S/O 5 year old NOT harnessed? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I was under the impression (from somebody on MDC) that you weren't supposed to put seatbelts in locking-retractor mode when using a booster.
You are correct--most boosters don't allow it, and if you have to lock the belt on your child, it's a very strong indicator that they are not mature enough to sit in one.

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Old 04-29-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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Why a booster wouldn't allow it is beyond me. They lock on impact in an accident anyway. The booster knows no difference as to whether the belt was locked beforehand or not.

I got the tip over at a well-known car seat board. And I don't lock them in because they don't sit still, I do it because I think it's safer having them snug. And no, it doesn't tighten every time they breathe.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
Locking the seatbelt isn't equal to a 5 pt harness, and it can be pretty uncomfortable for the child, since every time they breathe it gets tighter.
But there is nothing to PROVE that this isn't equal, or even better. You know? There's no evidence.

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If I'm driving and it's something I can't live without, yes I pull over to pick it up. I can't imagine driving while trying to pick something up off the floor. I don't lean down to pick up my chapstick or whatever, since that's not something that's super imperative to have right that second. I just wait until we stop.
But I mean when you're not driving, because in those split seconds when you're bending over in the passenger seat to pick something up, an accident could occur, and your body wouldn't be "in position", either.
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Just had to pop back in and say my 4.5 year old is now back in a harness.

Due to the wonky set up of our van, the only place we could put him after buying two new seats for the other kids, was in a place where we felt it was best to use the harness. (The other option was the booster with the Nautilus just sitting on the seat. I prefer the Nautilus to be LATCHed and top tethered in booster mode).
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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But there is nothing to PROVE that this isn't equal, or even better. You know? There's no evidence.



But I mean when you're not driving, because in those split seconds when you're bending over in the passenger seat to pick something up, an accident could occur, and your body wouldn't be "in position", either.

Here are some threads with the same debate. Locking the belt on a boostered child isn't something that would make me panic, but the post about how the child prefers to be able to freely pick up toys, and otherwise wriggle around, certainly does . Either way, locking the belt is certainly not something to rely on, and if your child needs it, bottom line is they need a 5-pt harness.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.p...r+belt+booster

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.p...r+belt+booster

ETA: I forgot to answer the second part of your post. No, I don't lean down whether I am the driver or the passenger. For one, I get really bad motion sickness, and can't take my eyes of the road

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Old 04-29-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I guess I just dont understand why you wouldn't keep them as safe as you know is possible. The only reason I have read on this thread is that you dont want to buckle/unbuckle them? I dont get it. I'm confused.
Because harnessing does not equal safer in a 5+ year old kid. That has been very clearly explained. It may be equally safe, it may be less safe, but there is NO evidence to call it "as safe as possible."

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Old 04-29-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Yes. I'm a CPST. I'm committed to keeping not only my kid, but lots of other kids, "as safe as possible". I spend time and money keeping up with the latest research. For children who can use a booster properly (and for discussion's sake I'll go with 6y and 50#, even though that's pretty conservative), a properly used and properly fitted highbacked booster IS one way to keep the child "as safe as possible".

Some vehicles don't allow locking the seatbelt either, and they do know the difference between a belt locked during a crash or a belt locked before a crash. Check vehicle manuals as well as carseat manuals.

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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This was my reasoning, as well. In Sweden, the paragon of childhood car safety , they don't harness forward-facing kids. Children go straight from rear-facing to a booster, at around 4 or 5.
Hmm, interesting. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on carseat safety but I hadn't heard of these swedish studies. Does anyone have a link, I'd be very interested in reading them!

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How many children do you have and how many of them are in harnessed seats? Can they do up their seats on their own?

I have three children and am in and out of the car all day long (school!) Buckling three kids in every single time I go anywhere really sucks and my daughter cannot do her own harness and there is no way in hell I'm teaching my three year old (he'd take it as a sign that he's not supposed to be buckled anymore.) Plus my daughter sits perfectly in the booster seat 100% of the time.

A booster seat is a perfectly fine and appropriate seat for a child over 40lbs, over 4 years of age and who can sit in it appropriately every single time.
I have two children and yes for the most part they can do up their seats on their own at just turned 3 and 4.5. It takes them awhile and occasionally I have to help the 3 year old. The 4.5 year old can unbuckle herself, the 3 yo cannot. But yes, I have been in your position of bucklingin 3 children. I babysat my friends ds as a baby 50 hours a week and at that time my own children were 8 months and 32 months. None could harness themselves in and only one could climb into their seat.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Some vehicles don't allow locking the seatbelt either, and they do know the difference between a belt locked during a crash or a belt locked before a crash. Check vehicle manuals as well as carseat manuals.
I agree that some vehicles may not allow seat belts to be locked while in use, and I will abide by what my manual says. (Mine makes no mention of it and I actually prefer riding with my own belt retracted).

HOWEVER it still makes no sense because how do we install car seats? By retracting/locking the seat belt. If it isn't safe for a belt to be locked while a person is being restrained by it, then it cannot be safe for a belt to be locked while a person is inside a carseat and the carseat is being restrained by it.

If a locked seat belt affects safety on impact, then I don't want to be using seat belts on my carseats!
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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One thing about locking belts on kids in boosters- the big argument for boosters possibly being safer than harnessed seats is ride-down time. By locking the belt, you're eliminating that ride-down time and turning it into a harder stop like a harnessed seat.

Just by sheer physics- I can argue both sides. I'm not convinced either is safer, but I'd sure like to see more studies and data. One additional factor that I take into consideration- there's a page out there with data on ff seats that mentions impacting front seats as a concern for kids in ff seats. The extra mobility provided by a seatbelt over a 5pt harness could be an issue there- allowing an increased chance of impacting the seat in front of them. Hard to say.

I would love to see more real-life and test data.

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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That's true to some extent, but also keep in mind that, when the child is moving forward towards the front seats (potentially impacting them), the front seats are also moving forward. So, the chance of the child striking their heads on the front seat isn't greater with a booster than it is with a harnessed seat.

A correctly installed, tightly top tethered FF seat reduces head excursion. However, we know that 70+% of seats are installed and/or used incorrectly. A loose install, coupled with a loose tether (or none), and loose straps on the car seat all increase head excursion. In these "real world" conditions, parents are more likely to use a booster correctly, so this booster is probably a safer option for a child over 5yo, 40 inches, and 40 pounds, simply because there is less to "misuse".

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Old 04-29-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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ah, if it comes down to misuse then dude, my kid is staying where she is I am 100% sure of her install in her safeguard, much higher than my % of trust of her to buckle and sit perfectly every time (and she's a good and compliant kid on such things.)

I don't have time to pull the link, but there was a study comparing different installs on ff seats (belt vs. latch specifically) and in actual cars as well as on sleds. Among other things belt installs showed more movement (more belt to stretch than latch) and a higher rate of impact on the forward seats. If that's the case just in ff seats, then logic would lead to taking into consideration the additional length of movement if you will of a child in a booster with a belt with ride-down time vs. a harnessed seat.

No clear cut answers. Wish there was more information available...

So many factors.

-Angela
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that we are assuming every crash is a frontal crash. Side impacts and roll-overs are less common, but more likely to have injuries. This is one area where a 5-pt harness does offer more protection than a booster.

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Old 04-29-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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Side impact crashes seriously freak me out. I had a friend who died in one when he was 6 (front seat, no booster, back in the 80s). But it was a semi who hit them, so chances of him surviving were slim, harness or not. It's one reason I insisted on a car with side impact airbags for all.

I have been in a rollover and have personally "felt" how the belt held me in. It did it's job. Basically, the belt locked and kept me down by pushing down on my legs (or I should say I was hanging by my thighs in the belt) and the shoulder part was pretty tight but I didn't feel it as much. I'm fairly confident a boostered kid (particularly in a hbb) would have the same thing happen.

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Old 04-30-2010, 06:44 AM
 
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Harnessing older children is fine but contrary to popular opinion it's NOT any safer than using a high back booster for kids 4 and up. Harnessing is not any safer in side impact or frontal collisions. This is yet another car seat myth.

Among people who work seriously and professionally with car seat testing, research, etc the subject of harnessing vs. boosters is not even discussed because everyone know both methods are about equally safe.

As a side note I can mention that Sweden, which is at least 30 years ahead of all other countries in car seat safety, recommend against harnessing older kids for safety reasons.

There is no research or data which show harnessing is any safer. Comparing the two methods is not really possible since it would be too complex, subjective, and costly. It's far better from a child safe perspective to focus on rear facing for kids up to 4 year since the safety difference there is huge.

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Old 04-30-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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I'm in the UK. DD has been in a high-backed booster since she was 3.75 (she was more than tall and heavy enough, though too young, but her harness didn't fit her safely, and we simply couldn't afford £200 for a seat to use for 3 months, and luckily she is very reliable in the car so we made the call). I don't know anyone who harnesses a 5yo, and of all the seats i've seen which work here in the UK i would imagine there'd have to be a growth restriction for a 5yo to FIT in the harness.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:05 AM
 
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I think the thing to take from this is that for this issue, age should not be the deciding factor, but rather the size of the child and what the rating is on the seat. My niece's dd is BIG. She was beyond the weight limits for all booster seats at about 6 years old. A CPST *here* told me that to force her to sit in a booster that she didn't "fit" was more dangerous than just buckling her in.

The key is to have correct information and use it. There seems to be a lot of not just differences of opinions here, but differences in what people believe to be correct information.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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I'm in the UK. DD has been in a high-backed booster since she was 3.75 (she was more than tall and heavy enough, though too young, but her harness didn't fit her safely, and we simply couldn't afford £200 for a seat to use for 3 months, and luckily she is very reliable in the car so we made the call). I don't know anyone who harnesses a 5yo, and of all the seats i've seen which work here in the UK i would imagine there'd have to be a growth restriction for a 5yo to FIT in the harness.
We're also in the UK and 3 YO in boosters (not even high back ones) are common and I don't think there are many seats (without going to special needs ones) which would fit a harnessed 5yo.

We have a britax evolva and while it has the same weight limit (18kg) as all the other FF seats it is a bit roomier and DD fit in till 5 but she is tiny.

DS is only and already getting a bit squashed in his seat. I'm hoping he'll fit in DDs for a bit longer and we can get her a booster.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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We're also in the UK and 3 YO in boosters (not even high back ones) are common and I don't think there are many seats (without going to special needs ones) which would fit a harnessed 5yo.

We have a britax evolva and while it has the same weight limit (18kg) as all the other FF seats it is a bit roomier and DD fit in till 5 but she is tiny.

DS is only and already getting a bit squashed in his seat. I'm hoping he'll fit in DDs for a bit longer and we can get her a booster.
Yeah, we have the terrible combo of super-cramped sporty car (mazda rx8) and super tall kid (110cm, was 4 three weeks ago). When her harness was inserting behind her shoulders we took the car to the safety person at a carseat shop/fitter who said in a crash the harness would essentially fold her down (until the forces were direct from insertion point to top of shoulder) and potentially crush her internal organs or even break her spine. So we swapped her into the booster.

We're actually looking at getting a new car soon and the whole seat issue vs fuel consumption is giving us headaches - we want something roomier so we can use the seats we CAN buy in this country (britax seems to be best for taller kids, unfortunately i was gifted DD's harness seat, it's a silver cross and not great for taller kids at ALL) and potentially fit 3 seats of some kind across the back, but we don't want to be driving something bigger and heavier and more expensive than absolutely necessary since the whole point of us selling the rx8 is to save money on running costs (£65 a tank of fuel, for 230miles! )...
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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When I had my accident back in June of last year. DD was 8.8y around 70pds and 50 inches tall in a high back booster and ds was 4.8y around 35 pds and 40 inches tall in his 5 pt harness.

DD was the one who ended up taking an ambulance ride to the ER because her neck was hurting. Ds in the 5pt harness didnt have any complaints at all. So I am having a hard time seeing how the 5pt harness is more a risk to the neck than the booster. But that is my own personal experience. Both kids got jerked around badly but ds's 5pt harness held him more securely.

I will keep ds in his 5pt until he no longer fits either by height or by weight. I feel he is way safer than dd in her booster.

If I am driving I usually sit pretty still but not always I am adjusting the radio, doing this and that. When I am a passenger I am constantly moving sitting still is not something I am good at.

DD moves around constantly picking stuff up, petting the dog looking backward etc. She gets worse as she ages like me sitting still is a challange. DS on the other hand dosnt have that option since he is harnessed in. I would love for dd to be in a 5pt but I cannot and will not spend that kind of money to fit her in a 5pt now.

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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I think the thing to take from this is that for this issue, age should not be the deciding factor, but rather the size of the child and what the rating is on the seat. My niece's dd is BIG. She was beyond the weight limits for all booster seats at about 6 years old. A CPST *here* told me that to force her to sit in a booster that she didn't "fit" was more dangerous than just buckling her in.
I'm surprised by that advice. There are backless boosters rated to 120#, and current thought is that it is preferable to use a backless booster (not a highbacked booster and NOT a harnessed seat) above the limit if necessary to get proper fit. Things change, though, and best practice recommendations evolve as we learn more.

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Old 04-30-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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My 45 # 5.5 yo (not sure on height) is in the Britax Parkway and has been for some time. He sits perfectly in it and rarely will fall asleep in the car. If he does his head just leans on one of the wings.

DS2 will be 4 in July and wants to switch to a booster, he's currently in the Graco Nautilus but I may allow him to ride in the high back in dad's vehicle which is only twice a week.

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Old 04-30-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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I'm surprised by that advice. There are backless boosters rated to 120#, and current thought is that it is preferable to use a backless booster (not a highbacked booster and NOT a harnessed seat) above the limit if necessary to get proper fit. Things change, though, and best practice recommendations evolve as we learn more.
I agree--that was horrible advice. Size and weight is important, but age and maturity really is the deciding factor. My nephew was 40 pounds at 18 months. Was he ready for a booster? Of course not.

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Old 05-01-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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My niece H went into an HBB somewhere between 5 & 5.5 when she outgrew her harnessed seat by height.

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Old 05-01-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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This thread just throws me for a loop. I was under the idea that you harness until the limits the seat. I have a 4.5 year old who is approximately 39-39.5lbs. He's been forward facing is a Britax Boulevard for about 2 years (would have kept him rear facing longer but the seats had yet to hit the market).

I think he could do a booster seat. He is mature and well behaved. He does fall asleep in the car about once a week or so. I'm not sure what his body would do in a booster. I've never tried him in one.

I'm just not sure what to do! Should he stay in the boulevard harnessed? (I hate that seat btw). Should he go to a booster (harnessed? unharnessed?) What do I do with him!
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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I would probably wait until after 5 to start booster training, and see how he does

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Old 05-01-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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There is, as has been stated several times (and not refuted), no evidence that harnessing is safer than boostering for a child of sufficient size and maturity to use a booster properly.

I would prefer to see a 4.5yo harnessed, and honestly, IME/IMO, most kids who still fit in a Britax convertible should be harnessed. Boosters are safe choices for older, bigger kids.

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Old 05-01-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Interesting discussion with many good points. The issue of harnessing vs. boosters is extremely complex. I could easily write a book about it (a very boring book for most....:-) A little background:

Sweden is about 30 years ahead of any other country, except perhaps Norway, in car seat safety simply because we have been focusing very hard in this since 1965 (not a misprint, I sat rear facing in 1967 until almost age 4 before my younger sister stole my seat:-) Sweden recommend NOT harnessing any older children, age 4 and up, forward facing since we believe this is less safe. We also strongly recommend rear facing to at least age 4.

A quick summary for reason for this recommendation is that children are stopped very abruptly in a 5-point FF harness. While most parents think this is a great strength it's actually the greatest weakness. Children's neck and bones are still growing and ossifying until puberty. Watching a Youtube video thinking it has all answers since the booster child is moving more is totally incorrect. The comparison with race car drivers is not applicable and ridiculous which any logical thinking parent should realize.

What we do know:

- Using a high back booster for kids 4+ is as safe as using a harness.

- Good belt fit is important

- Side impact protection is not any better in harnessed seats

- A light high back booster, which is installed with seat belt, is important due to the extra weight pushing a child forward in a frontal collision (roughly 75% of accidents)

- Age is far more important than size or weight as long as there is a good belt fit. A 4 year old 35 lbs child is not any less safe than a 4 year old 50 lbs child as long as belt fit is good. Bones mature with age, not with size.

- The discussion of what's safer, harnessing or high back boosters, is not really discussed among people who work with this professionally. The amount of people in the world who know a lot about car seat safety is very small.

- Both harnessing and HBB offer good protection although nowhere near as good as rear facing regardless of age.

- There is no research or data which show harnessing is superior in any way

- The issue of what's superior, harnessing or HBB, is somewhat subjective. The Swedish researchers started focusing on child safety 30 years before others and it's a very high priority in Sweden. In US car seat safety is not a top 100 priority while it's top 3 in Sweden. That might be silly but we know cars can kill more kids than anything else. We feel this is a meaningful focus.

The Swedish recommendation of high back boosters could be discarded but I would be careful with this. The Swedes have through many years shown that child fatalities in cars are completely unnecessary. Each year close to zero children in age 0-6 years die in Sweden. The researchers have far more experience than others and, perhaps most important, also have a track record which is considered unbelievable.

- Both harnessed and booster children are well protected. There is really no reason to change to booster from harness, and vice versa, if things are working well. Swedes strongly believe there is a difference in safety but it's minor compared to the huge benefits of rear facing vs. forward facing.

- One method could perform better in some crashes. Sometimes a child would have been saved in a booster and sometimes saved by being in a harness. We don't know ahead of time how and when we will crash so this is beyond our control and not relevant. Most cases of booster death has to do with children being way too young. Putting a 2.5 year old child in a booster is for example not a good idea.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Annika: 3.5 years RF Britax Hi-Way ⢠Daniel: 6 years FF Britax Adventure
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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- Using a high back booster for kids 4+ is as safe as using a harness.
...in children who are able to sit properly in a booster, which generally happens between 5 and 6.

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- Side impact protection is not any better in harnessed seats
...in frontal crashes. In side-impact or rollover crashes, a harness does offer more protection.

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- The discussion of what's safer, harnessing or high back boosters, is not really discussed among people who work with this professionally. The amount of people in the world who know a lot about car seat safety is very small.
This one I will disagree with. I work with car seats professionally, and there is a big debate doing on in the CPS world about extended harnessing vs. boostering. We all agree there needs to be more research.

CPST & mom

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Old 05-01-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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....

I would prefer to see a 4.5yo harnessed, and honestly, IME/IMO, most kids who still fit in a Britax convertible should be harnessed. Boosters are safe choices for older, bigger kids.
Well he fits because he hasn't reached the limits of the seat. But he doesn't fit comfortably. The crotch width is getting to be too narrow. We've taken the circle cushion thing out. He's pretty much sitting on the strap that holds that buckle and it is difficult to buckle him because of it.

He also has very long legs that just dangle off the seat and sometimes they fall asleep.
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