Child Passenger Safety Week (Part 3) sponsored by Britax -Need a Boost?

Parents stress over the correct installation of their car seats, and rightfully so. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers, ages 1 to 4 years. (Info provided by the CDC.)

However, as your twinnies get older, some parents may get a bit lax, (yes, we know it’s not you; we are talking about OTHER parents.) By the time your kiddos are in booster seats, you may just find them to be more of a pain in the butt, then a necessary piece of equipment. Well, for those of you who are ready to toss them out the window or for those JUST moving into booster seats, here’s a quick refresher course for you.

Information provided by Britax USA

Booster seats are a type of child restraint that do not have a five-point harness system, but rather rely on the vehicle seat belt system to keep your child restrained. The booster seat elevates your child so that the vehicle seat belt is positioned properly over your child. Booster seats should be used in the rear vehicle seat with a lap and shoulder seat belt system, never a lap belt-only.


A combination seat starts out as a forward-facing seat with a 5-point harness, and then transforms into a
belt-positioning booster seat.

A high back booster is a type of belt-positioning booster seat that includes a back with a head restraint.


A backless booster does not include a back with a head restraint. They should only be used in a vehicle seating position with a built-in headrest.


Why use a Booster Seat?

Because vehicle seat belts are designed to fit an average-sized adult, they do not fit correctly on a child’s smaller body. The purpose of a belt-positioning booster seat is to lift or position your child so that the vehicle seat belt fits across the strongest parts of your child’s body, providing the greatest amount of protection.

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that “the lap belt should fit flat across a child’s upper thighs, not across the soft abdomen, which is more likely to be injured in a crash than bony structures like the pelvis.” In the event of a collision, a lap belt that is improperly positioned across your child’s abdomen can cause serious injuries, including injuries to internal organs, that can’t always be diagnosed immediately and can be life-threatening. For children between the ages of 4 – 8, the use of a booster seat can reduce injury rates by 58% over the use of a seat belt alone.

When is your child ready for a Booster?

Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing child seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best for children to ride in a seat with a five-point harness for as long as possible, at least to 4 years of age. If your child outgrows his seat before reaching 4 years of age, consider using a seat with a harness approved for higher weights and heights.

Some factors to consider when determining if your child is ready for a booster seat may be:

  • Your child reaches the top weight or height allowed for their forward-facing seat
  • Your child’s shoulders are above the top harness slots in their forward-facing seat. with a harness. (These limits are listed on the seat and also included in the seat’s user guide.)
  • Your child’s ears have reached the top of their forward-facing seat.
  • Your child meets the age and size requirements of the booster seat.
  • Your child meets the requirements of your state laws regarding booster seat use.
  • Your child’s maturity level – if your child is a wiggle worm or sleeps frequently in the vehicle, he may not be ready for a booster seat.

Proper positioning of a Booster Seat:

  1. The lap belt should be low and tight across the child’s upper thighs, not the soft abdomen.
  2. The shoulder belt should fit snugly across the child’s mid-chest and shoulder. The vehicle belt should NOT be positioned over the child’s neck, under the child’s arm, or behind the child’s back.
  3. Either the booster seat or vehicle seat head restraint should be adjusted properly for the child’s height.

How long should your child stay in a Booster Seat?

Requirements for car seat use vary depending on the state in which you reside. BRITAX recommends that you follow the laws of your state as the minimum requirements for restraining your child while traveling. Additionally, BRITAX recommends that you continue to use the child seat system – convertible car seat, youth seat, or booster seat – to the upper limits of its recommended use, or until your child can fit properly in the adult seat belt (see the Safety Belt Fit Test below).

Also, please keep in mind that state law does not always represent best practice. We recommend that you follow the laws of your state as the minimum requirements for restraining your child while traveling.

Find out what the laws are in your state

Do you think your twins are ready to get rid of their Boosters?

For adult seat belt use, the following are additional best practices recommended by BRITAX. To be able to fit an adult seat belt, a child must:

  1. Be tall enough to sit without slouching,
  2. Keep his/her back and buttocks against the vehicle seat back,
  3. Keep his/her knees completely bent over the front edge of the vehicle seat,
  4. Keep his/her feet flat on the floor,
  5. Be able to stay comfortably seated this way, AND
  6. The vehicle seat belt must be positioned correctly across the child’s hips and shoulder/middle of the chest.

Today, we have two BRITAX  Booster Seats to give away to one lucky family. These BRITAX belt-positioning booster seats raise the child so that the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts fit correctly on your child’s hips and shoulder. Belt-positioning booster seats must be used with a vehicle lap and shoulder belt system, NOT a lap-belt only system.

The winner may choose from Britax’s amazing booster line, the Parkway SG or the Parkway SGL. You also get to pick your color choice.

My twinnies have been using the Parkway for well over a year now (they are six) and love them. The especially like the dual cup holders. One for snacks and one for their drink!

The reason why I chose the Parkway SG was because of Britax’s SecureGuard. This just seems like an obvious way to keep them a bit safer. The SexureGuard is an attachment to their safety belt which prevents them from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt (submarining) during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal injury.

To be entered to win today’s prize, all you need to do is answer this question:

“What is YOUR state’s law regarding booster seats?”

Please reply to this POST below with your answer. One winner will be randomly chosen on Monday.

We will announce the winners on Monday, but please note, all potential winners MUST be a member of Twiniversity; have a valid EMAIL address on file; and HAVE multiples living in their home, right now. Unfortunately, there is no separate prize for Gold Members this week.

Congratulations!!! The winner of the third installment of our Britax giveaway is, Jean Lucas, of Lufkin, TX!!! Jean will receive her choice/color of two car seats from the Britax booster seat collection.


  1. In Indiana, children 7 years and younger are required to be in a booster. My almost 8 year old does not pass the 5 step test though…she will be staying in her booster!


  2. Since 2004, Illinois has enacted a “Booster Law.” The law works as an update to the Child Passenger Protection Act. The Booster Law requires that all children up to their 8th birthday be secured in an appropriate child-restraint system. This includes infant seats, convertible or forward-facing car seats and booster seats, but they have to be considered safety seats in regard to the National Highway Safety Association’s standards.

    Read more: Illinois Booster Seat Laws |

  3. California also has the Booster Law. Requires all kids to be in a booster till their 8th birthday.

  4. California’s law is 6 yrs and 60 pounds but their is not a booster law. There is a recommendation 40 – 80 pounds. I am all for 5 point harness until they don’t fit and then booster. Safety first 🙂

  5. New Jersey’s law requires children ages 7 & under who weigh less than 80 pounds to be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a rear seat. (info. taken from BTW, I <3 Britax! Great giveaways & info. this week! 🙂


  6. Florida law says: Children from approximately 40-80 pounds and under 4’9″ in height should ride in a booster seat.

  7. Our law changed the year my twinnies were born:

    Texas child passenger safety laws previously required only children younger than five years of age and less than 36 inches in height to ride in an approved child restraint. Beginning September 1, 2009, the law has been updated to require children under age 8 to ride in an appropriate car seat or booster seat, unless they are 4’9″ tall.

    We would love to have the Britax Boosters 🙂

  8. California is a 6 or 60 state and children have to be in a proper seat or booster. And thanks for such an awesome giveaway and for sharing information. Car seat safety is so important

  9. In Alaska the law states:
    Over four years of age but less than eight years of age who is less than 57 inches in height and weighs 20 or more pounds but less than 65 pounds shall be properly secured in a booster seat that is secured by a seat belt system or by another child passenger restraint system.

  10. New York
    40 lbs. and no lap/shoulder belt available; 4 – 7 unless no lap/shoulder belt available

  11. Sadly, California has no Booster Law. The law is that a child must be restrained in a child safety seat until 6 years old or 60 pounds. This can be a booster seat and it’s recommended in California the child be at least 40 pounds before using a booster. I plan to keep my children in a five point harness as long as possible.

  12. In Alabama, state law requires that children under the age of 6 be restrained in an appropriate, federally approved car seat or booster seat. Rear-facing car seats are recommended until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds. Convertible or forward-facing car seats should be used until the child is at least 5 years old or weighs 40 pounds. Alabama law requires that children ride in booster seats until at least age 6

  13. Michigan’s child passenger safety law requires:

    * Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat if the vehicle has a rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat (wow, really Michigan???). A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.

    * Children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.

  14. In Colorado, children under 8 must ride in a forward-facing car seat or a booster car seat, unless they are over 4’9″ tall or weigh more than 80 lbs. But I view the law as a guide to the minimum… the longer we can protect our children, the better.

  15. according to your link in NY a child ages 4-7 unless no shoulder belt available but according to the NY DMV any child under the age of 8 but only in a lap and shoulder belt together if there is only a waist belt the child should use the waist belt only and not use the booster and if the child is eight years old and is under 4’9″ tall or weighs less than 100 lbs, it is recommended that they continue to use a child restraint system.

  16. A law went into effect in California in 2005 that states “Children MUST be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds. ” There is no separate law concerning booster seats only.

  17. In illinois it is 8 years/80lbs they are trying to raise it to 10 years 100lbs but not approved yet.

  18. NY – A child under age four who weighs more than 40 pounds may be restrained in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt. A child of age 4, 5, 6 or 7, must use a booster seat with lap and shoulder belt or a child safety seat.

  19. Oh my goodness!! Are you kidding me!! I wish you could hear me right now, I’m screaming with joy!! I can’t tell you how thankful I am, seriously!! Yay!! Thank you so so so much.