anyone still using booster seats for their pre-teen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i realize i am the worlds biggest dork. LOL i am making my 11.5yo ds use a low back booster in the back seat of the car. our state allows him to sit in the front at age 12. we have a passenger airbag, and he is slight of build. i am really starting to rethink letting him move up front.

can he sit up front and still use the booster?

is his emotional need to stop feeling "like a baby" more important than his physical safety?

neither the back nor the front belts fit him very well sans booster. maybe i should compromise and let him ditch the booster, but make him stay in the back?

any BTDT's?

thanks!

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#2 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 12:34 PM
 
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I'd just talk to him about how much safer it is. Now they're saying that kids shouldn't sit in the front until 15.

-Angela
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#3 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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I would lose the booster seat.

But, I would still have him sit in the back.

Don't his friends tease him about the booster seat? It's bad enough to be small, it has to be worse to be small AND still sit in a booster seat.
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#4 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 05:59 PM
 
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Have you checked the fit of the seatbelt without the booster? If it fits well, ditch the booster. If it doesn't, cool or not, alive wins.

-Angela
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#5 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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I would get one of those seat belt adjustment straps and ditch the booster seat!

I gotta laugh though...I had to go back and re-read the post, I thought your post said DS was 15 LOL LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11.5 makes a lot more sense...whew it's been a LONG day lol!!!!!!!!
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#6 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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ok.. I have an 11 year old niece & have to mediate fights alot of times between her & my SIL ,cause my niece adores me & will listen if i say her mom is right...which i normally do.. because SIL is a great mom ..

but um.. if my sil tried to force her 11 year old in a booster.. Id tell her that was her own battle.. but I thought she was crazy!

how slight of build we talking???

really.. IMO.. make him sit in the back.. but dont make the kid sit in a booster..
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#7 of 68 Old 04-30-2006, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBee
I would get one of those seat belt adjustment straps and ditch the booster seat!
Please don't!. If you mean the triangular fabric things that pull the upper belt down, those are extreamly unsafe (because they also pull the lap belt up--- over the abdomen instead of over the hips).

How does your DS feel about the booster? If he dislikes it and can "make" himself sit correctly, that would be an option. Then, it puts it on him--- if he is slumping, or pulling the belt out of postion, he needs help. Is there somewhere in the car that the belt would fit him better. DD is only 7 now, and I really can't imagine her being safer in a booster at 11.5 than without, but I aslo assume she will be well over 4'9" at that point.

 

 

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#8 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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Oh, please, please, please don't make your almost 12 year old sit in a booster! I don't care how slight of build he is. I really, truly believe that you are hurting him emotionally. I understand the "better emotionally than physically" (I think) but for crying out loud, he is old enough to go to school dances! I am on board with "you are the parent and have to make the hard choices" - but would be on your side on the booster if he was six or seven. My dd1 sat in a no back booster until her 8th birthday. She is very, very slight also. Almost ten and is 60 pounds. She sits in the back of course.

If you aren't comfortable with him sitting in the front, then don't let him. I think if you put the seat all the way back (furthest from the air bag), he'd be fine - but making him sit in the back seat isn't anywhere near as hard on his pre-teen ego as sitting in a booster. I really reread your post to be sure it was not a joke.

At nearly 12, he is clearly not a baby. Of course he feels like a baby being made to sit in a booster seat. At 12 I was babysitting for kids who sat in booster seats... Please reconsider your stance. And if you do, tell your son we said "you're welcome".
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#9 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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how about calling your local police/fire department, they are trained in proper safety seat installation... they can see your car, your booster seat and you child and they can let you know the proper decision to make.
also you can check with your doctor and see what they say...
check with your auto insurance agency, they also are safety experts...

a booster in the front... DEFINATELY NOT....the only plus i can see to the front seat is it 'may' be adjustable and allow for DS to have a better fit?

i would probably start with the police/fire dept and go from there...

keep us posted

ps: dork and geek win over dead.....
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#10 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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Try calling the dept of safety and ask for the car seat technician. The police may know the laws of your state, but they generally don't really know about what is safest for your child. But do check on laws. New laws were recently passed in a lot of states saying that booster seats must be used till X weight/age...although I don't think any went over 8 years or 80 pounds (most were 6 years/60 pounds...some are still just the 4 year/40 pound.)

How tall is your son? What does he weigh? I would for sure keep him in the backseat (it's safest)...not sure about the booster though...
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#11 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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Seat belts are not designed for small people. My grandmother always had issues as a grown woman with them not fitting. She always drove with several pillows so that she would be positioned somewhat correctly. I totally disagree with the "you're hurting him emotionally" argument. If you make it freakish, it will be freakish. If you make it matter-of-fact it will be matter-of-fact.

Fact of the matter is that seatbelts KILL in accidents with small people.

-Angela
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#12 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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Can he pass the 5 step test without the booster? If he can... ditch it. But if he can't... alive and the laws of physics always win.
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered "No" to any of the above questions, your child still needs to ride in a booster. If you forget the 5-step test, buckle yourself in a seat belt and see how it fits you. Chances are it fits low across your hips and across your shoulder and chest. The seat belt should hit all your "bony" parts. (Source: SBS USA)

~Kelsie
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#13 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 09:29 AM
 
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[QUOTE=TiredX2]Please don't!. If you mean the triangular fabric things that pull the upper belt down, those are extreamly unsafe (because they also pull the lap belt up--- over the abdomen instead of over the hips).
QUOTE]

The one I am thinking of is a little clip, I don't know that it differs from the one you are talking about...
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#14 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys
i realize i am the worlds biggest dork. LOL i am making my 11.5yo ds use a low back booster in the back seat of the car. our state allows him to sit in the front at age 12. we have a passenger airbag, and he is slight of build. i am really starting to rethink letting him move up front.

can he sit up front and still use the booster?

is his emotional need to stop feeling "like a baby" more important than his physical safety?

neither the back nor the front belts fit him very well sans booster. maybe i should compromise and let him ditch the booster, but make him stay in the back?

any BTDT's?

thanks!
First off, you are NOT a dork. You are a VERY smart momma for using a booster with your DS. Thank you.
Secondly, vehicles and their safety belts are not designed for children. The lap/shoulder belts are designed to restrain the average adult. Hence the recommendation to use a booster seat until your child passes the 5 step test. Here it is: http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.htm
I understand your son's reluctance and embarassment using a booster seat. In this case, I would recommend a backless booster (cannot be seen from outside of the car) IF your vehicle has a high back and head rest in the seating position where he sits.
Why are booster seats so important? The Booster seats main responsibility is to "boost" the child up so that the lap and shoulder belt lies across the correct and strongest parts of his body. Should you wreck and he is not in a booster and should be, the crash forces will be experienced at his neck and most likely abdomen. Spinal cord injury (paralysis) and bleeds within the abdomen are typical injuries experienced by children who are restrained by only the lap/shoulder belt and should be in a booster. They are almost always fatal or result in permanant paralysis.
It is not recommended that one use a belt positioner. They are not crash tested and will not hold should you wreck. They do nothing to protect an occupant.
The safest place for any child 15 and under is the back seat. So using a booster in the front is not recommended.
Crash forces experienced by anyone or anything in a vehicle in even a low speed crash, are very violent. Putting it into perspective....Newton's theory of motion...You are travelling 30 mph and you wreck. Your son weighs 75 pounds. The seat belt you have him in will now be restraining him as if he weighed 2,250 pounds. speed times weight equals pounds of restraining force. Think about that force upon his neck or on his stomach. If that's where the seat belt is when you wreck, that's where your force will be exerted.
He will not have to use a booster forever. However, I am sure you realize he will live forever with his injuries or you with his death, should you wreck and he is only restrained in a lap and shoulder that doesn't fit him to restrain him. You will make the best decision for him I am certain.
Lastly, child restraint laws vary by state. You may want to verify applicable laws in your state. Any other questions please ask.

Dallaschildren
CPS tech/instructor and momma to 2 sons in seats
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#15 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Oh, please, please, please don't make your almost 12 year old sit in a booster! I don't care how slight of build he is. I really, truly believe that you are hurting him emotionally. I understand the "better emotionally than physically" (I think) but for crying out loud, he is old enough to go to school dances! I am on board with "you are the parent and have to make the hard choices" - but would be on your side on the booster if he was six or seven. My dd1 sat in a no back booster until her 8th birthday. She is very, very slight also. Almost ten and is 60 pounds. She sits in the back of course.

If you aren't comfortable with him sitting in the front, then don't let him. I think if you put the seat all the way back (furthest from the air bag), he'd be fine - but making him sit in the back seat isn't anywhere near as hard on his pre-teen ego as sitting in a booster. I really reread your post to be sure it was not a joke.

At nearly 12, he is clearly not a baby. Of course he feels like a baby being made to sit in a booster seat. At 12 I was babysitting for kids who sat in booster seats... Please reconsider your stance. And if you do, tell your son we said "you're welcome".
Child restraint use has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the child is a "baby". It is about keeping your child as safe as you are. Crash forces that will injure and kill you don't discriminate. You are entitled to your opinion but I wanted to point out how completely misleading and incorrect your statements are for any parent reading this thread. Booster seat use is not only the law in most states, it is the smartest and safest thing a parent can do for their children while driving.

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#16 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 12:00 PM
 
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[QUOTE=LittleBee]
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Please don't!. If you mean the triangular fabric things that pull the upper belt down, those are extreamly unsafe (because they also pull the lap belt up--- over the abdomen instead of over the hips).
QUOTE]

The one I am thinking of is a little clip, I don't know that it differs from the one you are talking about...
No after-market device is considered safe.

-Angela
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#17 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Oh, please, please, please don't make your almost 12 year old sit in a booster! I don't care how slight of build he is. I really, truly believe that you are hurting him emotionally. I understand the "better emotionally than physically" (I think) but for crying out loud, he is old enough to go to school dances! I am on board with "you are the parent and have to make the hard choices" - but would be on your side on the booster if he was six or seven. My dd1 sat in a no back booster until her 8th birthday. She is very, very slight also. Almost ten and is 60 pounds. She sits in the back of course.

If you aren't comfortable with him sitting in the front, then don't let him. I think if you put the seat all the way back (furthest from the air bag), he'd be fine - but making him sit in the back seat isn't anywhere near as hard on his pre-teen ego as sitting in a booster. I really reread your post to be sure it was not a joke.

At nearly 12, he is clearly not a baby. Of course he feels like a baby being made to sit in a booster seat. At 12 I was babysitting for kids who sat in booster seats... Please reconsider your stance. And if you do, tell your son we said "you're welcome".
I really, REALLY agree with Kristen on this one. My almost 12 year old would rather be dead that be seen in a booster seat. Let's face it...we have to pick our battles as parents and weigh safety issues all the time...yes it may be safer in the remote chance of a head on colission or near-fatal accident...but so would crash helmets and full body protection suits. In fact, it would be safer if we never even left the house! But this is real life....and sometimes the way a child feels and is treated is more important than a precaution???
Just my opinion.

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#18 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallaschildren
Booster seat use is not only the law in most states, it is the smartest and safest thing a parent can do for their children while driving.
Dallaschildren
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I am not arguing that booster seat use isn't the law, as well as a smart and safe thing to do. I am all over it for ages five, six, seven. My dd1 rode in hers til she was eight, and was the only kid in her class after kindergarten that was made to. She didn't like it, but I explained that it was the law, and the safest way for her to ride. But she wasn't yet able to ride her bike without training wheels, or walk downtown without an adult, or any number of things that kids can do as they grow up.

My understanding on booster seat use is that 8 years or 80 pounds is what was found to be safest, but was unable to be passed. What was passed (originally - maybe has changed since) was 6 years or 60 pounds.

The OP hasn't told us the weight of her ds, just that he is slight. My very, very slight dd1 is almost ten and just weighed in the low 60s at her pediatrician appointment last week. The OP's ds is almost 12 - what does he weigh? I am also curious as to the ages of DC's two sons who are in seats.

I know that some on this thread think I am outrageous for putting his emotional safety on the same par with his physical safety. One, I don't think that letting him sit in the back seat with the regular shoulder/lap belt is compromising his physical safety - at almost 12 years old! Two, is there really no one but pinkmilk who understands what is happening to the self esteem of a 12 year old boy by being made to sit in a booster seat?? I think it is no different than asking him to hold your hand as you cross the street. He will feel embarrassed; he will be teased; it will affect him emotionally. I think it is hard enough to be a kid without us trying to keep them from growing up. It is our job as parents to find ways to slowly let them grow up. We may be uncomfortable with it at first but we do them a disservice if we overprotect them.
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#19 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
My very, very slight dd1 is almost ten and just weighed in the low 60s at her pediatrician appointment last week.
And does she pass the 5 point test that was posted? If so, she is likely okay without a booster if she is in the back seat (at that weight she should NEVER be in a front seat that has an air bag). My child is 9, weighs 65lbs and is 4'5" tall and is in a booster. A booster is recommended until around 4'9" which is likely around the time that a child will pass the 5 point test. If the OP's son doesn't past that test due to his height, then as dallaschildren pointed out, in an accident he could be paralyzed or killed due to the seat belt not fitting correctly.
Quote:
I don't think that letting him sit in the back seat with the regular shoulder/lap belt is compromising his physical safety - at almost 12 years old!
Age has nothing to do with this. Size is all that matters. This is the exact reason they have developed advanced air bags that deploy with different forces depending on how close your seat is to the dash/steering wheel and air bags that turn off automatically for people under a certain weight. The reason is that safety devices in vehicles are designed for an average sized person and they are finding that small people are getting seriously injured or killed with them.
Quote:
Two, is there really no one but pinkmilk who understands what is happening to the self esteem of a 12 year old boy by being made to sit in a booster seat?? I think it is no different than asking him to hold your hand as you cross the street.
I believe it is completely different. I don't let my child ride a bike, scooter or roller blades without a properly worn helmet and other safety equipment depending on the sport. Also, she is not allowed on certain rides at amusement parks because she isn't tall enough. None of these things have anything to do with her age. A booster seat is a safety device and that is how they should be viewed. A booster seat is NOT the same as baby convenience devices (i.e. high chair, stroller, etc.) as it not for convenience.

If you think sitting in a booster seat is bad for his self esteem, what would his self esteem be like if he was suddenly in a wheel chair and had to be off school for months or years recovering from an accident? Not a risk I'd be willing to take.

Hopefully this mama can go over the 5 point test with her son today. It might just not be something she has to worry about if he passes the test to go into a seat belt.

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#20 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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There is no WAY my 11 yr old would ride in a booster he would be HORRIBLY harrassed I agree with the pp peer pressure is very heavy at that age. He rides in the back w/ a lap/shoulderbelt.

Edited... He is is in a lap/shoulder belt in our volvo

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#21 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter
There is no WAY my 11 yr old would ride in a booster he would be HORRIBLY harrassed I agree with the pp peer pressure is very heavy at that age. He rides in the back w/ a lapbelt.
A lap belt only? Or lap/shoulder belt?

http://www.consumer.org.nz/newsitem....0belt%20safety
Quote:
Crossing the vulnerable abdomen, lap belts can cause horrific internal injuries as passengers are violently folded in half during a crash.

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#22 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter
There is no WAY my 11 yr old would ride in a booster he would be HORRIBLY harrassed I agree with the pp peer pressure is very heavy at that age. He rides in the back w/ a lapbelt.
I wanted to mention that having your 11 yo in just a lap belt is extremely dangerous. All crash forces will be centered completely across his stomach/pelvis. A childs skeletal structure isn't fully formed until puberty, so his pelvis although getting stronger at 11, is no match for crash forces exerted on only it. I would suggest moving him to a seating position in the rear, that has a lap AND shoulder belt.

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#23 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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a booster seat for a 12 year old? I wouldn't do it unless there was some growth issue that made him quite unusually small for his age.
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#24 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
I am not arguing that booster seat use isn't the law, as well as a smart and safe thing to do. I am all over it for ages five, six, seven. My dd1 rode in hers til she was eight, and was the only kid in her class after kindergarten that was made to. She didn't like it, but I explained that it was the law, and the safest way for her to ride. But she wasn't yet able to ride her bike without training wheels, or walk downtown without an adult, or any number of things that kids can do as they grow up.
Most parents do not use a booster at all. They take their children straight from a child seat to just a vehicle belt. This is what we in the CPS community are trying to combat. Misinformation. What I don't want the OP to feel, is stupid or wrong for making her son stay in booster seat no matter the age (or anyone else lurking on this thread). She did not mention if she tried the 5 step test, so if she comes back to this thread maybe she'll let us know. If he passes, mute point. If he is small for his age, then he should stay in the booster, however the choice is still up to the OP in the end. Criteria set forth by NHTSA are guidelines. Most are not hard and fast rules because they know there are thousands of different size and age scenarios out there. Heck, I'd be please as punch if more parents even knew what a booster was and actually used one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
My understanding on booster seat use is that 8 years or 80 pounds is what was found to be safest, but was unable to be passed. What was passed (originally - maybe has changed since) was 6 years or 60 pounds.
NHTSA's official position on booster seat use is: "all children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4'9" tall." Children can move to a seat belt when they can firmly place their back against the vehicle seat back cushion with their knees bent over the vehicle seat cushion." (refer to the 5 step test I already posted for additional guidelines) So that is their guideline and not a rule per se. They have to take into account the many different age and height and weight scenarios of the general population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
I am also curious as to the ages of DC's two sons who are in seats.
64 pound, 49" tall, 6 yo in a Britax Husky. 34 pound, 38" (or so) 2 1/2 yo in a Britax Marathon (just turned him forward facing). Both are 5 point restraints and I will keep them both in a 5 point restraint until I don't have any other choice.

Our experiences, both internal and external frame a lot of the parenting decisions we make. Child restraint use is a choice that many parents make uninformed. There are many reasons for that. I am certain most parents I check and install seats for have their children's best interests at heart. I am sure you do too Kirsten. Given time, I will witness the effects of "peer pressure" and my boys growing independance. But as long as I know what I know, have been through what I've been through, and assisted at multiple car accident scenes and seen what wrecks do to people's bodies of all ages, I will not ever put my children's embarassment ahead of his safety in a car.

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#25 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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The law in my state says that a child of 80lbs or less must be in some sort of seating device.
My 10 yr old is in a booster seat and is only 60lbs...and she will stay there until she reaches the weight limit or she grows tall enough so the shoulder belt fits...
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#26 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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I guess it would depend on his weight and height, but seriously unless he was something like 50 pounds or less I wouldn't require the booster.

FWIW I still can't sit in some back seats and have my feet touch the floor. So I wouldn't pass some of that 5 point safety test either.
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#27 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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FWIW I still can't sit in some back seats and have my feet touch the floor. So I wouldn't pass some of that 5 point safety test either.
I have helped a few mamas find seating positions that were better for them because of their short stature. Some find it is difficult to drive their own cars without the shoulder belt hitting them straight across their neck and choking them. Vehicle manufacturers produce cars without much thought to accomodating all sizes of people and most definately not producing cars to be child friendly.

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#28 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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FWIW I still can't sit in some back seats and have my feet touch the floor. So I wouldn't pass some of that 5 point safety test either.
Your feet do not have to touch the floor. Your knees have to bend comfortably over the edge of the back seat with your rear against the back of the seat (i.e. no slouching to make knees reach edge of seat).

Tofie ~ mama to DD1, DD2 and Pookie v3 debuting December 2011
Oh my God....women are the COWS of PEOPLE!! --Reese, Malcolm in the Middle
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#29 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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My oldest will be eleven next month and is still in a booster. The lap/shoulder belts go too high on his neck. I have my oldest three kids (the other two are 9 and 8) in booster seats. My youngest will be five next month and is still in his five point seat. My kids very rarely say anything about having to sit in the booster seats and honestly I am guessing it is because they don't get a choice. They sit in the booster b/c that is what is the safest at this point. I would rather have my son be slightly annoyed with me (on the few occassions he has commented about the booster) than seriously injured or dead. There are some things that shouldn't be up for discussion IMHO.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#30 of 68 Old 05-01-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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I have helped a few mamas find seating positions that were better for them because of their short stature. Some find it is difficult to drive their own cars without the shoulder belt hitting them straight across their neck and choking them. Vehicle manufacturers produce cars without much thought to accomodating all sizes of people and most definately not producing cars to be child friendly.

Dallaschildren
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So should this momma be in a booster seat?
What about small people(midgets and dwarfs)?
My tiny aunt who is only 4'1o and 90 lbs?
Where do you draw the line?
What if her ds stops growing?Should he get his drivers licence in a booster seat and drive to college with his buddies in a booster seat????

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