Stage 3 - Moving to a booster seat

Your child is ready to move to a booster seat when they are too tall or too heavy for their forward-facing car seat.

Before using your booster seat

  • Choose a booster seat with a guide that keeps the safety belt on their shoulder, away from the neck.

  • The booster seat should allow the vehicle lap/sash seat belt to sit against the child’s body, not be held out from it.

  • Making the move to a booster seat depends on your child’s height and weight, not their age.

  • Put the booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle. The back seat is still the safest place for your child.

  • Use a booster seat with a combined adult lap and sash safety belt. Your child is not safe with an adult lap belt only.

  • You can also use a child safety harness with some booster seats, or with the child sitting on the vehicle seat. A child safety harness is designed to provide whole body protection for a small person.

Moving from a booster seat to the vehicle safety belt

You can move your child from a booster seat when they are about 148cm tall. Many children need a booster seat until they are around 12 years of age.

  1. The diagonal part of the safety belt must cross their shoulders not their neck

  2. The lap part of the safety belt must cross their pelvis, touching the thighs, not up around their tummy.

  3. They should be able to sit right back on the vehicle seat with their knees bent over the seat edge

What does the right fit look like?

Download Booster seats - choosing the right one PDF two pages, 320KB

If you have any questions about car seats, ask for advice from a trained child restraint technician at Plunket, another hire outlet or your car seat retailer.

For more information about installing child restraints see these videos from NZTA:
  • Introduction to installing child restraints - here
  • Tips for installing child restraints - here

Find a Plunket Car Seat Service in your area.

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