Toddler booster car seats

Last updated: December 2011

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Toddler booster car seats, sometimes also referred to as combination seats, are one option—along with forward-facing convertible seats—for children who have exceeded the height or weight limits of their rear-facing seats and are ready to transition to a forward-facing orientation. Unlike convertible seats, which are designed to be used with a harness rear facing and forward facing, toddler boosters are designed to be used forward facing only, with a harness. But as a child ages, the seat transitions to a belt-positioning booster seat: The seat's built-in harness can be removed and the vehicle's safety belts secure the child. A toddler booster should not be used too soon—children are safest riding in a rear-facing orientation through 2 years old, at least. After that time, a child can safely face forward in either a forward-facing convertible or toddler booster seat.

Like the latest infant and convertible seats that allow larger children to remain rear-facing longer for safety reasons, the newest models of combination/toddler-booster seats allow larger kids to stay in a five-point harness longer (rather than their moving on to the vehicle's three-point safety belt).

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