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S/O how many 7 year olds in a booster seat?

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
curious how many of you have your 7/8 year olds in a booster seat?

my dd is 7 1/2 and i see some of her classmates still in boosters, but many not. i have her in her booster and will continue to do so till i find that she is tall enough for the seat belt to fit properly which i expect in the next couple of years. she is not in a high back booster.

however i am not anal about it. if sometimes we go with friends i dont drag the booster seat with me. 98% of the time she is in the booster though.
post #2 of 86
My step daughter is at the insistance of her mother though my partner and both feel it is unnessecary. It depends where you live. MOst provinces and states have laws about booster seats and then suggestions.
In my province they suggest the at children remain in a booster seat until they have reached 4'10''.
post #3 of 86
A child needs (for safety, which may be different than state law) to be in a booster of some sort until s/he passes the 5-step test:
~ knees bending at edge of seat and preferably feet resting on floor
~ back and buttocks against seat crease
~ shoulder belt crossing between neck and arm, not riding up on neck
~ lap belt crossing low on hips and thighs
~ able to remain in this position for the entire trip

I'm 41 and 5'5" and don't pass in all cars: it's very rare that a 7yo would pass consistently. Kids who don't pass need to be in boosters to protect themselves -- adults have a little more leeway because they have mature hipbones to hold the lapbelt down and prevent seatbelt syndrome.

ETA that my 8yo is in a highbacked booster 99.95% of the time and a backless booster the other 0.05%.
post #4 of 86
Chances are, unless your kid is HUGE, that they will not fit properly in a seat belt alone until they are 10-12.

Here is some info:


Not keeping a kid in a booster risks submarining (sliding out under the seat belt, and being unrestrained during a car accident), internal injuries from the lap belt hitting their belly rather than their hip bones (this is really serious, internal injuries of this sort are hard repair), or having them slide out from behind the shoulder belt, and then hit on the back of the seat in front of them (or the dashboard, if they are in front). Please use the 5 step test above to see if any child is really large enough to be in a belt alone.

I personally know of 1, just one, kid who just turned 9 who is tall enough to pass the tests, and she is probably going to be supermodel tall. She is already as tall as I am - 60". ETA: she passes in her parents' cars, most likely not all cars as PP mentioned.
post #5 of 86
My kid turned 8 last month, but he's still in one. When I drop him off at the school bus, every other kid that I see is not in any type of seat. Some are older, some younger. Most of his classmates (which he is the youngest in his class), regularly ride in the front.
post #6 of 86
DS1 will be 10 on June 1 and he's still in a booster. To the best of my understanding, to be safest in a seatbelt alone they are supposed to be able to sit all the way back in the seat and have the bend of their knees be at or past the edge of the seat so that their feet can be flat on the floor. DS1 isn't able to do that in the car that we drive the most. (He can do it in our truck and does not use a booster in that vehicle) Here in North Carolina, I think it's legal to ditch the booster when the child is 4'10" and 80 lbs OR 8 years old.
post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 
mini_mommy i dont go by the legal standards here in the US. legally my dd does not have to be in a booster seat. its 6 and 60 pounds in CA. they have been studying the 8/80 pounds for a long time but havent made that into law yet.

you know whats interesting is i am 4'11" and i use a 'booster seat' made with a plank of wood and two cushions or else the belt doesnt fit well and neither can i see well when i drive. my seat does not come as high up as i want it to.

i draw a line at front seat passenger. she has never been one even though she would like to be one.
post #8 of 86
My oldest will be 7 in just over a week and he has just moved into a booster full time. Most of his classmates are in boosters, though some of them are in low back boosters which I personally do not feel is appropriate. He is pretty small and I'm sure he will be in a high back booster for several years to come.
post #9 of 86
My 7 1/2 year old is still in his Regent. I expect him to switch to a HBB in the next year when he outgrows the Regent. We'll be using HBBs until the kids can fully pass the 5 step test, which I'm guessing won't be until around age 12.
post #10 of 86
As I stated in the other thread, my 7YO boy is in a HBB. He's most likely the only kid in his class that still rides in a HBB, most of the other kids are in the no back boosters or just the seat belt. We do let him ride in the backless booster for school drop off and other short little trips. He will be in his HBB until he outgrows it... which I'm sure will be by height first. After that, we'll switch him to a backless booster until he passes the 5-step test.
post #11 of 86
My 7.25 yr. old just switched from a harness to a booster shortly before turning 7. He is in a highback booster in my car but recently got a backless booster for his dad's car (for every other weekend). He's 49"/57 lbs. and I assume he'll be in a booster until around 10. The law here is 8/80 lbs. but the state we're moving to is only 7/50" so he could legally ride without a booster there pretty soon. I actually lied to his dad and said the law is 4'9" so I don't have to argue about why he needs a booster when his birthday rolls around.
post #12 of 86
My 7yo will turn 8 in a month. She's in a high-backed booster with regular seat belt. My 6yo will turn 7 in two months. She *just* went from 5pt to a regular seat belt in her high-backed booster.

My now-11yo was too tall for a booster by the time he was 7/7.5 or so.
post #13 of 86
My almost 8yo is still harnessed and will go into a HBB after outgrowing her sunshine radian.
post #14 of 86
Ohio's law just changed so that by *law* kids now have to be in boosters till they are 8 yrs old AND 80#s....
post #15 of 86
my ds2 will be 8yo next month and i expect him to be in a booster for quite some time, long enough in fact that i just bought him a brand new ozzi. he is average in height and its all in his legs anyway so when he sits in the car he is short from the waist up. he is thin, only about 52#.

my now 15yo ds1 used a LBB until he was 11 and didnt sit in the front for another year after that. but with ds1, i didnt have internet and didnt know about boosters so when he outgrew his ff seat he went straight to the belt. one day when he was about 5yo i was going to kmart and there was a safety fair in the parking lot. we had to walk through it to get to the store and while ds was learning to dial 911 on a play phone someone approached me and asked if he was in a booster. i said no, they gave me a free one, and some literature, and i gladly used the seat until he didnt need it anymore, this time safely!

ftr, i am pretty much the only booster seat user i know. a friend just let her kindy boy ditch his, and it became an issue when they had to ride in my car and i made her dig it out of her garage or they couldnt come with me. another friend let her dd2 stop when her dd1 outgrew hers bc her hips didnt fit. she was still too short and light, just had a mature shape for her age, and i dont get why her little sister got to ditch the seat at the same time. they're 3 yrs apart, so they were about 6 and 9. yet another friend was told by her ped that there was no good reason to use a LBB after age 4. other ppl i know use a LBB in their car, but dont bother moving it when they send their kids with friends.
post #16 of 86
Here a child needs to meet one of the following:

8 years old
4 feet 9 inches tall

I'm not sure I agree with that as I'm sure there are plenty of 8 year olds that are still too small to use just the seatbelt. My ds is tall and I know that he definitely needs the booster to correctly position the seatbelt. He is 7-1/2 and is still in a HBB and can be until age 10 (Graco Turbobooster), assuming he fits and is not ready to use only the seatbelt.
post #17 of 86
DS is 8 and just outgrew his 5-point harnessed Regent (he is now 80 lb). He'll stay in a booster until he meets the criteria noted above. He's a really big boy but does not fit the seatbelt alone - it's not even close.
post #18 of 86
I think in Europe the minimums are either 4ft5in tall or 11years whichever comes first but practically I will wait until they can pass the 5step test.
post #19 of 86
until they are 4'9 they should be in boosters. my 11 year old is not that tall yet so he's still in a booster. He cannot fit a shoulder strap properly without one.
post #20 of 86
My dd is still in a booster and she will stay in one until she is eight. Our state only requires a booster until kids are six, but I have held on because I like Washingtons 8/80 law. There seems to be a lot of opinions about which height/age/weight makes kids safe so I am going to go with what dd and I have always agreed on. I wonder why there isn't more unity among researchers on this. It would make it easier to have something that many of them agree on.
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