I’m at the point where I started wondering when it was appropriate and safe to graduate my 3 1/2 year old to a booster seat. Turns out, not yet. I started to think about it because it’s become increasingly difficult for him to climb in an out of the Britax Advocate he’s using. While I’m content with his comfort and safety in it, I thought the time was approaching to move up. But he doesn’t fit the requirements just yet in weight so we’ll have to wait. However, not that long.
With booster seats you need to pay close attention to the weight/height/age requirements set forth on the seats instructions. In the new Britax Parkway SG‘s case its a minimum of 40 lbs and 38 inches tall. The nice thing about the Parkway is it accommodates our child up to 120lbs and 63 inches tall which in most cases will cover your booster seat needs until your child is large enough to be in a regular seat belt. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4’ 9″ in height, 57 inches tall, and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
When choosing any booster seat, make sure to select one that works with a shoulder AND lap belt for optimum safety. A while back, a study revealed that booster seats may be potentially unsafe due to putting comfort over proper belt positioning. The IIHS named 13 booster seats as “Best Bets” when it comes to choosing a seat and Britax Parkway made that list. The Parkway features True Side Impact Protection with an easily adjustable head piece to ensure comfort and fit. (The top of the child’s ears are below the top of the head restraint.) It also has SecureGuard clip which works with the lap belt to make sure the child doesn’t slip through under the lap belt risking abdominal injury during a crash. The SecureGuard clip and its strap connect the seat base to the lap-belt portion of the vehicle’s lap-shoulder belt between the child’s legs to effectively create a four-point harness.
Britax provided a seat for us to check out and I was greatly impressed as I am with their other seats. The narrow width allows for fitting 3 across the backseat. What I also loved is that the back restraint is removable to convert the seat into a backless booster when you need to while keeping the safety of the lap and shoulder belt in tact.
Just a refresher on booster safety:
Your child needs to be in a proper height/weight restraint. PERIOD. The government recommends car seats for children up to 40 pounds and booster seats for children over 40 pounds until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. All children should ride in the back seat until age 13. It’s about the fit with a booster seat. Boosters act as a way to safely position seat belts on your child’s body and should abide by the following:
- The seat belt is meant to be routed across a child’s lower hips and mid-shoulders instead of the abdomen because the liver and spleen are more vulnerable to injuries.
- Seat should be properly installed. Call your local Fire Department or log on to SeatCheck.org to find out how to have the installation checked. by a certified car seat technician.
We loved the Britax Parkway and we think you will too. Find Britax Parkway on Amazon.com!