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Booster Seat: Bin the Backless Booster Seat?

As a mom who peruses the Internet, you may have seen the posts about the campaign “Bin the Booster”. Graco weigh in. We outline what a Booster Seat is and give you some tips on booster seat safety for your older child.

Graco Affix Booster Seat

A survey done in 2014 shows that around 55% of parents of 4 – 12 year olds are strapping their children into backless boosters. As long as they are in a car seat they are safe right? A backless booster seat is better than no car seat, we do agree, but there are safer options for your child.

Booster Seats are said to reduce your child's chance of an injury in a car accident by 59%. The actual chance will depend on whether the incident is a front on collision or a side collision.


What is a Booster Seat?

Booster seats are generally Group 2/3 car seats for use from 4 to 12 years or a weight of 15-36kg). Group 3 is essentially just a Booster Cushion. Read the Bambino Ultimate Car Seat Guide to find out the differences between all the types of car seats. http://www.bambino.co.za/car-seat-guide/.

Booster Seats raise or boost your child’s body so that they are at a height where they can use the adult seatbelt.



Are all booster seats created equally?

Although backless booster seats currently meet the legal requirements, they do not offer the same protection offered by their high-back counterparts. A high number of children are at risk of serious injury if they are in a vehicle that is involved in a side-on collision. New regulations, called iSize, will be including a side-impact crash test. This will mean that backless booster seats will be phased out in the future. So if you are considering looking at a Booster Seat for your child, use our tips below to find the safest option for your child.

Pull the front strap to adjust the Graco Affix ISO-LATCH Example of a Graco backless Booster Seat. The seat acts as cushion and uses the vehicles normal seatbelt to strap your child in.

Graco Back-less Booster Seat


A high-back Booster is made from 2 parts and generally the high-back can be removed so that the Booster cushion can be used on its own.

Example of a Graco high-back booster section


So what difference does the high-back make really?

In side impact crash tests, the dummy in the Booster cushion often hits its head on the side of the car and gets free of the seatbelt. In comparison to a high-back booster, the dummy stays upright and is cushioned by the high-back supports. The Side Impact Protection System refers to the wings on the side of the High-back booster. This system protects your child’s head and neck in the event of a collision. The seat belt guides also ensure that the seat belt is correctly positioned and stays in place.

All high-back Booster Seats are fitted with "wings" in the top that function as a headrest and absorb the forces in the event of a collision. This side impact protection is vital to keeping your child safe at any age.

Headrest of a Graco Booster Seat Headrest of a Graco Booster Seat


 Booster Seats that grow with your child

Many of the Graco Booster Seats are height adjustable, meaning that they do in fact grow with your child. The headrest adjusts to ensure that your child is always comfortable.

Graco Affix's fully adjustable head-rest Graco Affix's fully adjustable head-rest

To see our full range of Booster Seats please click here.

To read our review of the Milestone or Affix Booster Seat visit our blog.