So your little VIP is ready for their big kid booster seat. Great! However, it can feel daunting when it comes to installing a new seat into your vehicle. We spoke with our Resident CPST, Scott, who explains some top tips to make it easier!
Installing a booster seat in your car is not the same as installing a harnessed car seat. There are no installation belt paths used to secure the booster in the vehicle, and there’s no checking for a certain amount of movement once it’s installed. This is because the seat is not restraining the child, the seat belt will restrain the child in a crash. The booster seat only positions the child so the adult seat belt fits them properly. Some boosters do have LATCH connectors, but their use is generally optional (consult your seat manual) and using them prevents an unoccupied booster from becoming a projectile in a crash. Reading the manual that came with your booster is critical because it will contain important information regarding seat belt fit, where the belt guides are located if your seat has them, how to adjust the head support if your seat has one, and height/weight capacities for the seat. Installing a booster can be as easy as placing it on your vehicle seat and buckling your child!
Installing Your Booster Seat With LATCH
Some booster seats come with LATCH connectors, but do you have to use them? First, you’ll need to consult the manual that came with your seat. That will tell you if their use is optional or required. In general, most LATCH use with a booster is optional because the seat belt is what restrains the child in a crash. Using the LATCH connectors to secure the seat is recommended because that will prevent an unoccupied booster seat from becoming a projectile in a crash. It also helps to keep the seat in position when your child gets in and out of it. If you choose not to use the LATCH connectors, or the seating position you’ve chosen doesn’t have lower anchors, make sure and buckle the seat belt around the booster when it’s not occupied. This will also prevent it from becoming a projectile.