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Old enough for *occasional* booster use?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My daughter will be 5 in December.  She's currently FF in a TrueFit and a Radian (depending on which car she's in).  She's about 43" tall and 38lbs, so she has MILES to go before she outgrows either seat.  We're definitely planning on using both of them to the max, and are pleased beyond punch that they still are fitting her so well and have room to grow still.  These were both used for her from *birth* (7 lbs), so they were definitely well worth the investment!!


The law for booster seat use in our province is a minimum of 40lbs.  She's almost there -- and like I said, we are NOT planning to switch her to a booster the day she hits 40lbs, but will ride out the 5-pt harnesses as long as we can.  

BUT -- it would be nice if we could just use a simple booster when we're travelling in someone ELSE's car.  Don't get me wrong, the TrueFit especially is remarkably easy to install into just about any car we've tried so far, it's definitely my favourite car seat EVER.  But, it's still an annoyance to have to do it, and it's big to lug around, and it's harder to fit more kids in the back, etc etc.


I'm quite well-versed in the real safety rules (as opposed to the laws) when it comes to infants and extended RF and all that, but I'm new to THIS part of the transition.  :)  I do know that just because the law allows it, doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea.


So I'm asking the wise folks here -- would YOU allow a 40lb 5yo to ride in a booster seat *occasionally*, or would you wait until they were bigger and continue to deal with swapping out the car seats?  If you would wait, what would your minimum age/size be and what are the physiological reasons for it?  


Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 8

It would depend on the child, and how the belt fit.  If she fits properly and can sit still and wear the belt safely, I would be ok with occasional booster use. 

post #3 of 8

We used a booster a few times in other peoples cars before switching in our own, probably from 4 onwards.


It was always short journeys so they were not likely to fall asleep and I was generally in the back with them so I could remind them to sit correctly if needed. It was actually quite a nice opportunity to see how they did in a booster and get in a bit of practice before we started using them full time.

post #4 of 8

Yes, provided the child had age-typical impulse control, a booster as an occasional (or even full time!) seat for a 40 lb 5 year old is perfectly safe. 

post #5 of 8
Just to piggy-back on the OP's topic...

My daughter is 5.5 and starting Kindergarten next week...for the first time in her life she will be out of my control and I'll likely rely on others to transport her to various play dates and activites. I'd like to start "booster training" her so that I know she is well versed in our family's booster rules while in another car. My questions are:
1. Is this training basically sitting in the back with her a few times a reminding her the rules while watching how she does?
2. How is the Frontier as a HBB? That's her harnessed seat in my car and I'm fine with switching seats with my husband so she uses the HBB function in his car (if she can handle the rules/guidelines). Of course, doing this means that she will won't be harnessed anymore in his car and that scares me a little, but she needs to learn, right?

post #6 of 8

1.  Yeah, pretty much. orngtongue.gif    Start with a few short trips, immediately correct any undesirable behavior (bending, leaning over, twisting, fiddling the belt about), reward good 'booster manners'.   You'll know pretty much immediately if she can do it, or not.  


2.   Frontier does well as a booster.  However, if you're intending for her to have a booster for *other people's* cars, I'd do something a little different.  The Frontier is quite large and bulky and other parents might not be thrilled about dealing with it, especially if it has to go somewhere next to another car seat.  Grab yourself a high back Graco Turbobooster (don't forget to put the screws in the armrests!!!!) to train with, and to send with her to school.  

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!  I'm pretty sure my daughter will be fine with a seatbelt, she's been able to undo her chest clip for ages now but never does at inappropriate times.  In many ways she's the most mature one in the family lol...

post #8 of 8

My DD was 5 in March and we have been "booster training" on and off for most of the summer. I feel it is importable to know how to ride in a booster seat properly, just like it is important for kids to know how to swim. She had one bad day with the booster, goofting off, turning around in her seat, so we took it away for a month. We just got back into booster training and she is doing well again. We talk about the importance of sitting correctly in her seat, what a huge responsibility it is, etc.  I am pleased with how she is doing now.

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