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

post #81 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I think the thing to take from this is that for this issue, age should not be the deciding factor, but rather the size of the child and what the rating is on the seat. My niece's dd is BIG. She was beyond the weight limits for all booster seats at about 6 years old. A CPST *here* told me that to force her to sit in a booster that she didn't "fit" was more dangerous than just buckling her in.
I'm surprised by that advice. There are backless boosters rated to 120#, and current thought is that it is preferable to use a backless booster (not a highbacked booster and NOT a harnessed seat) above the limit if necessary to get proper fit. Things change, though, and best practice recommendations evolve as we learn more.
post #82 of 124
My 45 # 5.5 yo (not sure on height) is in the Britax Parkway and has been for some time. He sits perfectly in it and rarely will fall asleep in the car. If he does his head just leans on one of the wings.

DS2 will be 4 in July and wants to switch to a booster, he's currently in the Graco Nautilus but I may allow him to ride in the high back in dad's vehicle which is only twice a week.
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
I'm surprised by that advice. There are backless boosters rated to 120#, and current thought is that it is preferable to use a backless booster (not a highbacked booster and NOT a harnessed seat) above the limit if necessary to get proper fit. Things change, though, and best practice recommendations evolve as we learn more.
I agree--that was horrible advice. Size and weight is important, but age and maturity really is the deciding factor. My nephew was 40 pounds at 18 months. Was he ready for a booster? Of course not.
post #84 of 124
My niece H went into an HBB somewhere between 5 & 5.5 when she outgrew her harnessed seat by height.
post #85 of 124
This thread just throws me for a loop. I was under the idea that you harness until the limits the seat. I have a 4.5 year old who is approximately 39-39.5lbs. He's been forward facing is a Britax Boulevard for about 2 years (would have kept him rear facing longer but the seats had yet to hit the market).

I think he could do a booster seat. He is mature and well behaved. He does fall asleep in the car about once a week or so. I'm not sure what his body would do in a booster. I've never tried him in one.

I'm just not sure what to do! Should he stay in the boulevard harnessed? (I hate that seat btw). Should he go to a booster (harnessed? unharnessed?) What do I do with him!
post #86 of 124
I would probably wait until after 5 to start booster training, and see how he does
post #87 of 124
There is, as has been stated several times (and not refuted), no evidence that harnessing is safer than boostering for a child of sufficient size and maturity to use a booster properly.

I would prefer to see a 4.5yo harnessed, and honestly, IME/IMO, most kids who still fit in a Britax convertible should be harnessed. Boosters are safe choices for older, bigger kids.
post #88 of 124
Interesting discussion with many good points. The issue of harnessing vs. boosters is extremely complex. I could easily write a book about it (a very boring book for most....:-) A little background:

Sweden is about 30 years ahead of any other country, except perhaps Norway, in car seat safety simply because we have been focusing very hard in this since 1965 (not a misprint, I sat rear facing in 1967 until almost age 4 before my younger sister stole my seat:-) Sweden recommend NOT harnessing any older children, age 4 and up, forward facing since we believe this is less safe. We also strongly recommend rear facing to at least age 4.

A quick summary for reason for this recommendation is that children are stopped very abruptly in a 5-point FF harness. While most parents think this is a great strength it's actually the greatest weakness. Children's neck and bones are still growing and ossifying until puberty. Watching a Youtube video thinking it has all answers since the booster child is moving more is totally incorrect. The comparison with race car drivers is not applicable and ridiculous which any logical thinking parent should realize.

What we do know:

- Using a high back booster for kids 4+ is as safe as using a harness.

- Good belt fit is important

- Side impact protection is not any better in harnessed seats

- A light high back booster, which is installed with seat belt, is important due to the extra weight pushing a child forward in a frontal collision (roughly 75% of accidents)

- Age is far more important than size or weight as long as there is a good belt fit. A 4 year old 35 lbs child is not any less safe than a 4 year old 50 lbs child as long as belt fit is good. Bones mature with age, not with size.

- The discussion of what's safer, harnessing or high back boosters, is not really discussed among people who work with this professionally. The amount of people in the world who know a lot about car seat safety is very small.

- Both harnessing and HBB offer good protection although nowhere near as good as rear facing regardless of age.

- There is no research or data which show harnessing is superior in any way

- The issue of what's superior, harnessing or HBB, is somewhat subjective. The Swedish researchers started focusing on child safety 30 years before others and it's a very high priority in Sweden. In US car seat safety is not a top 100 priority while it's top 3 in Sweden. That might be silly but we know cars can kill more kids than anything else. We feel this is a meaningful focus.

The Swedish recommendation of high back boosters could be discarded but I would be careful with this. The Swedes have through many years shown that child fatalities in cars are completely unnecessary. Each year close to zero children in age 0-6 years die in Sweden. The researchers have far more experience than others and, perhaps most important, also have a track record which is considered unbelievable.

- Both harnessed and booster children are well protected. There is really no reason to change to booster from harness, and vice versa, if things are working well. Swedes strongly believe there is a difference in safety but it's minor compared to the huge benefits of rear facing vs. forward facing.

- One method could perform better in some crashes. Sometimes a child would have been saved in a booster and sometimes saved by being in a harness. We don't know ahead of time how and when we will crash so this is beyond our control and not relevant. Most cases of booster death has to do with children being way too young. Putting a 2.5 year old child in a booster is for example not a good idea.

Enjoy your weekend!
post #89 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
- Using a high back booster for kids 4+ is as safe as using a harness.
...in children who are able to sit properly in a booster, which generally happens between 5 and 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post

- Side impact protection is not any better in harnessed seats
...in frontal crashes. In side-impact or rollover crashes, a harness does offer more protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
- The discussion of what's safer, harnessing or high back boosters, is not really discussed among people who work with this professionally. The amount of people in the world who know a lot about car seat safety is very small.
This one I will disagree with. I work with car seats professionally, and there is a big debate doing on in the CPS world about extended harnessing vs. boostering. We all agree there needs to be more research.
post #90 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
....

I would prefer to see a 4.5yo harnessed, and honestly, IME/IMO, most kids who still fit in a Britax convertible should be harnessed. Boosters are safe choices for older, bigger kids.
Well he fits because he hasn't reached the limits of the seat. But he doesn't fit comfortably. The crotch width is getting to be too narrow. We've taken the circle cushion thing out. He's pretty much sitting on the strap that holds that buckle and it is difficult to buckle him because of it.

He also has very long legs that just dangle off the seat and sometimes they fall asleep.
post #91 of 124
Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm going back to the retracting the seat belt thing....

I noticed the other day when I was driving and wearing my belt that even though I was sitting still (and I made conscious note of it), my lap belt loosened up quite a bit en route. To the point where, once I got to my destination, there was enough slack to be of concern to ME, as a driver.

Now, if my seatbelt is doing that and I know how to sit in a seat and use a seatbelt, what does that say of the seatbelts of kids in boosters? Another reason why I prefer locking the belt - that little bit of looseness, in a collision, could cause submarining to occur and result in serious or fatal internal organ damage.

And a child - 6, 10, 12, whatever, isn't going to have the mindset to keep tightening the lap portion over their thighs like I can do.

Adventuredad - I was wondering when you'd chime in.

I agree that when I first saw the YouTube videos showing kids thrashing around in boosters during collisions I was like - WHOA! Unsafe!!! Harness all the way!

But the more I thought about it, the more I read and the more I saw, I realized that the body movement of a child in a booster was helping to absorb that impact, and allowing the body to move with the forces rather than resist them. That same resistance is seen in harnessed kids whose bodies move barely at all, but that neck - oh, how that neck flies forward! So much force on one little neck....IMHO, very scary.
post #92 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post

- Age is far more important than size or weight as long as there is a good belt fit. A 4 year old 35 lbs child is not any less safe than a 4 year old 50 lbs child as long as belt fit is good. Bones mature with age, not with size.
My biggest concern with boostering a petite 4 year old is the risk of submarining. When I hear techs talk on this subject, thats what they talk about the most. My 4yo DD is somewhere between 30-32lbs, and just over 38 inches. She fits well in a Turbo booster, but I just couldnt imagine her riding that way.
post #93 of 124
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad

- Side impact protection is not any better in harnessed seats

.
Quote:
..in frontal crashes. In side-impact or rollover crashes, a harness does offer more protection.
Again, the most experienced researchers and experts in the world disagree with that. There is no side impact issues in frontal collisions so don't really understand your statement there. High back booster offer just as good side impact protection as harnessed seats.

There are other issues which make high back boosters safer than harnessed seats through issues we don't think much about but I don't think it's any point picking on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad

The discussion of what's safer, harnessing or high back boosters, is not really discussed among people who work with this professionally. The amount of people in the world who know a lot about car seat safety is very small.
Quote:
This one I will disagree with. I work with car seats professionally, and there is a big debate doing on in the CPS world about extended harnessing vs. boostering. We all agree there needs to be more research.
I think it's great you're "working professionally" with car seats. That's great! We all have different definitions of what "working professionally" with car seats are. The small group of people who really know a lot are not just car seat techs, sell car seats or participate in forums. There can be a huge difference between someone calling themselves an expert and someone who really is an expert. They are on a totally different level. By saying that I mean no disrespect to you or anyone else, this is very complicated stuff.

A few examples of what I mean when I say "working professionally" with car seat safety. Someone who has knowledge across a wide spectrum of important issue such as:

- Developing car seats from scratch. Includes drawing, development, testing and bringing seats to market

- Been involved in extensive testing at crash test facilities

- Has detailed knowledge of standards, testing and research worldwide.

- Know the exact difference between FMVSS 213 and ECE R44 down to the exact angles

- Give advice on new car seat standards

- Playing around with the crash test sledges

- Is a member of expert group working on car seat standards

- Invited to consult when a company is developing a new car seat

- Work as a senior researchers in a highly regarded crash test facility

- Has detailed knowledge of what happens in a child's body in a crash

- Know everything about G-forces, forces on neck in Newtons etc.

- Sought out by organizations for expert car seat advice

- Work as a doctor and also with hardcore car seat research

The list can be made as long as we like. My point is these people have an amazing knowledge in many fields who are all important for car seat safety. This group is very small worldwide. These people know harnessing isn't any safer than high back boosters so there is no obsession discussing it. Many other things related to this are discussed but not what's safer, that's already known (both are about as safe).

Quote:
Adventuredad - I was wondering when you'd chime in.

I agree that when I first saw the YouTube videos showing kids thrashing around in boosters during collisions I was like - WHOA! Unsafe!!! Harness all the way!

But the more I thought about it, the more I read and the more I saw, I realized that the body movement of a child in a booster was helping to absorb that impact, and allowing the body to move with the forces rather than resist them. That same resistance is seen in harnessed kids whose bodies move barely at all, but that neck - oh, how that neck flies forward! So much force on one little neck....IMHO, very scary.
Good point. Seeing children collide in any way, except perhaps rear facing, is very dramatic and scary. Problem is that very few understand what really goes on in a collision. A harnessed seat may be beter in some crashes and high back booster in others. But we don't know ahead of time hat will happen....
post #94 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
- Developing car seats from scratch. Includes drawing, development, testing and bringing seats to market

- Been involved in extensive testing at crash test facilities

- Has detailed knowledge of standards, testing and research worldwide.

- Know the exact difference between FMVSS 213 and ECE R44 down to the exact angles

- Give advice on new car seat standards

- Playing around with the crash test sledges

- Is a member of expert group working on car seat standards

- Invited to consult when a company is developing a new car seat

- Work as a senior researchers in a highly regarded crash test facility

- Has detailed knowledge of what happens in a child's body in a crash

- Know everything about G-forces, forces on neck in Newtons etc.

- Sought out by organizations for expert car seat advice

- Work as a doctor and also with hardcore car seat research
And which of these pertain to you, exactly?
post #95 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smalls181 View Post
My biggest concern with boostering a petite 4 year old is the risk of submarining. When I hear techs talk on this subject, thats what they talk about the most. My 4yo DD is somewhere between 30-32lbs, and just over 38 inches. She fits well in a Turbo booster, but I just couldnt imagine her riding that way.
Weight is in general not an important issue. The 40 lbs limit in US is there since hopefully people won't put a 2 year old in a booster....:-)

A petite 4 year old might not be able to achieve a good belt fit and then a high booster might not be a good idea.
post #96 of 124
Most US highbacked boosters actually have a 30# limit, and I really wouldn't want to see a child any smaller that in a booster. 40# is generally suggested as a best practice guideline, not an actual rule or law (in most states).
post #97 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
NO ONE I know who has a 5 year old is still using a harness. NO ONE. I think it is very, very common for 5 year olds to be in boosters.
Well, my five-year old is, and I do know plenty of others her age that are. Fine to those that choose to use a booster after doing the research on it, but I have a real problem with backless boosters at that age. My cousin's kid is still 4 and I couldn't believe when I saw that he was in one. :\
post #98 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorker View Post
Well, my five-year old is, and I do know plenty of others her age that are. Fine to those that choose to use a booster after doing the research on it, but I have a real problem with backless boosters at that age. My cousin's kid is still 4 and I couldn't believe when I saw that he was in one. :\
Are we talking about backless boosters? The booster my five year old is in is a high-back booster.
post #99 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Most US highbacked boosters actually have a 30# limit, and I really wouldn't want to see a child any smaller that in a booster. 40# is generally suggested as a best practice guideline, not an actual rule or law (in most states).
Good point. If it wasn't clear I was also talking about high back boosters which are far safer.
post #100 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
Weight is in general not an important issue. The 40 lbs limit in US is there since hopefully people won't put a 2 year old in a booster....:-)

A petite 4 year old might not be able to achieve a good belt fit and then a high booster might not be a good idea.
At just 30lbs and 38 inches, she fits perfectly in the Graco Turbo Booster. 3 years, 30lbs, and 38 inches are that seats minimums. But Ive seen kids smaller than that fit well in that seat as well. I would never put her in that seat to go anywhere unless it was an emergency situation and that was our only choice.
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