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S/O 5 year old NOT harnessed? - Page 6

post #101 of 124
The first thing I think when I read these debates is, "I wish all parents cared this much!" The reality is that non-use of any booster or restraint is still our biggest issue to fight. Far, far too many parents simply stop using anything at all as children age.

Honestly, although I personally and professionally, as a CPST Instructor, am very interested in the harnessing vs. boostering discussions, and would love to see more research and learn more on this subject, I mostly just want parents to try to use something for every ride, every time.

It's hard in areas like this where parents what to do "the best" and there is a debate about what is best. The reality is that harnessed or boostered, what matters most is that the seat is used according to the indicated weights and heights, and that children are in a booster or restraint until they can pass the 5 step test to fit a seat belt correctly. This typically does not happen until at least 4'9", regardless of weight.

I hope the message parents that are not involved in the child passenger safety world can take away from this debate is that BOTH options offer good protection and what matters most is that you are 1) using a restraint/booster for every ride, every time and that 2) you choose the option that works best for you, your child and your vehicle.
post #102 of 124
I do not know of a single kid in Janelle's class, this year or last year (kindergarten and first grade) who are harnessed...and she is a small kid, and not the smallest kid in her class, there are definitely some really tiny boys who should definitely should of been harnessed last year. I only know of 2 other kids in Kincaid's class(kindergarten) who are still harnessed. So I think not harnessed at 5 is definitely the norm. Janelle and Kincaid are both still harnessed...when the fire department visited Janelle's class they sent every kid home with a sheet about what car seat they should be in, and hers said she needed to be harnessed cause she is 39lbs (she was 42lbs in September, so I'm not sure I agree with their scale, I don't think over 7 months she lost 3lbs...) so she doesn't even want to ride in her booster seat with girl scouts and such anymore after that (she and Kincaid are still harnessed in our car).
post #103 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemyavery View Post
The first thing I think when I read these debates is, "I wish all parents cared this much!" The reality is that non-use of any booster or restraint is still our biggest issue to fight. Far, far too many parents simply stop using anything at all as children age.

Honestly, although I personally and professionally, as a CPST Instructor, am very interested in the harnessing vs. boostering discussions, and would love to see more research and learn more on this subject, I mostly just want parents to try to use something for every ride, every time.

It's hard in areas like this where parents what to do "the best" and there is a debate about what is best. The reality is that harnessed or boostered, what matters most is that the seat is used according to the indicated weights and heights, and that children are in a booster or restraint until they can pass the 5 step test to fit a seat belt correctly. This typically does not happen until at least 4'9", regardless of weight.

I hope the message parents that are not involved in the child passenger safety world can take away from this debate is that BOTH options offer good protection and what matters most is that you are 1) using a restraint/booster for every ride, every time and that 2) you choose the option that works best for you, your child and your vehicle.
Well said!
post #104 of 124
My 5 year old is in a booster. He is 44 lbs. I think the key is can your child sit properly in the seat. I "practiced" with my son before we moved full-time into the booster. We drove around town a few times and we took one 1.5 hours trip. I checked on him regularly and reminded him to sit straight, to keep the should belt in the right place, etc. He did sit well in it, so he went into it full-time so my daughter could inherit his radian. If she didn't need the seat, however, I wouldn't have switched him simply because he prefers it and thinks it is more comfortable than his booster. Also, for the first 2 or 3 months, I helped him buckle up. (Now he does it on his own.)

Since my son can use a booster correctly then I don't think it matters. I don't believe he is any less safe than he would be harnessed.

(One caveat: When we took a 5 hour trip, that was a bit much for him. I wouldn't do that trip again in a booster. He got too fidgety in the seat. Luckily, we have nothing like that planned in the future.)
post #105 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
Originally Posted by Adventuredad
- Using a high back booster for kids 4+ is as safe as using a harness.

Quote:
...in children who are able to sit properly in a booster, which generally happens between 5 and 6.
Again, the most experienced researchers and experts in the world disagree with that statement. You may certainly disagree but these people have been focusing hard on car seat safety since 1965 and also have an unbelievable track record to back up their advice
Real question (not meant to be snarky at all): Are you (Adventuredad, or someone who understood his point) suggesting that most children can sit properly in a booster at 4+ (rather than b/w 5 and 6), or that the difference between sitting properly is insignificant between 4, 5, and 6 yo's, or that the proper booster sitting isn't that important? Or something else entirely?

We have a small 5.5 yo who is soon to outgrow his Marathon. We have a Frontier 85 which he will begin using harnessed and then transition to booster once he is able to sit "properly" which I expect to happen sometime after he turns 6 yo (ie. he's really not there yet).
post #106 of 124
Adventuredad and others have had this debate on car-seat.org for a while now. Apparently the only thing I can conclude is that Swedish kids are wired differently from North American kids (somewhat tongue-in-cheek), because I don't know many 4yos who can use a booster properly and consistently, yet AD is convinced that they can.
post #107 of 124
So he isn't suggesting that it doesn't *matter* whether the kid sits right or not, just debating the age at which the average kid does?

(The scope of my decision is small and pretty easy since I'm rather certain my kid is not mature enough to sit well yet, but I was surprised that AD might have been implying that it doesn't matter. From your clarification, it sounds like he acknowledges sitting properly matters, just disagrees on when most can do it.)

Thanks you! (And please correct me if I'm wrong!)
post #108 of 124
I still use our Radian 80 (with harness) for our 6yo dd in my car, but she uses a booster in dh's car.
post #109 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by flitters View Post
So he isn't suggesting that it doesn't *matter* whether the kid sits right or not, just debating the age at which the average kid does?

(The scope of my decision is small and pretty easy since I'm rather certain my kid is not mature enough to sit well yet, but I was surprised that AD might have been implying that it doesn't matter. From your clarification, it sounds like he acknowledges sitting properly matters, just disagrees on when most can do it.)

Thanks you! (And please correct me if I'm wrong!)
That's my understanding of his arguments, but there's always the chance that my understanding is faulty.
post #110 of 124
I do have my 5 1/2 yo DD harnessed still but I am the only one I know of who does. The laws where I live say they have to be 20 lbs and a year to FF, 40 lbs and 4 years for a booster, and 80 lbs or 8 years old to use just a seatbelt.

Most people seem to FF thier 22 lb 10 MO or put thier 36 lb 4 yo in a booster.

My DD will stay in her Nauti until I think she is mature enough to sit properly in a booster when she is not getting her own way ( not wanting to leave grammas house for example)
post #111 of 124
I happen to be going over the installation instructions for the Frontier85 (harness to booster seat) and observed the following so I thought I'd share:

Britax (who as a company would leverage the knowledge of people meeting all the criteria listed earlier by AdventureDad) notes in the user guide:

"Britax recommends booster mode only after the child outgrows harness mode."

On this particular seat, that means roughly 57 inches or 85 pounds.
post #112 of 124
I have my almost 5 year old harnessed. Most of the other girls in her Pre-K are in boosters. But she's small--only 35 pounds max--so I feel more comfortable with her harnessed. I don't mind doing her straps, but I do have to deal with the conversations about why she's still harnessed.
post #113 of 124
DS is 4 years 2 months and now in a booster. He's 47 lbs and probably 47 inches, maybe a little taller. He outgrew his nauti's in the grandparent cars, so we put him in a turbo. He has a regent for my car, but I moved him to a monterey in my car. He is very mature for his age (not just biased, I promise!) and does great. I wouldn't do it if I didn't feel he was completely safe. DD is 3 years 3 months, and I'm positive even if she met the size requirements at age 4, she wouldn't be near ready to sit in a booster for a long time.
post #114 of 124
Yes, my sister just outgrew the Truefit I gave her. She is 49 inches and 43lbs. I was really hoping she would get more fit out of it, but to get the harness to fit I have to lower the heights to such a point that it makes marks on her shoudlers and she says she "hates it."

Fortunately I found a Britax Parkway for $40 at Target...online return!

ETA: I know she could be harnessed longer and I wish that as well, but my mom is old-school in that department and still learning about carseat safety. In the bulk of her parenting days, seats came in one style: forward facing with the overheard arm and when you were 2 or 3 you went into a seatbelt!
:0 I doubt I could convince her to spend $$$ on a frontier or radian and I don't have that kind of $$$ either.
post #115 of 124
If the straps are below her shoulders, she has outgrown the seat.
post #116 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
Seems like I"m the only one. Without starting the mommy wars, is there anyone else out there not harnessing their 5 y/o? My dd is small, 36 pounds and 46 inches. She's in a turbo booster.
I don't have a 5yr old yet, but my dh and I agree that everyone should be in a 5pt harness at all times (babies, toddler, kids and adults). Saying that, when our kids grow out of their Blvds they will be moving to the Britax Frontier 85 and staying in the harness until they outgrow it.

I worry about your dd being so small with no 5-pt harness, but of course you're the only one who truly knows your situation
post #117 of 124
There is absolutely no evidence that children who are able to use a booster properly (this includes physical and developmental maturity as well as correct fit and use) are safer harnessed than boostered. There is some non-conclusive evidence that 5-point harnesses protect better in certain crashes, and some non-conclusive evidence that boosters and shoulder/lap belts protect better in certain crashes, but overall, they are both extremely safe choices when used correctly and again, there is no evidence that one is better than the other.
post #118 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smidge View Post
I worry about your dd being so small with no 5-pt harness, but of course you're the only one who truly knows your situation
That would be my issue, I see no reason why a mature enough and big enough 5 year old shouldn't be in a booster, but I don't think a 36lb kid, at any age, should be...everything I've read/been told/seen says 40lbs and up for using a booster seat.
post #119 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
That would be my issue, I see no reason why a mature enough and big enough 5 year old shouldn't be in a booster, but I don't think a 36lb kid, at any age, should be...everything I've read/been told/seen says 40lbs and up for using a booster seat.
It actually depends a lot on age as well, since skeletal/hip development has a lot to do with it. A lot of techs agree that older children below 40lbs are fine in a booster, and as a parent you have to decide at what age you are comfortable with that. A lot of boosters are rated 30+lbs.
post #120 of 124
I would need to see how the child actually fit in the booster, but assuming proper fit and use -- I would personally prefer to see a 36# 5yo harnessed, but I certainly wouldn't *worry* about that child in a booster.
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