"older" kids not in boosters - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a dd who just turned 10. She's 4' 7 1/2 " tall. In our state you can stop using a booster when you're 8 or have reached 4'9" (my understanding is that safety advocates are trying to have the age 8 part taken out and make it simply 4' 9"). Anyway, there have been several instances this summer where I have driven her friends or she has been in other cars and it's really shocked me how many kids, older than age 8 but far shorter than my dd, no longer use booster seats.

Kids will get in my car and say, "Oh, I don't use a booster seat anymore." My reply: "You need to use one in my car." Or I'll walk to the person's car who is driving my dd, arrange my dd's booster seat and notice that there are no other booster seats in the car.

This strikes me as so odd. All these parents are people that I like and trust to have my child spend time with. A couple of them I find to be extremely protective around their child's health and safety in other areas, so why not using booster seats?

I make sure the parent knows dd must be in a booster seat because she's not tall enough yet to ride safely without one (my dd stands 1" or 2" or more above most of her friends). A few times the parent has sheepishly said, "Oh, we should be doing that..." WTF? I just don't get it.

This also makes a situation where my dd complains about having to sit in a booster when she's older/taller than her friends that don't. Not that her complaints change my mind.

I guess I just needed to vent because it came up again today and I find it so baffling.
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#2 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 08:04 AM
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I hear ya. If not for the most important reason of safety, how about the fact that it is the law in many places (well I mean for all the kids I see younger than 9 riding w/o a booster)? I don't get it either.


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#3 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 11:52 AM
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The law here says kids only have to be in a booster until 7. My 7.5 yr. old is in a booster but we know lots of kids smaller than him who aren't. Our next door neighbor is 8 and shorter than him but hasn't been in a booster for years, and a friend's 6.5 yr. old is a lot smaller and hasn't been in one for a while either.
We just moved from Michigan where the law is 8 or 80 lbs. so I was surprised to see such little kids without boosters.
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#4 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 02:40 PM
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I find it's part of the cascade that starts with turning FF. They outgrow the bucket a month early (so 11 months) and think that they have to turn FF. So they buy a new seat and the child is FF til around 3. At 3 the kid looks so big in that seat, they MUST be outgrowing it (and since most seats bought by average people who don't know what to look for have 40lbs limits, this is likely) and they buy a low backed booster, often with Diego or Cars on it.

Well by the time the kid is 6, that booster is dirty and gross and they don't like that TV show any more and... well they must be done with it, right?

The law here is 4'9" OR 9 years old. The majority of injuries from crashes coming into the children's hospital are from kids who should still be in boosters. A lot of people just don't seem to know. We're handing out information cards at Girl Guide Registration night, since all the younger units should be full time in boosters.

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#5 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 04:17 PM
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DS is 9 and only 4'5" and is generally out of his booster at this point. We have an 8 passenger Honda Odyssey and he fits perfectly (passing the 5 point test) in the middle seat of the middle row. He would rather sit there than on the side seat using a booster. It is not because we are being unsafe or do not care, but because I feel he is safest in this position without a booster (he is furthest from any source of impact AND he fits correctly).

There is a WIDE range of when a child will fit in a seat. For example, DD is 5'2" and only now fits correctly in the back seat of our Mini Cooper (it has extreamly deep seats). There is more than an 8" difference for safe seating without a booster in our two cars! I'm not saying this is why all parents do not have their older children in boosters, but it is definately true for some.

Personally, I just ask people I know why they make the choices they do Definately the easiest way to find out



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#6 of 6 Old 09-04-2010, 04:31 PM
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My dd is seven and still in a booster, but she is 3 inches from passing the 5 point test. She will most likely be tall enough to be out of a booster by the time she is 8 and a half. In our car she could pass the five point test by height but she slumps in her seat a lot and I want to wait until she is a little taller so the slouching doesn't cause permanent damage in a wreck. Maybe the kids can pass the 5 point test in their car and they don't need boosters, many cars have lower seatbelts in the back or the ability to adjust the seatbelts to the correct height. Or maybe they haven't heard of the five point test and are going on age and weight, which is what is common with the laws for many states. Our state says six or 60 pounds and it is only recently that her pediatricians office has started educating parents about going beyond the law. Even they say 9, 80 pounds, or 4'9''.

The education just isn't out there for car seat safety or the law in some places. I never realized that our law said 6 or 60 pounds until I was reading about car seat laws to be a girl scout leader and I had all of my car seats checked by a trained car seat safety person at the hospital.
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