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How easy is it to use booster seats wrong?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering how common it is for booster seats to be installed improperly.
If we're talking about a child who meets the 4yrs/40lbs rule, that is.

If someone is using a harnessed car seat improperly (car seat moves more than 1 inch, straps very loose), how likely is it that that person would use a booster properly? Would their dc be safer in the booster?

btw, I'm not talking about me. My ds is in a properly installed Radian, and will be until he outgrows it!!
post #2 of 13
I think the last stats I saw were like 30 some % were installed wrong.
post #3 of 13
I've personally seen more misuse with highback boosters than lowback ones. A lot of people seem not to understand that the child's head can't be over the top of the booser, and don't lengthen the back or move their child to a low-back booster.

But yep, booster misuse definitely happens.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Gah, here I was thinking that the one good thing that came out of a friend putting her 4yo in a booster was that at least he was safer in the booster than an improperly used car seat.
bummer.

If so many car seats and boosters are misused, wouldn't you think that companies would be trying to find better alternatives that are harder to use improperly?
Or is their interest stop at that point that they aren't responsible if people aren't using seats in accordance with the instructions?
post #5 of 13
I have actually seen quite a bit of misuse with boosters. Routing the belt on the wrong side of the armrests, not raising the back etc. I saw one little boy come through a seat check in a Parkway and mom wanted to take him out of it because he hated it. Turns out it was adjusted at the lowest setting, and he couldn't lean back at all in the seat, no wonder he hated it!
post #6 of 13
A friend of ours kept insisting that both the lap belt and shoulder belt went *under* the armrests, thus defeating the purpose of a "belt-positioning booster."

Happily, that friend's child is now big enough to use a regular seatbelt, and does so properly.
post #7 of 13
How is it POSSIBLE to misuse a booster seat? I can understand with a 5 pt harness the seat itself can be installed improperly, and/or the harness straps could be too loose or not high enough. With a booster you plop it on the seat,the child sits down, and you fasten the seatbelt, which then tightens on its own.
post #8 of 13
I saw a Graco TurboBooster installed rear facing once. I use the word installed loosely as I don't see how the Mom did it!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
:
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
If so many car seats and boosters are misused, wouldn't you think that companies would be trying to find better alternatives that are harder to use improperly?
Or is their interest stop at that point that they aren't responsible if people aren't using seats in accordance with the instructions?
IF people would actually read the instructions that came w/ their seat, it would stop a LOT of problems. :
post #11 of 13
I've seen plenty of boosters installed in lap belt only seats -- often in seats where the seatbelt doesn't automatically adjust so it's super loose too.

I've also seen kids ride with the shoulder belt behind them.

I figure those are the 2 most common ways to misuse a booster. My understanding is that the former is less safe than a seatbelt alone.
post #12 of 13
My dh has routed the seatbelt wrong, before, putting the lap belt over the arm rests. Ds told him it was wrong. Some kids aren't mature enough to sit back properly and will put the shoulder belt behind them or lean forward a lot.
post #13 of 13
Occasionally I see children who do not fit well in their boosters and as a result the vehicle belt is still not properly fitting them.
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