The most important component to making sure your child is safe while using a booster car seat is to make sure it’s installed correctly. Unfortunately, 90% of car seats are used or installed incorrectly which means you’re not utilizing the safety features of that booster car seat.
Now when purchasing your car seat the most important thing to consider is making sure you know how to install the booster car seats correctly every time. Now if you need help figuring out which booster car seat is appropriate for your child to check out our other articles.
The General Booster Car Seat Guide.
Let’s get into the installation. There are two ways of installing your booster car seat you can do that with latch or with the seat belt rarely can you do it with both. I’m going to start with latch. That stands for lower anchors and tethers for children. Now every car seat manufacturer is required to put latch or equip your car with lower anchors from 2002 and newer. So if your car was built after 2002 you do have those lower anchors and those you will find down here typically in the crease of your seat.
Now they may be covered up with some fabric you may have to expose them if you don’t see them and there are indicators on the seat to show where those are and if you can’t find it you can check out your manual for your car.
Booster Car Seat Installation with Latch System.
Now there are two different types of the latch. So you may have depending on your booster car seat you will typically have one or the other sometimes like with the Clek Foonf you have both.
Now the first is what’s called rigid latch and so this is connected to the frame they are the correct width apart so that they are going to easily click into place. So it makes it a little bit easier and it is 50% safer with rigid latch.
However, latch with webbing is very safe as well. Now it has your webbing and then it has your latch connector and you’re going to click it in the same way you’re just going to do those separately and then tighten. Now some things to know about latch installation.
Now it does have a weight limit. Typically the weight limit of the latch system is about 65lbs. It does differ depending on the car seat manufacturer and does include the weight of the seat. So you will have to total the weight of your child and the weight of your seat. Once the latch is maxed out at about 65 lbs then you will have to install the booster car seat with the seat belt.
Now another thing to consider is not every seat in your car is equipped with a latch. Now the requirement is just two positions and typically those are going to be the outbound seats or the seats that are closest to the doors.
Booster Car Seat Installation with Seat Belt
So typically the center position is not equipped with a latch and you would have to install booster your car seat with the seat belt instead of a latch. With the seat belt, the biggest misuse that we see is that the seat is not being locked into position.
So let me know you what that means. So first you’re going to feed your seat belt through the correct belt path. Now on convertible booster car seats. You have two belt paths. One for rear-facing, on this one it’s here. And then one for forward-facing back here. So you want to make sure you’re going through the correct belt path. So once you click that into place, even if you tighten that as much as you can and you do not lock it into place see how much movement there is. And even forward-facing movement that’s a lot when you have a little child in there.
So you want to make sure you’re locking it into place. Now a lot of car seats are equipped with what’s called a lock-off and that’s going to hold that seat belt into position and hold that car seat solid into the vehicle seat.
Now this one does have a lock-off. It’s right here, you’ll feed it through that clamp. Push it down and then lock it into place. That’s going to keep it solid.
Now if your booster car seat doesn’t have a lock-off you have the option of locking it in your car. And what that looks like is your car seat inside is equipped with what’s called a retractor and that’s what’s holding or casing that webbing and allowing it to go in and out.
Now to engage that lock you’re going to pull out all your webbing slowly and then you are going to feed it back in.
Once you do that it engages a locking mechanism, kinda like a retractor it’s going to pull all that webbing back in and then it’s going to lock it into place.
So you want to pull all the webbing out, feed it into the seat so that it’s locked into place and that’s what’s going to keep your seat solid in the vehicle seat.
So you always want to make sure it’s locked whether you’re using the lock of your seat belt. So with infant seats, you do have both options of installation with the base only.
So you can install the base with latch and seat belt but with the infant seat itself, you only have the option of using the seat belt. So that one as well you do need to make sure it’s locked into position using the retractor in your car.
Now one misuse that we often see is parents installing their booster car seat with both latch and seat belt. Now something to know this is something rarely approved, on this particular seat. Thanks for reading.