wow! lots of good questions. i will try to answer them in order LOL
|One more question, if it's safer to have the infant on the side and the booster in the middle, what do I do if I have only a lap belt in the middle? Would he be better in the way-back where I have a shoulder strap?
i was referring to when you are using the combination high backed booster in harness mode, when you would be using that lap belt to secure the child restraint to the vehicle seat. if you are using it in booster mode, you need to absolutely
use it with a lap/shoulder combination. DO NOT use a booster seat without a lap belt. think about what would happen to your child's torso, neck and head in a crash. so if you have a 5 yo above 40 lbs, you cannot use his booster in a center position when there is only a lap belt there. sorry for the confusion.
as for the way back seat....does it face rearward, so your child looks at traffic behind you? i hate to burst anyone's bubble about how cool those seats are but they are NOT approved for child restraint use. the reason for that is that child restraints are crash-tested on a forward facing vehicle seat. no one knows how child restraints perform in crashes when installed in a rear facing vehicle seat so by using one you are making a crash test dummy out of your child.
if the way back seat is forward facing and has a lap/shoulder belt, then YES you may put a booster there.
if you are now stumped about what to do with your particular vehicle/child restraints/children combinations because you were using a rear facing seat, email me and we'll talk
where there's a will, there's a way!
|We measured all the high back boosters (the safest option) and they were all the exact same width!
if you have a backless booster used properly on a vehicle seat that comes up above tops of the child's ears like i mentioned in my first post or two, it performs exactly the same as a high backed booster. hbb's are no safer in that situation...in fact some techs are guessing (no tangible evidence yet) that they may be better because the child is sitting with his back on the vehicle's seat but up at the right height rather than sitting on an additional layer of stuff (the back on the hbb) that is between him and the seat. in a crash, the child will be closer to the vehicle's seat and less likely to strike other parts of the car, such as the seats in front of him because he is sitting as far back as he can go. of course, the shield boosters are STILL woefully poor protection in that situation.
they are not all the same width. there are...hmmm....i was going to say 50 but it's not quite that many...but there are a LOT of hbb's on the market. when you visit your local store, they don't have them all, just the ones they stock. so you may have measured all the ones your store had but there really is no way you've measured them all. i have a chart someplace here that shows the measurements and they are all a little different.
as for the toddler unbuckling the baby's seat...well...that's a teaching issue LOL i have seen many parents come in with all kinds of escape artists (or accessories to escape in your case LOL) and they CAN be taught to stop it. it's a good time to teach about safety. BUT as a single mom, i can totally see the reasons to use the avoidance arrangement you had going LOL whatever WORKS!!!
not all high backs have bases...there are only a few models. just wanted to clarify that if anyone else saw it...and some seats, like the alpha omega, MUST be used without the base when in booster mode. READ YOUR INSTRUCTION BOOKLET!!!!!
dotcommama: it is absolutely
not safe to use a used seat UNLESS you know the history of the seat. do not borrow a seat from anyone you don't trust with your child's life. that said, a friend and i went together on an infant seat and it served her 2 kids, my 2, and is currently serving my great nephew. after he is done, i will retire it for good as it is coming up on its 7th year. but i know the history of the seat, i know it's NEVER been in a crash, not even a minor fender bender, and i know about any recalls on that seat. if you are buying a seat from a second hand store or a garage sale, DON'T. you cannot be sure of the seat's history.
those turbo boosters are COOL! i like the belt guide for the shoulder belt, it's nice and open so if the child leans forward for a moment, the slack is pulled right back as soon as he sits up again and he's still well-positioned for a crash. the older seats (like my dd's century breverra ascend) has narrower shoulder belt guides and can be a problem if she's leaning forward in booster mode. another opportunity for teaching about safety...have the children know and understand how to pull the slack back out of the belt if they need to.
ok...despite the coolness of the turbo boosters (i'm a carseat addict LOL), if i were you, for the price of that seat, i would buy a hbb with a harness and keep your 3 yo harnessed until he hits 41 lbs. it could be a long time and a 5 pt is safer...for everyone. too bad we adults can't drive in them LOL
also...are those cupholders removeable on the turbo booster? if they aren't, you may run into trouble fitting your infant seat between them. something else to think about.
|The problem seems to be there is a slight slope to my back seat - so when the baby seat is in the middle the other seats sit at an angle next to it - doesn't seem very safe. Right now with the two new safer and even narrower older child car seats I still only have out 5" max to squeeze a baby seat it.
a little tilt to the outside seats is to be expected. if they are COMPLETELY cattywaumpus then you need to be looking at the whole situation and figuring out how to fix it. my son's britax sits just slighty tilted on the outside next to my dd's breverra ascend(installed as a carseat in 5 pt mode) and it's fine.
when you put your infant seat in there, you will probably want something under the front of the carseat at the seat bight (where the vehicle's seat meets the vehicle's seatback) to boost it up a bit and get the right angle (45 degrees for a newborn...this is IMPORTANT). a rolled up towel (or two) is fine, better is pool noodles cut to fit the proper width of the infant seat base. install the infant seat and THEN the hbb's to get the right fit (it sounds like you are doing that but i just wanted to be sure). you should be able to close the doors....barely LOL
ok...finding a technician. some hospitals have them, others don't. at my hospital, they won't let you leave unless a nurse checks to be sure the infant is in a seat of some kind but they don't check for proper installation. your local police might have someone, they might not (mine don't). your local fire station might (mine don't) or you might just have to find someone like my in your community LOL! sometimes WIC offices have a tech around too...or they know of one. to find a tech near you...click here
and you may find someone. i haven't looked lately to see if i'm
listed for my community so it might not be up to date....
keep the questions coming...it helps everyone to see what other people are working on for solutions....