Answer Your Booster Seat Questions

What is a booster seat?
A booster seat is used to lift up a child and properly position the vehicle's lap/shoulder belts on children who are too small to fit the adult seat belt. 

Why are children 4, 5, 6, & 7 required to ride in a booster seat?
Seat belts are made to fit adults and do not protect children properly. Booster seats work by raising a child up so that the lap and shoulder belt are positioned safely. ¿Por qué Deben los niños usar asientos elevados?

- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Kansas children ages 1 through 17 (Child Death Review Board).
- Booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59% as compared to using only seat belts.

When should a child advance from using a booster seat to just a regular adult seat belt?
Once a child becomes at least 4’9” tall or 80 pounds it is not necessary for he or she to ride in a booster seat. Also, if a shoulder belt is not available and only a lap belt exists, the child should not use a booster seat in that particular vehicle.

For information about all stages of child passenger safety.
¿Cuándo deben usar los niños un asiento elevado?

What kinds of booster seats are there?
There are two kinds, high-back and no back. / Tipos de asientos elevados (“booster seats”) que puede usar

A high-back booster seat provides head and neck support and can be used in all vehicles that have lap/shoulder safety belt systems. If your vehicle has low seatbacks or does not have any head restraints, you will need a high-back booster to provide whiplash protection for your child.  Some forward-facing car seats convert to become a high-back booster seat, and some younger children prefer a high-back style because the side "wings" allow for more sleep support.

A no-back booster seatshould only be used in vehicles with built-in head rests and a lap/should belt system. Some older children prefer a backless style that does not "show" as much and cause teasing from peers.  You must be absolutely sure that your child has adequate head support before using a backless style, and remember, safety before popularity.

- All boosters should be used with the vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt system, never a lap belt only.
- Also, never use an aftermarket belt positioning device in place of a booster seat.
- The best kind to use is one that fits your child and your vehicle properly and that you will use correctly every time.

Where do I purchase a booster seat and how much does one cost?
Booster seats are available at department stores, toy stores and other retail outlets. A no-back booster seat costs approximately $15, and a high-back booster seat ranges from $40-$100 depending on the style. Combination seats are generally the most expensive because they serve two purposes; they are first used as forward-facing harnessed seats for children under 40 pounds and convert to a high-back booster seat for children ages 4 through 7. If you need assistance, please call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK or visit for the location of the nearest child seat inspection station.

Visit these links for search results on booster seats:
| Target
| K-Mart
| Babies R Us

What is the penalty for not using a booster seat?
The driver will be issued a $60 fine unless the situation meets the first or second provision below. If the driver can show proof to the court that the appropriate and approved child passenger safety restraining system has been purchased or acquired, the fine will be waived. Lastly, during the first year of the new law from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007, only a warning citation will be issued.

- There is no violation if o nly lap belts are available in the vehicle.
- There is no violation if the number children being transported exceeds the number of securing locations and all securing locations are properly in use by children.
- Only a single violation exists even when more than one child in a vehicle is not properly restrained.