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When do I switch my child from a car seat to a booster seat?

July 17, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

switch to booster in car

Our attorneys are parents too. And we often receive questions from friends on what Michigan’s car seat laws are, and other tips for protecting our children when they’re traveling in the car.

Here’s an email we received on when to switch a child from a car seat to a booster seat:

Q. At what age, weight or height do I switch my child from a five-point harness car seat to a high back booster?

A. Unfortunately, Michigan’s child car seat law doesn’t address the specifics about when a child should be transitioned from the five-point harness car seat to the high back booster.

However, here’s what the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning said about forward-facing and booster car seats:

Forward-facing: “All children 2 years or older, or those who have outgrown the weight or height limit of their rear-facing seat, should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat.”

Booster: “All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap/shoulder belt fits properly, typically when the child reaches 4’9” tall at 8–12 years old.”

For more information, take a look at my blog post, “Police interpretation of Michigan’s existing car seat law.”

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