Car seats for children are made with special care and attention to all the possible risks a child is subjected to during travel. This makes them extremely safe and it is no wonder that a lot of parents prefer to continue using them even after their children have met the minimum requirements to move on to the next stage, which is booster seats.
However, as you can imagine, it’s not possible to use a children car seat forever as your child is bound to outgrow them at some point. But we can totally understand you wanting to use it for as long as you can since there are a lot of safety benefits you get. So, let’s take a look at how long is too long when it comes to using car seats.
Obviously, you can’t change your child from a car seat to a booster without meeting your local government’s stated minimum requirements. The minimum requirements are not an indication of when the babies can no longer be supported in a car seat and should be moved to boosters or a normal seat but rather a guideline that states when it’s safe to make the switch. But ultimately, once the child passes the minimum requirements, the decision is entirely up to the parents to move or keep the existing system in place for longer.
First, let’s look at the arguments from both sides on why some parents prefer to move out of a car seat and why some prefer to keep them in for longer.
A car seat, because of its safety focused design choices contains more contact points that are used to properly secure the baby and avoid any unnecessary movements. This ensures the safety of the baby but also greatly restricts their freedom to move around while in the car. This point alone is an argument for both sides as it’s mostly people willing to eliminate any possible chance of risks by restricting their movement or give them more freedom and trust them with their own safety.
So, if you do not believe that your child is mature enough to properly take care of his own safety while travelling or you just want to have that extra bit of peace of mind while travelling, then it’s completely okay to keep him in the car seat for longer. How much longer obviously comes down to the physical restrictions.
There are 2 types of car seats for babies, front facing and rear facing. The rear facing one’s are designed for infants and are usually used until the babies are two years old or until they meet the maximum weight restriction which happens to be between 35 and 45 pounds. The forward-facing seats are less secure by comparison but can support up to 80 pounds and kids until almost 7 years.
By contrast, the recommended minimum limits for rear facing seats are 1 year and 20 pounds while for rear facing it’s 4 years and 40 pounds. So, clearly the different between the recommended and maximum supported specifications are quite wide apart from each other giving you plenty of time in between where you’re free to choose whether you want to make the switch and when.
So, when should you? Sure, you can always wait until the maximum limit is reached and then switch and it is obviously good to know that your child still has that extra layer of protection. However, you should also think about the fact that the kid might start feeling too restricted in their current state. The generally recommended time to move your child from a car seat to a booster is when he meets the physical and age restrictions and also when you feel he is mature enough to handle the responsibility of the freedom you’re giving him.
But if you can’t convince yourself that it is in fact a good time to move on from a car seat then you can wait a bit longer but it isn’t recommended to wait until the absolute maximum limit. Another very important thing to keep in mind is that, the legs of the child are usually a bit cramped in the car seats.
But they don’t notice because that is what they’ve been used to from the beginning. But you can’t go to a booster, give them the free space and then go back; it would make the experience a lot more uncomfortable for the child. Try to figure out a good middle ground where you can make a leap of faith and entrust your child with their safety. For More Information you can visit Parentprime