Moving to a Booster

Making the right decision for your family

Moving from a harness to a booster seat

Our children grow up way too fast! Can you remember when you put the crib together? Do you remember the ride home and thinking; they’re sending me without an instruction manual? The nurse is not coming home with me? Fast forward to the now talking, independent 4, 5 or 6 year old who comes home and demands not be put in a “baby” seat anymore.

What do you do? Is it time to move to a booster and seat belt or should you keep them in the car seat with a 5 point harness? We’ve gathered together some facts and helpful pointers to guide you to a decision that’s right for you.

Seat Belts Are For Adults

Seat belts are designed for adults who have bigger and stronger bodies than children. Therefore smaller children who do not fit in an adult seat belt are at risk of either being ejected from a vehicle during a crash or suffering severe injuries. It is important to bear in mind that a 5 point harness will spread crash forces out, minimising whiplash type injuries and keeping your little one secure. We would recommend that as long as your child’s head is still protected by their current seat to keep them in it for as long as possible.

Most commonly the lap part of the adult seat belt will sit too high on a young child meaning in the event of an accident internal organs and the spine would be seriously damaged. Because of their small stature and the underdeveloped pelvic bones, the seat belt will ride up to the abdomen which would get crushed by the forces of an accident. Preventing this is one of the main reasons for using a booster seat. They elevate the child, meaning the lap belt will sit lower across the body. However they only work if a child is big enough.

The lap belt should lie flat across the top of the thighs. Not across the abdomen

The earliest weight for moving a child up to a booster seat is 15kg but at this weight a child might not be 4 and could still be very small. Even with a booster cushion it’s possible the seat belt will sit too high on the abdomen. We would recommend before using a booster or any car seat, to test it out with your little one in it. For boosters the seat belt should lie as low as possible, ideally across the top of the thighs. The shoulder belt should lie flat on the shoulder and not cut into the neck.

Side Impact Protection for Growing Bodies

Side impact protection is also an important consideration. A quarter of accidents are side impact collisions so high back boosters offer much better protection. The sides are also very useful as support when sleeping and stop your child’s body leaning to the side and potentially falling out of the seatbelt. Again, it’s important to check that your child fits in the booster, especially the shoulder width and height of the head rest. You should also check the seat fits properly in your car as the roof height or angle of the seat back might make it awkward to fit. A further benefit of a high back booster is the shoulder belt guide which will ensure the belt lies flat on the shoulder, avoiding the issue of it digging into the neck or being too high.

Car Seat Laws

Lastly the most important thing to remember is that legally a booster seat of any description is required until your child is either 12 or 135cm in height, whichever comes first. At this point the neck is strong enough and body large enough to be supported properly by the adult seat belt alone.

Monterey2 Booster

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4 Reasons to Love Diono Booster Seats

High back booster icon

High Back Comfort

Foam lined head to hip comfort. Older children need support too. Ergonomically contoured seats prevent submarining and extra padding adds comfort. The longer seat bottom provides proper leg support with cushioned comfort.

Expandable Sides

Diono boosters allow for height and width adjustments as your child grows and changes. A simple-to-use dial on the back adjusts the width of the seat to fit shoulders up to 50cm wide. The 11-position headrest gives ultimate flexibility and adjusts up to 16cm in height with one hand for an easy, precise fit.

Side Impact Protection

Superior defense against crash forces with cushioned steel. The adjustable head rest and deep, aluminum reinforced sides are lined with energy absorbing EPS foam for side impact protection and the reinforced seat bottom provides extra lap belt safety.

ISOFAST Connectors

Integrated ISOFAST connectors and front adjusters allow for a safe and secure installation in seconds. However, ISOFAST use is optional and the belt positioning boosters can be used with a seat belt only install.

Adjustable Boosters Grow With Your Child

Diono mXT

Performance heritage you can trust.

Group: 2/3     Age: 4-12 years     Weight: 15 – 36kg    Child Height: 160cm

Base width – 47cm
Height – 68cm expanding to 83cm
Head wings – 48cm expanding to 53cm
Depth – 44cm

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Diono Monterey2

The multi-award winning Monterey2 is overprotective in all the right ways.

Group: 2/3     Age: 4-12 years     Weight: 15 – 36kg    Child Height: 160cm

Base width front – 39cm
Base width back – 38cm
Height – 66cm expanding to 82cm
Head wings – 49cm expanding to 57cm
Depth – 47cm

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Loved by parents and children alike

I purchased this seat for my 8 year old daughter after reading about how much safer high back booster seats are than backless booster seats. I love the fabrics they are so soft and colourful, at the back of the seat you can adjust the backrest for your child as they grow wider. It also has steel in the sides of the seat which makes me feel confident that it's the best seat for my child.

Natalia, Mom of 2 or more

It is a breeze to fit in an ISOFIX compatible car and our son seems as pleased as punch when sitting in it. The cup holders are an absolute boon as well and he loves having somewhere to put his juice. We have a Vauxhall Insignia which is a little problematic for getting car seats to fit for some reason but this fits perfectly and doesn't cover the seat belt housing at all.

Dave, 1st Time Parent

Joy of the Journey

Children can be our toughest critics. They’re honest, often outspoken and delightfully creative. While our product innovation is driven by a desire to advance safety technology and provide parents with solutions that create everyday magic – it’s the smiles (and kudos) from kids themselves which fuels that desire.

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