Booster seats are designed to elevate children and provide a safe and comfortable ride. However, not all booster seats are created equal, and it’s crucial to choose the right one that fits your child’s needs and your car’s make and model. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about traveling with a booster seat.
Definition and Purpose of Booster Seats
Booster seats are specially designed car seats used for children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seats. The primary aim of using booster seats is to provide a safe and comfortable ride for children who are too small for the seat belts to fit them correctly. These seats are intended to raise a child’s seating position, which enables the seat belt to cross their shoulder and hips optimally.
Types of Booster Seats
High-Back Booster Seats
High-back booster seats come with a set back, and they offer better head and neck support to your child. Such seats are recommended for cars that have low seats as they bear the weight of the child’s head better, which provides additional head support.
Backless Booster Seats
Backless booster seats do not come with a backrest, and they usually rest on a cushion. These seats are an excellent option for vehicles that have headrests since they provide additional head support.
Combination Booster Seats
Combination booster seats can be used for both forward-facing car seats and booster seats. Such seats come with adjustable harness systems, and as the child grows, the straps can be adjusted to transform into booster seats.
Choosing the Right Booster Seat
Age and weight limits
Make sure to check the age and weight range for which a particular booster seat is designed. Each state regulates this differently; therefore, it is imperative to be informed.
Types of booster seats
Select the right type of booster seat that fits your child’s age and vehicle model, and consider whether you need high-back or backless booster seats.
Compatibility with your vehicle
Before purchasing a booster seat, ensure that it is compatible with your vehicle by measuring the car’s seat and checking the weight limit of the booster seat.
Travelling with a Booster Seat
General travelling safety tips
Here are some general travelling safety tips to keep in mind:
- First, ensure that your child always wears a seatbelt or is secured in an appropriate car seat or booster seat, depending on their age and weight.
- Second, pack a first-aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, pain relievers, disinfectants, and other medication that your child may need in case of an emergency.
- Next, make sure your child has all the necessary documents such as their passport, visas, immunisation records, and any medical documents they may need.
- Lastly, ensure that your child carries an ID with them, and let them know what to do in case they get lost or separated from you.
How to secure your child in a booster seat while travelling
When travelling with a booster seat, it’s crucial to secure your child properly to prevent accidents and injuries. Here are some tips on how to secure your child in a booster seat while travelling:
- First, always read the manual carefully and follow the instructions on how to secure the booster seat in the car, plane, or any other mode of transportation you’re using.
- Next, make sure the seat belt is positioned correctly, and your child is sitting upright with their back touching the seat.
- Third, never use a booster seat with a lap-only seat belt as it offers limited protection and may cause severe injuries in case of an accident.
- Lastly, if your child is too small for a booster seat, consider using a car seat or a convertible car seat instead.
Handling emergencies and unexpected situations
Handling emergencies and unexpected situations can be overwhelming when travelling with a child. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
- First, research and have a list of emergency phone numbers from the country you’re travelling to. Keep this list on your phone and a physical copy in case your phone gets lost or damaged.
- Next, learn basic first aid skills and signs of common illnesses such as dehydration, fever, and diarrhoea in children.
- Lastly, prepare for unexpected situations such as lost luggage, delayed flights, or sudden illnesses by packing extra clothes, medication, and essentials in your carry-on bag.
Tips for Travelling with Booster Seats
Planning ahead is essential when travelling with a booster seat. Here’s what you should consider:
- First, check the airline’s policies on booster seats, including dimension and weight restrictions, and fees for checking them in.
- Next, confirm with your car rental company whether they provide child safety seats and whether they can install them for you. If not, consider renting a booster seat from a reputable company in advance.
- Lastly, consider using a portable and lightweight booster seat- they can make your travels a lot easier.
Airline Policies and Restrictions
Airline policies and restrictions can be tricky to navigate when travelling with a booster seat. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- First, check the airline’s website or contact their customer service to confirm their policies on travelling with child safety seats, including types of seats allowed, dimension restrictions, and fees.
- Next, book a seat with enough space for your child’s booster seat and contact the airline well before your flight to confirm that they have noted your request.
- Lastly, avoid last-minute surprises by arriving early at the airport, so you have enough time to sort out any issues before boarding.
Car Rental Companies Policies
Car rental companies also have policies and restrictions that you should know when travelling with a booster seat:
- First, confirm with the car rental company if they offer car seats or booster seats and if they can install them for you.
- Next, consider renting a booster seat from a reputable company in advance if the car rental company doesn’t offer one or doesn’t meet your standards.
- Lastly, read the terms and conditions carefully, including fees, restrictions, and penalties, to avoid last-minute surprises.
Can you take a booster seat on a plane?
Yes, you can take a booster seat on a plane. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. The booster seat must be FAA-approved and have a label indicating that it is suitable for use on an aircraft. Additionally, airlines may have specific policies or restrictions regarding the use of booster seats on their flights, so it’s best to check with your airline before traveling.
Can you take a high back booster on a plane?
Yes, you can take a high back booster on a plane, as long as it is FAA-approved and has a label indicating that it is suitable for use on an aircraft. Again, it’s important to check with your airline to confirm their specific policies and restrictions regarding booster seats.
How do you pack a booster seat for air travel?
When packing a booster seat for air travel, it’s important to protect it from damage. One option is to use a booster seat bag, which is specifically designed to hold a booster seat and protect it during transport. Alternatively, you can wrap the booster seat in bubble wrap or a protective cover, and then place it in a large bag or suitcase.
Do booster seats count as checked luggage?
Booster seats are typically considered an additional item of luggage, and may count towards your overall luggage allowance. Some airlines may allow a booster seat to be carried on free of charge, but it’s best to confirm this with your airline in advance.
Can you check a booster seat for free?
Some airlines may allow a booster seat to be checked for free, while others may count it towards your luggage allowance. Again, it’s best to check with your airline in advance to confirm their policies and fees regarding booster seat check-in.
Can a booster seat be a carry on?
Yes, booster seats can typically be carried on as an additional item of hand luggage. However, it’s important to check with your airline in advance to confirm their policies regarding carry-on item.
Now that you know the ins and outs of travelling with a booster seat, you and your little one are ready for your next adventure. Remember to always prioritize your child’s safety and choose a booster seat that fits securely in your car and provides the necessary support and protection. By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free and memorable road trip with your family. Happy travels!