A booster seat provides the best protection for an older child in a sudden stop or crash. An adult seat belt alone doesn't fit a child's body properly. Without a booster seat, an adult seat belt rides too high on a child's belly and neck. This can cause serious injuries to a child in a crash.
Use the YES test to help you decide when your child is ready for a booster seat, and to learn how to use one correctly.
If you check YES to
all of these points, your child is safest in a booster seat:
A booster seat can only be used with a lap-shoulder seat belt. To find the best booster seat for your child, decide where in the back seat your child will sit. Check to see if that vehicle seat has a head rest (head restraint).
Use the booster seat for every ride. You’re using the booster seat correctly when you can check
YES to all of these points:
Your child is safest in a booster seat until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the booster seat (as stated by the manufacturer). A child is ready to ride in the vehicle without a booster seat when the vehicle seat belt fits properly. This is typically when a child is 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
The seat belt fits your child properly when
Until you can check all 5 boxes, your child should continue to use a booster seat.
Current as of: July 3, 2019
Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.