use this car seat until they are about 12 years old. Using a high back booster seat instead of a booster cushion ensures that your child is protected from side impact for the entire time they are in the booster seat. Even if it is no longer required by national legislation, we urge that you continue to use a high back booster seat in order to provide the best possible protection for your child.

When to stop using a booster seat?

Make sure your seat has a weight/height limit.

ECE R44-04 states that if your booster seat is approved, you must stop using it after your child has achieved the maximum weight limit, which is 36 kg.

Find out about the laws of your country.

The length of time a child must remain in a child car seat varies from country to country, according to the legislation of the country in which the child lives. The legal minimum age in most nations is set at 135 centimeters (12 years old).

Check your child’s position in the car without a car seat to see if it’s safe.

Additionally, you can perform the “5-point check” to assess whether your child’s body is ready to sit in your automobile without a child safety seat in addition to step 1 and 2. Even if your child hasn’t reached any of the following milestones, he or she should still ride in a booster seat:

  1. Yes, kids can sit with their backs against the car seat’s backrest.
  2. If so, does their knee bend over the vehicle seat’s edge?
  3. Is the lapbelt positioned low over the pelvis bones and not in the torso area?
  4. If so, does the shoulderbelt fit snugly over the wearer’s shoulders, or does it slip off their shoulders?
  5. No slouching or slumping over in the vehicle seat is acceptable for your child.

When Should You Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat?

When your infant has outgrown the confines of a car seat. Several rear-facing baby seats have weight limits of 30 pounds or more, but few have height limits that are equal. This means that your child may outgrow the baby seat before the weight limit has been reached.

To be on the safe side, consider upgrading to a seat that can face either the front or the rear of the vehicle and placing your child in the back seat.

Car seat laws: everything you need to know | RAC Drive

When your child reaches the age of one, you should: If your child has reached the age of one and is still able to sit in a rear-facing infant seat, we recommend switching to a rear-facing convertible seat.

Crash simulations have been added to our new testing process. A 1-year-old child was considerably more likely to bump his head on the back of the front seat when in a rear-facing infant seat compared to a rear-facing convertible seat, according to those tests.

Expiration dates for child car seats: Many parents aren’t aware of the fact that car seats for children have expiration dates. With multiple children, this is even more critical because you are using the same car seat for all of them.

You should be able to find this information in the owner’s manual or on the seat label. Typically, a human life expects to live for six years.

There are expiration dates to verify that the seat’s vital components haven’t worn out and that the seat is up to date with current safety regulations.

Crashing your child’s car seat may necessitate a new one. The majority of seats can be repurposed following a small collision. A seat should be replaced if it was engaged in an accident that resulted in injuries or necessitates the vehicle to be towed; if air bags activated; or if the door closest to the seat is damaged.

There are trade-in events where you can get cash for your old car seat if it has been in an accident and you haven’t replaced it yet.

What to do when your child’s car seat is damaged? In the long run, the car seat’s structure is weakened by regular use and improper storage. Cracks, loose pieces, and worn straps or fasteners should be looked for by parents. In the event of a collision, a damaged seat may not provide the necessary level of protection.

A fresh, undamaged seat, even if it’s the same model, will provide more protection.

Every now and again, it’s just time to move forward. If your child has outgrown or is close to outgrowing his or her current car seat stage, a trade-in event may be the greatest opportunity to make the change.

Even if the savings are attractive, don’t rush the procedure. Children may be put at risk by transitioning from a rear-facing infant seat to a rear-facing convertible seat. On the other hand, a booster is less safe than a forward-facing harnessed seat, and a forward-facing harnessed seat is less safe than a booster

What to do with an old car seat? Check out CR’s “Can I Reuse or Donate My Car Seat?” interactive decision tree for help.

To help you pick the best car seat for your child, we’ve put together a timeline.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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