How to Convert a Car Seat Into a Booster Seat

By Larry Amon
Booster seats put your car's belt in the right place.

Car seats are vital in securing children in a car and save countless lives every year. Almost every state has laws regarding child safety in a car and the requirements for car seats. However, as a child grows, his needs change and he will need different types of car seats. Many car seat manufacturers now make car seats that can convert from the simplest stage for infants all the way to a booster seat that enables a child to be protected correctly by a car’s seat belt.

Check the limitations and recommendations in your car seat’s manual for when to change the car seat to a booster seat. Check your state's requirements as well. In general it is recommended that a child be 40 pounds before they go to a booster seat. You also want to make sure that the child is the proper height for the seat belt to go across her shoulder and lock in place without going across his face or neck.

Remove the car seat from the car. Look for a way to remove the back of the car seat. You may have to pull off or disconnect some or all of the cushions. Sometimes the car seat will fold down and then the top can be disconnected, leaving just the base as a booster.

Remove the five point harness system. On the back of the car seat the harness is held in place, and can be removed and then slid through the openings in the car seat where the harness system goes into the seat. This may be a tight squeeze but should fit. You will want to remove all the straps of the harness because you will use your car’s seat belt across the front of the seat.

Put the booster seat back in the car. Strap your child in using the car’s seat belt and pull the belt through any guides on the booster seat. You should attend a safety check at your local fire or police department to make certain the booster seat is installed correctly.

Warning

Always check to make sure your child is buckled in correctly.

About the Author

Larry Amon has been working in the computer field for more than 10 years and has experience writing scripts, instructional articles and political commentary. He has been published online, as well as in "NRB Magazine" and "Delmarva Youth & Family." He started a nonprofit media organization in 2000.