New parents will find themselves with plenty of questions about how to safely secure your child in your car and what your legal obligations are surrounding this. In this article, everything from the purpose of car booster seats to the legal requirements and how long your child needs to use a booster seat will be covered, with the help from Baby Hills Thailand, a reliable importer & supplier of baby car seats. Read on to find out everything you need to know regarding using a booster seat in your car.
What is a booster seat?
A booster seat is a seat designed to fit in your car on top of your car seat. Its purpose is to boost young children up high enough into the seat so that they can be securely fastened and protected by the seat belt. Very young children will not be big enough to safely use a seat belt by itself, and in many countries it is a legal requirement that a booster seat is used.
What age can a child go in a booster seat?
Booster seats are intended to lift children up, or 'boost' them in the seat, but there are also booster seats designed to support and secure very young children while in the car. As such, there are different types of booster seats that can generally be divided into height and weight categories.
Children under 15 months must be placed in a rear-facing booster seat. This is because their necks are not strong enough to support themselves earlier than this. After 15 months, they may be placed in a forward-facing booster seat.
There are various designs for rear-facing booster seats and they are designed differently depending on the child's weight. The categories they fall into are: 0kg to 9kg or 13kg, 9kg to 18kg, and 15kg to 36kg. Booster seats will differ in terms of how the child sits in the seat, the kind of harness it has and other safety features between the weight categories.
When can a child be out of a booster seat?
A child must be fitted into a booster seat if the car has seat belts and the child is either younger than 12 years old or less than 135cm tall. Once they are either older than 12 or taller than 135cm, they must instead use a seat belt.
As such, when searching for booster seats until what age, it may be a surprise to find that children are supposed to use them until they are over 12 years old. This is because, on average, a child reaches 135cm tall around 9 years old. Thus, you will often see children younger than 12 without a booster seat. However, it is dependent on the child's height and the booster seat is still a legal requirement if the child is not tall enough.
What is the height for a child booster seat?
Children must be fitted into a booster seat until they are 135cm tall or they are more than 12 years old, whichever comes first.
There are height-based booster seats known as 'i-Size' seats. The rear-facing rules until your child is 15 months or older still apply to these. i-Size seats come in different varieties and are specially made to work at your child's height to keep them safely and securely strapped into the car seat.