Bin the Booster with Britax


Britax is urging parents to ‘Bin the Booster’ and travel safe this summer.

I am still in a full car seat as I am not yet 3, but Mummy did use booster cushions with my brother and sisters.

The ‘Bin the Booster’ campaign highlights the risk associated with using the simple booster cushions that are widely available to parents with children aged 4-12 years. Many parents just aren’t aware of how dangerous they are to use and think that they just need something to help lift their child to make sure the vehicle seat belt sits correctly across their bodies. Britax actually found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly.

britax car safety

Britax say…

“Returning after the success of the previous two years, leading child safety brand Britax has launched its 2015 ‘Bin the Booster’ awareness campaign. This nationwide campaign, supported with powerful crash test footage, urges parents to get rid of any booster cushion seats they might have and opt for highback boosters with head and side impact protection to ensure children are safe and secure on their travels this summer – and beyond.

While the current law requires children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall, Britax believes there is still a lack of understanding around safety in Group 2-3, which protects children from four to around 12 years of age. At this stage many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the vehicle seat belt sits correctly on the bony parts of their bodies. However, Britax found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly*. They are often twisted, too high, or fitted around the seat and not the child. On top of misfittings, these booster cushions also offer no head or side impact protection for children.

To get parents’ full attention and highlight the true danger of booster cushions, Britax has released some alarming footage filmed at their crash test centre in Andover. It captures the safety performance of a booster cushion vs a highback booster seat in the event of a frontal collision. The footage sees the child sized dummy in the booster cushion instantly thrown forward upon impact. Viewers are able to witness from a range of angles that the upper belt is kept in place on the highback booster thanks to the upper belt guide, whereas the dummy on the booster cushion frees itself from the upper belt. Even in this frontal collision, the dummy in the booster cushion is flung towards the side of the car, dangerously hitting its head on the side of the vehicle at speed, as opposed to the highback booster, which sees the dummy stay more supported with head and upper body containment thanks to its side wings and headrest.

Mark Bennett, Britax’s safety expert, comments: “After watching this footage, parents will think twice when choosing a Group 2-3 car seat as it is incredibly haunting and really demonstrates the importance of deep protective side wings, head support and seat belt guides to ensure that seat belts are correctly positioned and fitted. We are calling for all parents using booster cushions to switch to a highback booster option and help us further spread the word about the inadequate protection these cushions provide – it could save precious lives this summer!”

Booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions on Group 2-3 seats. However, Britax only sells and recommends highback boosters and their products far surpass the legal safety requirements. Product developers continue to incorporate the latest, most advanced and industry leading safety innovations; including the energy absorbing seat belt pad, the XP-PAD and adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT) for superior side impact protection in their highback booster range as can be seen in the popular KIDFIX XP SICT. Britax’s highback booster range includes seats fitted with ISOFIT** that connects the seat directly to the car’s chassis, creating a safe and rigid installation.”

Britax is not alone in its belief that booster cushions are not the safest option for children.

Jan James, CEO of Good Egg Safety, which provides safety advice for families in the UK comments:

“We welcome this powerful footage from Britax which really drives home the dangers of booster cushions.  What makes this so poignant is the fact that when using these, parents are at least trying to protect their children by lifting them up to ensure a better fit of seat belt,  not realising that their child is still in significant danger in an impact.  The nerves in the neck don’t stretch well and a collision which throws the head forward with the force demonstrated here could potentially result in catastrophic injuries to their child as a result. Good Egg Safety highly recommends the use of a high back booster for that extra vital protection. As witnessed here; it will really make the difference.”

Does this make you think again about the booster cushion you have for your child?





  1. This is definitely something to think about – I have only watched that video once, but it’s enough to convince me! It’s so scary
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…Toddler Bedtime RoutineMy Profile

  2. We rarely travel by car so I don’t really think about these things but that is shocking….I didn’t know booster cushions were so unsafe!
    Kim Carberry recently posted…We are wicked parents….hehehe #wickedwednesdaysMy Profile

  3. Our daughter not been in a boaster for a while, she just don’t look comfy cos of her height.

  4. I remember having a booster when I was younger! My 2 are are still in the car seats suitable for our age but I will be following the guidelines when I need to upgrade definitely, their safety is paramount.

    helen gandy recently posted…Five Years.My Profile

  5. I’m choosing a car seat for extended rear facing, so certainly I can see us using a full seat forward facing as long as possible. Thanks for sharing the info.
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  6. We’re quite a few years away from a booster seat but after watching that video I’m definitely going for a high back one. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #binkylinky
    Emma’s Mamma recently posted…Actress vs mumMy Profile

  7. This is great as it really show parents how dangerous boosters are. Car seats are so important and I see some parents use the wrong car seats for their child and it scares me! More awareness is needed so this is great #binkylinky xx
    Something Crunchy Mummy recently posted…My Week At A Glance 10/08 – 14/08My Profile

  8. Thanks for sharing – such an important message to get across. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky
    Emily recently posted…Competition! We went bowling, plus win a handbag and some Werther’s Original Chewy Toffees!My Profile

  9. Never realised that about booster seats something to think about thanks for linking to the Binkylinky
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  10. So so important. 🙂

    I however think that the cushion has a place for older children whom may not fit in their HBB but are still too short to safety get a correct belt fit without any form of car seat. The laws 135cm legal limit is frustratingly low, most children WILL be about 145-150cm before they will be tall enough to get a correct belt path without any form of car seat.
    The “5-step test” is a really good tool to use for children who are on the older bracket to see weather or not they are in fact tall enough and mentally adult enough to not use anything. 🙂

    The distressing thing about the booster cushion which they highlight is that parents just don’t know the difference. So they buy this to use as on a regular and normal basis for their for example 15kg 3 year old because they think that “it’s sold, so must be safe”.
    ERFmama recently posted…#carseatsunday – 18/08/2015 [now as a monthly link up!]My Profile

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