What is The Difference Between A Car Seat And A Booster Seat

What is the difference between a car seat and a booster seat. You need to upgrade your child to a booster seat, but you can't decide whether to get one with or without a backrest.

You need to upgrade your child to a booster seat, but you can't decide whether to get one with or without a backrest. Here at the Fundación MAPFRE, we'll explain the key distinctions. First, keep in mind that a booster seat without a backrest shouldn't be used for anybody under 125 cm in height. Nonetheless, a booster seat with a backrest should be used continuously beginning at 15 kg or until the youngster is tall enough to sit safely in an adult seat belt.

The distinction between a car seat and a booster seat is crucial. The five-point harness of a car seat serves as a safety belt for a kid. Booster seats allow children to wear the vehicle's seat belt across them (much as an adult would). Harnessed car seats often convert to booster seats as the child grows.

There are three conditions that must be met before you may switch your kid to a booster seat. A kid should meet the following requirements before using a booster seat:

  • Over the age of five
  • Minimum of 40 lb.

Capable of sitting upright in the booster without leaning forward or fiddling with the seat belt. You may use the harness on many different types of convertible and combo seats until your child reaches 40 pounds or more (many can be used until kids are up to 65 pounds or 49 inches tall).

according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, These seats extend the amount of time you can keep your youngster in a harnessed car seat. The primary goal of the booster seat is to elevate the youngster so that the seat belt fits properly.  

When to Switch to a Booster Seat

The AAP states that "booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing seats," but they also recommend using a harness-style seat until your child reaches its weight or height limit.

To stay in a five-point harness longer, your kid needs a car seat with a higher top shoulder strap height if their shoulders reach the top strap slot but they don't meet all three booster minimums. Most youngsters outgrow their five-point harness when their shoulders reach the top slot, not weight.

The CDC advises using a forward-facing car seat "until at least age five or when they reach the top weight or height limit of their individual seat" before switching to a belt-positioning booster seat in the rear seat.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children in forward-facing seats with a harness and tether until they reach the manufacturer's height or weight restriction. The NHTSA also recommends a booster seat age range of four to seven years.4

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children continue in a vehicle safety seat with a harness as long as feasible before switching to a booster seat. Many belt-positioning booster seats have minimum weight limitations of 30 to 33 pounds.

If booster seats without harness belts should be used below 40 pounds, why do manufacturers and dealers offer them? Since there is no regulation requiring boosters to weigh at least 40 pounds (although such legislation is being proposed).

Some youngsters dislike car seats and prefer a huge child booster. They're safest in a car seat's five-point harness until they fulfill booster age, height, weight, and maturity requirements. Safety is non-negotiable.

Car seats are available for 18 and 25 kg.

Should you get a booster seat with or without a backrest? we believe a booster with a backrest protects the youngster better. The booster seat lifts the youngster for proper three-point seat belt fastening. The youngster needs help. While the standards demand kid seats up to 135 cm, no CRS is needed beyond 150 cm. Nonetheless, the youngster must wear a booster if the shoulder strap hits their neck or rests just beneath their chin while buckling the seat belt.

A backrest booster seat protects the youngster. The youngster rides in a vehicle seat with side protection, greater ergonomics, and a seat belt that must go through slots to minimize errors. The backrest protects the hips, back, shoulders, and head. Unlike boosters without backrests, it secures the kid from the CRS in an accident. It protects the child's head in a crash.

The belt may be adjusted to the child's height since the headrest can be modified. Hence, it accurately passes over the collarbone and not the neck. Lap belts should go across hips, not stomachs. Anchors in booster seats with backrests ensure these qualities.

Boosters without backrests or cushions are more compact, but they provide less protection. Ultimately, booster seat approval changes solely affect car seat manufacturers.

FAQs: what is the difference between a car seat and a booster seat?

Q. When comparing car seats with booster seats, what are the key differences?

It's critical that parents know the distinctions between car seats and booster seats. A child's safety in a car seat is ensured by the five-point harness. Booster seats allow children to wear the vehicle's seat belt across them (much as an adult would).

Q. When do you need a booster seat?

When the kid is between 8 and 12 years old, or until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, they should use a booster seat. Until they are about 10 or 12, most kids will need an adult to buckle their seat belts for them.

Q. Why is a booster seat safer?

A child's safety in a vehicle may be greatly improved by using a booster seat. A booster seat should be used instead of a car seat after a youngster has outgrown the latter. Booster seats raise children up to an appropriate height where the seatbelt will rest over their chest and pelvis instead of their weaker abdominal and cervical regions in the event of an accident.

Q. Is a car seat safer than a booster seat?

As compared to using only a seat belt, the usage of a car seat lowers a child's injury risk in a collision by as much as 71-82%. As compared with using only the seat belt, the usage of a booster seat lowers the risk of severe injury for children aged 4 to 8 by 45 percent.


The main line is that you shouldn't be in a hurry to switch your kid over to a booster seat if you already have them in a regular seat. Keep your kid in a car seat that faces forward and has a harness for as long as possible to ensure their safety. This should be done until the child is at least 5 years old, at least 40 pounds, and is able to sit correctly in a booster seat for the whole of the trip. Always be sure to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer regarding height and weight limitations, as well as installation and expiry dates.

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