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: May 1, 2017
Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services