5 pt. harness booster question. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-21-2011, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is about the seats that can be used with a 5 pt. harness or as a high-back belt positioning booster seat.

 

If the directions say up to 40 lbs. for the harness, but my child is not complaining about the fit of the harness, is it OK for us to continue using it until it no longer fits?  Or do I need to buy a new carseat with a higher 5 pt, harness rating?  (it also would not hurt if it had a really high height rating, she's tall.)  Suggestions?  And I need inexpensive, yet effective.

 

(said child is 4 and *needs* the harness--she can't undo the harness but has decided leaving her seatbelt on is optional.  I obviously do NOT agree.)


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#2 of 11 Old 03-21-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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I might well be misunderstanding, but you have to discontinue use of the seat when the child hits 40 pounds OR the shoulders are even with the top slots.  If the kiddo has outgrown the seat by either height or weight, it's time for a new seat.


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#3 of 11 Old 03-21-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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What an_aurora said.  You cannot use a seat above the weight limits.  You can look into the Evenflo Maestro (50lbs) or Graco Nautilus (65lbs).


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#4 of 11 Old 03-22-2011, 04:58 AM
 
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Just FYI, the reason you cannot use them above the weight limit is because in case of an accident, the weight of the child accelerating against the straps can rip the straps from the seat, rendering them useless.  Above the weight limit, the child is safer with a booster and the car's seat belt.  (Obviously, a 5-point harness that is designed for heavier weights is even safer, especially if she won't leave the seat belt on!)  So yeah, sounds like you need a new seat, asap!


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#5 of 11 Old 03-22-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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I have an Evenflo Maestro.  The manual says 50# or 50" (or ears below top of shell) for the harness.  That would probably give your lo some room to grow.  I don't know which harness booster might have a higher height (if that's what you're looking for).

 

ETA:  It looks like the Nautilus has a bit higher strap height, and the added benefit that it converts to a backless booster (the Maestro does not).

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#6 of 11 Old 03-22-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post

I have an Evenflo Maestro.  The manual says 50# or 50" (or ears below top of shell) for the harness.  That would probably give your lo some room to grow.  I don't know which harness booster might have a higher height (if that's what you're looking for).

 

ETA:  It looks like the Nautilus has a bit higher strap height, and the added benefit that it converts to a backless booster (the Maestro does not).



Yes, the maestro will not last you as long, even in booster mode since there is no adjustable headrest.  But the cost of the nautilus now is about the same as the cost of a maestro now and turbobooster later.  So you can go either way.  You get about 1/4-1/2" more or harness height and 15 more pounds with the nautilus.  So you can decide if you need the extra height/weight or not or if you don't want to buy a dedicated booster down the line.  In your case, if you have younger children, it might make sense to get a maestro that can be handed down, if it'll last your 4yo long enough to mature enough for a booster.

 


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#7 of 11 Old 03-22-2011, 08:34 PM
 
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The weight and height requirements are NOT for comfort.  Please understand that.  It's because over the stated weight limit, the seat can fail, as in rip apart/shatter/break.  It may not hold you child in during a crash.  You really need to not use a seat above the weight limit.  If your child still needs a harness, but has exceeded the limits of her seat, then yes, best option is to get a seat with a higher weight (and height if necessary) limit.  

If you can't, or while you save up, you must make her wear her seatbelt in the booster.  It's not negotiable.  You pull over immediately every time she does it.  Punish her in the way your family does such things.  Is she special needs?  Why is she not understanding the importance of wearing her seat belt?  


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#8 of 11 Old 03-23-2011, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I thought, that the weight limits had something to do with the seat's design.  I called the place that I've had seats installed at before and a woman there told me (gasp! obviously WRONG) that I could use the harness as long as it fit comfortably.  It didn't make sense on one level, but on another...there *is* a difference in fit of carseat harnesses for my child who is tall and slender versus another who may be shorter but the same weight.  What you all are saying makes the most sense and I will be looking into that Graco Nautilus---liking the idea that I can convert it to a backless when she's bigger...my son won't use anything but a backless now, he is 6.  ;)  (I'm even getting some argument on use of a backless but well, it's non-negotiable.  The seatbelts were not designed to fit him.)


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#9 of 11 Old 03-23-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post

Is she special needs?  Why is she not understanding the importance of wearing her seat belt?  



how many 4 year-olds do you know who really understand why they need to wear a seatbelt? some will leave it alone because they are told to, but I have yet to meet one who actually understands why. 


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#10 of 11 Old 03-23-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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My daughter is almost 6, 48 inches and 55lbs and rides in a Britax Frontier. She is NO WHERE near the weight limit and the height limit is 53 inches so she still has room to grow. Also has one of the highest torso/harness heights on the market. She also is not great with sitting appropriately in the booster, she leans over too much.  I would totally recommend it!

-Sarah


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#11 of 11 Old 03-23-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
 Is she special needs?  Why is she not understanding the importance of wearing her seat belt?  


Careful there, bobandjess! wink1.gif  Statements like that have been known to result in some crow-eating when one day you find yourself with a developmentally typical 4 y.o. child (or grandchild) who decides that seatbelts are not for him/her!  I might have had the same question when I only had my dd, but then along came my wonderful, but gray-hair producing ds!  He used to unbuckle his 5-point harness (!!) whenever he was mad about something.  He knew it would force me to pull over, which was exactly what he wanted.  mischievous.gif

 


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