There was a link about the 5-Step Test posted in another thread.I'm going to give a copy of the 5-Step Test to my SIL.
Edited by aquarius aspiring - 12/31/11 at 5:49pm
It's a rare kid who will fit the 5 step test at 4'3" -- the rule is 4'9". We moved ds at 4'8" because we have a smaller car and he's got a very long torso relative to his legs. He was able to pass the 5 step test then. (In addition, the booster put his head up above the headrest in the back, and I was worried about his neck.) Ds was 8 1/2 then. He's also a light-weight, but I was more worried about his ability to sit properly.
Maybe you can offer to help fit the carseats in? Give them info as to where a certified carseat technician is who can help?
What do you mean by at least one new seat? Do you mean a new car seat or booster seat?
Actually, no. She didn't ask what I thought. She has three kids and I don't have any. I am concerned with my nephew's safety, though. I'm concerned that he's out of a booster seat when he's too short and too lightweight to ride without it.
In one of our 3 cars, dd, at 4'4" and about 60 lbs. DOES fit without a booster. Not only does she meet the 5 criteria points to be without a booster, with a booster, she sits too high and the belt comes across her upper arm instead of between her shoulder and neck as it should.
So, it depends on the child and on the car. I am absolutely the biggest safety freak, so I would never do anything that I felt was not 100% in dd's safest interests. In her case, using a booster *in this one vehicle* was not as safe as using none. In the other two cars she uses a backed booster in one and backless booster in the other because they fit the best for her in those vehicles. I use what keeps her the safest in each vehicle. I, too, was worried about the whole 4'9" and 80lbs. but the fact of the matter is that it's a guideline and a good one at that... but it's not a hard and fast rule. If the child is safer without a booster, then having a booster is not only not helping... it's dangerous.