Booster Seats

High risk of injury in a side-impact collision


The idea behind a child restraint system is to adapt the car's safety belt system to the size of the child. Standards ECE R 44/03 and 44/04 indicate that a booster seat for children weighing more than 15kg is theoretically sufficient to fulfil this purpose. However, we strongly recommend using a complete seat with a backrest to offer optimum protection to the pelvis, shoulders and head. The differences between simple booster seats and sturdy seat with backrests and snugly fitting safety belts are astounding.

We discourage parents from opting for just a booster seat for the following reasons:

The problem with booster seats is that they do not offer any side protection. A safety seat with a backrest is fitted with sides, preventing the child's head from hitting the car window in a collision. Moreover, a side-impact collision is capable of causing serious injury, and children may also suffer additional injury from the side airbag. Airbags may protect adults, but they can pose a serious risk to children. Statistics show that one in four collisions involve impact to the side of the vehicle.

Even more alarming is the fact that these side-impact collisions account for 20 per cent of all collision-related deaths and seriously debilitating injuries among children. A booster seat does not provide sufficient protection to the child's most vulnerable areas. There is always a danger that the booster seat could slide underneath the child. Booster seats do not position the safety belt around the shoulder area, causing the belt to sit too closely to the neck. The compact design of a seat with a backrest not only ensures that the child is secured more firmly but that the belt is also always in the right position.

A simulation of a car crash only using a booster seat: