Booster carseats?

Nichole - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Right now my son is almost 16 months. I'm in no hurry to get him out of the 5 point harness carseat. But I am curious when they start using a booster seat instead of a 5 point harness carseat? Is there an age, weight, & hieght guidelines like with moving from backward to forward carseats? If so what are they?



Like I said my son is 16 months. He's 30 pounds, and 33 inches tall.

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Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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In a minivan Melanie or actually any car with third row seating it is safer to have car seats in the second row. They are more shielded on all sides this way vs. all the way back in the third row. This will shield them as best as possible from a front or rear end collision. Yes I have also done my research as well Melanie. Since I currently transport daycare children daily and have done so for the past 15yrs, have 3 of my own and very passionate about car safety as anyone here will tell you.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/28/2010

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I'm in Canada and they have to be 4 years AND 40 pounds (so just like in Texas lol). Most (not all, but most) 5 pt harness car seats go up to 65 lbs.

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Sherri - posted on 01/01/2011

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Well all newer vans now have the latch system Amanda even my rear seat so my car seat is latched to the actual car frame. I don't have a choice. I have 4 car seats in my van so two are in the middle and two in the back. But I have the latch system used for all 4 seats.



Actually not even all that new my Honda Odyssey is only a 2003. So was my Ford Windstar and that had the latch system as well.

Amanda - posted on 01/01/2011

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I want to comment on the farther back in a car the safer a child is, NOT TRUE. Mini vans children should never be in the back seat, UNLESS there is no more room. If you have a car seat in the very back of your van, make sure your back seat is BOLTED into the frame of your car!! The back seats of vans were never made to hold car seats, and have a tendency to eject from the back hatch during accidents. Please put your children in the middle of a van, esp if you have not had your back seat bolted to the floor by your dealership. My sister in law works for Dodge dealership and they have to inform any parent that its improper to have a car seat in the far back seat without the seat being bolted in.

Sherri - posted on 01/01/2011

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Meghan I am sorry you are not correct. You most likely have some outdated information almost all states I believe except one FL are 4 yrs or older AND a weight of 40lbs.

Meghan - posted on 01/01/2011

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For most boosters and most state laws you have to be 3 years of age, at least 30 pounds and 30 inches tall and thats to use a booster with a back. Some boosters have higher requirements as do most states. The five point harness is the safest and I would recommend using it as long as you.

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2010

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My daughter is 5 1/2 and she is still using a 5 point harness seat. I personally feel that is is safer for her to be in one in case there is ever an accident. She was in a Graco backward facing car seat until 1 year, then a Britax front facing car seat with 5 point harness that fit her up to 5 yrs, and now she is using a Britax booster style car seat that has a full back to it and the 5 point harness, which can be changed over to use a regular seat belt with it, later on, if we want. I checked out the look of a regular car seat/booster seat with a regular seat belt on her and it didn't look safe enough for me, especially after seeing how cars can look after accidents. We looked at all the different seats and liked Britax ones the best and felt they were safe and well made, besides more comfortable cushioning in the seat for our daughter. I think where I live the age is 6 yrs and under, but I will most likely go longer than that for my peace of mind.

Rhiannon - posted on 12/30/2010

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I left my daughter in her five point until she was to big for me to do up the straps :) boosters can be an issue because children like to undo their seat belt once the car starts

Sherri - posted on 12/30/2010

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I don't trust booster seats mine will most likely be in a 5pt harness until I can not longer fit him in his seat at 65lbs. Since my 12 yr old only weighs 78lbs I pretty sure I can leave my 4yr old in his 5pt harness until he can legally go straight to a straight seatbelt.

Rachel - posted on 12/29/2010

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Wow. I didn't weigh 65lbs until sometime in middle school. My oldest is 5 and weighs 42lbs, he's in a booster.

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2010

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sherri, you made me think. so i decided to re-investigate. as far as rear endings go you are correct. kids are of course safer the farthest from any collision. so it would make sense if your bumped from behind they are safer in the second row. but statistically bumps from behind are usually at much lower speeds, therefore injuries tend to be less severe. lateral impact of course doesnt make a difference if the child is in the 2nd or 3rd row. but the most common type of collision is head on. and since its been established that its safest the farthest away from the collision i choose to put my son in the 3rd row sometimes. of course i have explained that i have 4 kids so some one has to be in both rows. thats why we have minivans and suvs. so we can accomodate more people.

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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Sarah I know it wasn't it hasn't even become law yet. I just said they are trying to get it passed is all.

Sarah - posted on 12/29/2010

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My child is 3 and the law wasn't that when he was an infant. So, I haven't had a reason to know that. Sorry, if I've given false info. Wasn't trying to cause an issue.

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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They are trying to change the law Sarah and make all children rear facing now until at least 2yrs old in the US.

Sarah - posted on 12/29/2010

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I think it varies from state to state. I put my son in a front facing carseat when he was a year old. However, I live in Maryland.

Amy - posted on 12/29/2010

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best to look up your state's guidelines online because they are slightly different state to state. My daughter is 4 years old and JUST got into one since she's now over 40 pounds.

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2010

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sherri, thats not entirely accurate. the farther back in the vehicle the better. always. and i have to tell you this isnt my first time around. i should tell you i was the second born of 7, have been a live in nanny twice, worked in a daycare, have 24 biological nieces and nephews and have 4 of my own.

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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Melanie even though he would fit weight wise he would not fit height wise. Though keeping him farther back in the car isn't going to keep him any safer then anywhere else.

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2010

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i generally follow the car seat manufactureres recommendations. they tend to be better guidelines than the law. more strict. i cant see keeping my 55 lb 9 year old in a 5 pt harness tho. he would be sooo mad at me. buti do try to keep him as far back in the vehicle as possible thats always safest.

[deleted account]

The harness is right at his shoulders in the top slot and his ears are below the top of the shell. But his head is about half an inch over the shell. I already checked it out with the fire department and they recommended I move him up to a different convertible seat that will eventually end up backless (years from now). He's only gonna ride in his old carseat (the one his head is above the back) one last time....to the store to get the new one. Thanks :)

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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I would get that checked out Joy, because a childs head over the top of a car seat is very dangerous also.

A child is too tall for a forward-facing harnessed carseat if their shoulders are taller than the highest slots, or if the top of their ears are above the top of the carseat shell.

Where does the harness come on his shoulders? if the back of the harness is lower then his shoulders, his car seat is to small for him.

[deleted account]

You have to check the laws for your state. I just got my son one for Christmas and have to take it back. He's 3 years old, 35 pounds and 39 inches tall. I figured he was ready to take the step up to the booster because his head is about half an inch over the top of his carseat. Not knowing the law, I went ahead and bought a booster. The kind that only holds him in with the seat belt. Come to find out that he has to be harnessed in until age 4. The only exception to that rule here is if he was under 4 and weighed more than 40 pounds. But you know what? That's the law. That's not necessarily what's "safest". We're taking the booster back and getting a convertible car seat that has the 5 point harness and will eventually convert to seatbelt use and then after that, eventually be a backless booster. Check the laws or ask your local fire department. They know the laws on car seats and may even offer a class to take that will give you more info than you can hold lol That's what I'm doing.

Katherine - posted on 12/29/2010

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Yeah the crotch belt is getting pretty tight with my 5yo too. It's loosened to the max.

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The new guidelines recommend rear facing for at least 2 full years, and if you can extend that, it's the safest! My son remained in a 5 point harness until this past summer at age 5 1/2. He is also very tall for his age and the crotch strap was too short. He is safe and comfortable in a booster. In our car, he has one with a full back. In my parent's car, it is a backless booster.

Cynthia - posted on 12/28/2010

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Also, if you have a convertible car seat/booster seat make sure you check the weight requirements of the 5 point harness vs. seat belt w/ booster seat. Most of the time 5 point is safer, but if your child weighs more than the weight requirement for that particular seat, it may be safer to use the seat belt with the belt positioning booster seat.

Melissa - posted on 12/28/2010

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Every state is different, check with your DMV. When my boys were 5 and 6 we had to keep booster seats in the trunk because the laws in our state (Nebraska) were different than hubby's home state (Illinois) and where his parents live (Kansas) so depending on where we were they may or may not have qualified for booster seats. Also make sure you check frequently, my poor younger son qualified at 5.5 years old to be out of a booster seat and on his own then at 6 the laws changed and he had to go back in one!

Sherri - posted on 12/28/2010

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In NH the have to be 4 yrs AND 40lbs. But if you were smart you would purchase a 5pt harness that goes up to 65lbs and keep them as safe as possible. My son is 4 1/2 and 45lbs and I will not be taking him out of his 5pt harness until he reaches 65lbs.

Medic - posted on 12/28/2010

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I know here in Texas they have to be 40 pounds and 4 years old....but the seats have height and weight requirements. My son turned four in September and we just took him out of the 5 point harness last month and we only did because he said it was hurting his boy stuff. He has been in the weight requirement for a while now but it is much safer to stay in the 5 point. He also didn't forward face till almost 3.

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