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Height limit for Radian rear facing?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I think my Radian height limit for rear facing is 32 inches. Does that sound right? Why so short? DS (14 months) is not far off that. Can anyone tell me for sure if this is correct. I'm in Canada by the way.
post #2 of 37
The height limit for RF is just a guideline. The "real" rule is that the child needs have one inch of shell above the head. With the Radian, it would be a VERY rare child indeed to reach 33 (or 30 since you are in Canada) pounds and be that close to the top!
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

I don't get it

The manual definitely says maximum height 32 inches for rear facing. It is 51 inches for forward facing. I am always reading on here to follow the manufacturers instructions to the letter. It sounds like more than a guideline. What is the maximum rear facing height for the Radian in the US? I don't want to turn DS any time soon and he is nowhere near 30lb but I will once he reaches 32 inches unless someone can throw some light on this for me.
post #4 of 37
nak

No it is a guideline. This is the one gray area. You can have 10 different 32" tall kids who fit seats differently. My DD is all torso, er friend is all legs. All slots are reinforced for RFing which means you can continue to use the seat RF to 30 pounds OR until there is less than an inxh of shell.
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
OK - thanks
post #6 of 37
I just turned my 2.5 yr. old (at 33 lbs.) and he is 36.5" with plenty of room left, height-wise, rear-facing.
post #7 of 37
I am Canadian - and facing the same issue.

I disagree - it isn't a guideline as it is clearly in the manual - 32 inches is the rear facing limit.

However, there is no Transport Canada policy which makes the car manufacturers place that rear facing height limit in the car seat manual. You can choose to ignore it - and many of the ERF do ignore it. But, the manual is clear.

I would feel much more comfortable if the manuals would clearly state 1" rule (and not just the unknown unwritten rule in Canada on Britax and Radian seats)

Sorry - not trying to be a downer - but the manual is clear and the unwritten rule isn't so clear.

It seems many people are encouraging Britax and Sunshine Kids to revise their RF height limits in the manuals as no Transport Canada policy requires the height limitation.

I am trying to decide what I will do - my babe is 30" and likely just 20lbs, so I have a bit more time. The seat works much higher than the silly 32" but I don't know if I can go against the manual and accept the unwritten rule. If you phone Radian, and I could be wrong - they won't tell you to follow the 1" rule, they will say 32" is the RF limit until the manuals are revised, if they are revised.
post #8 of 37
The current manual for the Boulevard on the britaxusa.com site DOES make the 1" rule explicit, and in fact, that is the only rear-facing height maximum listed. I couldn't find a separate site for Britax Canada, so I don't know what the Canadian manual says.

The Canadian manual for the Radian says that you may not use the top THREE harness slots in the rear-facing position (pg 33)... that probably explains the very short rear-facing height limit. That restriction is not present in the US version of the manual (I'm comparing the Radian Premier to the Radian65). The US version doesn't list the 32" restriction, nor ANY specific rear-facing height restriction; only the general restriction of "tops of the ears lined up with the top of the shell," and 53".

So it seems that the problem is that for some reason, Transport Canada won't allow use of the top three slots in the rear-facing position. Weird.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
I disagree - it isn't a guideline as it is clearly in the manual - 32 inches is the rear facing limit.
Look, Transport Canada requires that they list a RF height limit. They did so. BUT unlike a weight limit, the height limit is NOT set in stone. The ONLY requirement is that there is at least an inch of shell above the child's head. If you look at page 34 of the manual, it lists the height and weight requirements. Notice how it does not say 32" max for RF.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Look, Transport Canada requires that they list a RF height limit. They did so. BUT unlike a weight limit, the height limit is NOT set in stone. The ONLY requirement is that there is at least an inch of shell above the child's head. If you look at page 34 of the manual, it lists the height and weight requirements. Notice how it does not say 32" max for RF.
Actually, Transport Canada has stated that they do not, and haven't recently, required a RF height limit - they are trying to figure out where manufacturers got that from. For example, the True Fit in canada does not have a specified height limit (just the 1" rule).

Of course, then if you talk to Britax, they say they'll change it when they get clarification from TC on this : - I know the person at TC responsible for this and I guarantee she's not sitting around not replying to Britax. She is an instructor in our coalition and she (with over 20 years of experience with carseats as her job) uses the 1" rule, so I'm very confident that it's safe .

Also, logically speaking, two 32" children could have very different torso heights, which is what's important when you're talking about carseats.
post #11 of 37
There is a seat currently available for sale in Canada that does not have the 32 " rule. Maybe even two.

The Evenflo Triumph Advance and for some reason I think the True Fit might. Perhaps a Canadian owner of a True Fit or someone who knows for sure could confirm this. I see someone above did.

So there is an option for parents who do not wish to go against the manual of other seats.

Or if one has an safe unexpired older seat it might have the old limits you could use that. My 2004 Cosco Eddie Bauer 3\1 has a weight limit of 5-35lbs and 19-36" for rear facing use. Just looking at the manual for this seat an infant\child may not even be moved FF until they are of course 22lbs and 29".

Personally I am very comfortable with the choice I have made to use my DD Marathon past the 32" RF. DD is two and half years old, 25 lbs and 34". I also put her in our Radians RF.
If it bothered me I would move her into the Eddie Bauer or EFTA we own.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Look, Transport Canada requires that they list a RF height limit. They did so. BUT unlike a weight limit, the height limit is NOT set in stone. The ONLY requirement is that there is at least an inch of shell above the child's head. If you look at page 34 of the manual, it lists the height and weight requirements. Notice how it does not say 32" max for RF.
I completely agree the manual should be re-written - but to advise people to ignore the height limit specifically stated in the manual is not giving them all the information.

In the manual, the height limit is explicit - no different than the weight. That there is a behind the scene discussion that it was something the manufacturer did and not something required by Transport Canada doesn't change the fact that Cdn versions of the Marathon and the Radian have a height restriction for rear facing - that is currently 32" - in the manuals.

You can say - the manual is explicit but there is no grounds for it and car seat techs say to use it to within 1" of the shell - but that is not what the manual says. [Does the Radian manual state the 1" rule - I didn't see it but I could easily have missed it - it is a new seat for me. I am pretty certain my Marathon manual doesn't have the 1" rule in the manual.] I am also releatively certain that if we phoned Britiax or Sunshine Kid's customer service, they too would indicate the manual is explicit at 32". I just think it is wise to make sure all car seat users know that difference and can evaluate how they want to interpret the manual and Transport Canada requirements (i.e. no requirement to include a 32" height restriction).

In general, I probably will follow the 32" (with a lax interpretation of 32.xxxxx) rule because it is in the manual just as I follow (or at least try to) every other aspect of my car seat's manual. I can't use a US seat in Canada, and thus I don't interpret the US manual for Cdn use either.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
I completely agree the manual should be re-written - but to advise people to ignore the height limit specifically stated in the manual is not giving them all the information.

In the manual, the height limit is explicit - no different than the weight. That there is a behind the scene discussion that it was something the manufacturer did and not something required by Transport Canada doesn't change the fact that Cdn versions of the Marathon and the Radian have a height restriction for rear facing - that is currently 32" - in the manuals.

You can say - the manual is explicit but there is no grounds for it and car seat techs say to use it to within 1" of the shell - but that is not what the manual says. [Does the Radian manual state the 1" rule - I didn't see it but I could easily have missed it - it is a new seat for me. I am pretty certain my Marathon manual doesn't have the 1" rule in the manual.] I am also releatively certain that if we phoned Britiax or Sunshine Kid's customer service, they too would indicate the manual is explicit at 32". I just think it is wise to make sure all car seat users know that difference and can evaluate how they want to interpret the manual and Transport Canada requirements (i.e. no requirement to include a 32" height restriction).

In general, I probably will follow the 32" (with a lax interpretation of 32.xxxxx) rule because it is in the manual just as I follow (or at least try to) every other aspect of my car seat's manual. I can't use a US seat in Canada, and thus I don't interpret the US manual for Cdn use either.
I totally understand your hesitance to go against the manual, but I would hate to have you lose precious months of RF for some silly criteria that shouldn't even be there. I would urge you to contact Transport Canada and ask THEM about the 32" and whether it is safe to use your seat RF beyond that number, if you want an expert, reliable opinion.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
I completely agree the manual should be re-written - but to advise people to ignore the height limit specifically stated in the manual is not giving them all the information. In the manual, the height limit is explicit - no different than the weight.
The reason that there are height rules is this: when the seat is used rear-facing, the straps must be even with or below the shoulder to prevent the child from "ramping up" the car seat in the event of an accident. We say there must be one inch of shell above the head so that the child does not strike their head against the headrest of the front seat in said accident. As long as there is ample shell above the head, there is no reason to discontinue use once the child hits 32" (which a is ridiculously low number--my DD was 32 inches at a year and 16 pounds!). This is the one instance that I would suggest parents use the seat against the manufacturer's instructions. But, it is not against the manufacturer's instructions anyhow, since as I noted above on the page giving the specifications for use of the seat, it does not mention a RF height limit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
Does the Radian manual state the 1" rule - I didn't see it but I could easily have missed it - it is a new seat for me. I am pretty certain my Marathon manual doesn't have the 1" rule in the manual.
They do not state it. It's in the technician training manual, and only recently (Feb 2008) has it been incorporated to car seat manuals. The new Britax manuals reflect the one inch rule, and it is retroactive.

ETA: a fellow tech on a different board brought this to my attention. This is from the transcript of a CPST chat with a representative from Sunshine Kids (which can be viewed here in its entirety).

Quote:
Jewels -> Special Events - CEU Chat Session: How is the rear-facing height limit determined for Canadian seats and is it acceptable to exceed it provided a child has adequate head space above them. 32" seems like a low limit when looking at the height of the seat shell overall.

Carseatengr -> Special Events - CEU Chat Session: re CA rear facing We are looking into revising this soon.
I also wanted to share this picture of my 38 inch tall DD who has a very long torso RF'ing in her Radian. You can see that she has tons of room above her head
post #15 of 37
I spoke to Russ at Sunshine Kids (producers of the Radian) several months ago about this. I specifically asked him to tell me WHAT part of the Canadian CMVSS did the Radian fail at above 32" RF. He responded that the Radian did NOT fail ANY part of the CMVSS requirements above 32", but rather that Transport Canada required them to put a 32" RF limit on child restraints. I informed him that Transport Canada required a height to be specified but it did NOT have to be 32". He told me that they would investigate to see if Sunshine Kids HAD misinterpreted TC's guidelines. I have since heard that Sunshine Kids IS investigating it as they also would like to have the limit be the same as they have specified in the U.S. (within 1" of shell).

My point here though, the Radian does NOT fail any CMVSS requirements at heights greater than 32" RF.

That being said, I am also a stickler for rules and so I purchased the First Years True Fit which is the ONLY newer seat in Canada to have a 35 lb RF limit AND NO NUMERIC RF HEIGHT LIMIT (height limit for RF is head within 1" of shell). The Evenflo Triumph Advance also has the within 1" of shell RF height limit in Canada, but only has a 30 pound RF weight limit.

So, keep your Canadian kiddos RF longer!! If you don't feel comfortable going against the manual for RF height, purchase the True Fit or the Triumph Advance and sell your Radian, Marathon, etc.


ETA: and the post above me has the link to the Sunshine Kids chat talking about the 32" height limit being looked into. My email to Russ was a few weeks before this chat when I pleaded him to investigate so they could remove the limit for us parents who were sticklers for the manual.
post #16 of 37
Height is relative. Five 32" kids can fit in the seat five different ways.
All 33lb children weigh 33lbs.

Yes, it technically says 32" in the manual, but the risks of my 32" child FFing vs. following the manual, are too great. As a tech, I let the parents make the tough decisions. As a parent, there is no way my 32" child will be FFing. It's an informed decision and I'd never think twice about it.
post #17 of 37
Height is a guideline, weight is absolute.
many children can fit RF in the radian WELL beyond 32 inches......
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by keriberry View Post
Height is relative. Five 32" kids can fit in the seat five different ways.
All 33lb children weigh 33lbs.

Yes, it technically says 32" in the manual, but the risks of my 32" child FFing vs. following the manual, are too great. As a tech, I let the parents make the tough decisions. As a parent, there is no way my 32" child will be FFing. It's an informed decision and I'd never think twice about it.
ITA w/ this! The Radian is a GREAT rfing seat b/c it can accomodate such tall children for rfing, assuming they are under the rfing limit. My dd is about 32" now at 19 mos and she's never been ffing and won't be ffing a VERY long time. She's right under 24# right now. I would rather go against a meaningless rule than risk my child's life by turning them ffing too soon. As for the 51" ffing limit, I'm pretty sure AJ wouldn't make it another 9" in that seat.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by keriberry View Post
Yes, it technically says 32" in the manual, but the risks of my 32" child FFing vs. following the manual, are too great. As a tech, I let the parents make the tough decisions. As a parent, there is no way my 32" child will be FFing. It's an informed decision and I'd never think twice about it.
This was the main point I was getting at - don't tell Cdn parents it is a guideline when it is explicity in our manuals. Tell them the background and let them make an informed decision.

Height is not a guideline if it is explicity in the manual - I have an issue with this type of comment. Canada is different.

****

For what it is worth, I spoke to Radian (Cdn section) - no clue if it was 'Russ', better not have been - because I can tell you they aren't investigating it if he is the one leading the charge.

My baby is 1 year (and a few days), is likely 31"+, and maybe just 22 lbs. but likely just short of 22lbs.

I got - all up to you, switch to forward facing, your baby could break its legs in a high speed accident if you use it above the height limit, don't use it above the height limit not tested, we are not in the US, so we can't use the same rules, different regulations - I am relatively a novice at car seats but that performance was poor. I like the seat - but the customer service isn't at all informed.

I have a call into Transport Canada. I am more peeved, just like many of you, that Cdn has such silly unnecessary rules. RF is the way to go - but parents' should have to go against the manual to keep their kiddos safe. This shouldn't be an informed decision - it should be legislated. WE can ban smoking in cars to protect children (passed yesterday in Ontario) but we can't get a silly 32" rule removed off a carseat. I am sure more kiddos die each year as a result of improperly secured passengers in cars than will from 2nd hand smoke.

Hmmm - might write an MPP/MP a note - wonder if my reps are child friendly?
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
This was the main point I was getting at - don't tell Cdn parents it is a guideline when it is explicity in our manuals. Tell them the background and let them make an informed decision.

Height is not a guideline if it is explicity in the manual - I have an issue with this type of comment. Canada is different.
This is not any different at all than, say, the Snugride. We tell people all the time that the 29" limit is a guideline not a rule. Because it is. The Radian is no different, Canadian or no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post
I got - all up to you, switch to forward facing, your baby could break its legs in a high speed accident if you use it above the height limit, don't use it above the height limit not tested,
Not untested at all.


Car seat testing dummies

Quote:
Anthropomorphic (shaped like a human) test device specified in Federal standards, such as FMVSS 208 and FMVSS 213, to measure the protective capabilities of restraint systems in simulated crashes. The child restraint standard includes four dummies: Newborn (7.5 lb), P-¾ 9-Month (20 lb), VIP 3-Year (33.5 lb), and Hybrid II 6-year (47 lb).
Canada-specific:
Quote:
Convertible restraints were tested in the rear facing configuration using 6-, 9-,12- and 18-month dummies and a 3-year old dummy. The restraints were also tested with the 12- and 18-month facing forward comparing their performance with the rear facing tests. Every convertible restraint tested in the rear facing configuration passed the CMVSS 213.1/FMVSS 213 criteria with the 6-month, 9-month, 12-month and 18-month dummies. Some of the restraints passed the regulations' criteria with the 3-year old dummy although the dummy's legs interfered with the standard seat back.
Obviously the 18 month and 3 yr old dummies would be representative of a child larger than 32 inches.


Transport Canada does indeed require height limits:

Quote:
(ii) the weight and height range of the infants and the children for whom the system is designed, as recommended by the manufacturer, if the system is designed to be used as a rearward-facing system for infants and as a forward-facing system for children;
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