What carseat? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 05-28-2011, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I work in a school and we have a few booster seats we keep at work in case there's an unexpected situation where someone needs to transport a child. 

 

The other day I ended up using one to transport one of our 4 year olds, with older siblings and mom, so I grabbed a seat.  The next day, I hadn't taken it out of my car yet and I got in an accident.  Since I wasn't able to drive away from the scene, my insurance company says they'll replace it, and that I can choose something similar or cheaper.

 

I'm trying to figure out what to buy.  It was a Britax  booster, with a separate back and seat, maybe 6 years old.  I don't think I can ethically ask for something like a Frontier, because I'm sure it didn't cost that much new, but I'd love to have something with a harness as an option.

 

It needs to be easy to adjust, and easy to install, since it's something we move from car to car and use for unexpected situations. It also needs to be able to move between different size kids.

 

A nautilus?  Something else?

Momily is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 05-28-2011, 10:18 PM
 
lishoprah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hmm.  A Britax booster was probably $100 or $120.  Our Parkway that's 6 years old was $100, but the back didn't come off so you probably have a different model.  So, while a Nautilus would be a very good choice for your requirements, it is most likely more expensive than the seat it's replacing.  (We bought one for $140 at Walmart; a few weeks later Target had some on sale for around $125.)

 

If it needs to be $100 or less then I think the Maestro would be the best choice.  I haven't used one, but they're highly recommended on carseat.org as a budget seat (around $80), and the top harness slot is the same as the Nautilus.  The drawback is that it's outgrown as a booster about the same time that it's outgrown harnessed.

lishoprah is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 05-28-2011, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't know for sure if the back comes off, I didn't try, but it looks like a newer version of the StarRiser Comfy my son had about 8 years ago, same denim fabric but bigger wings on the head, and just a bigger seat all around. 

 

I don't know if it needs to cost less than that one did, or just the same or less than a comparable seat.  To be honest, they didn't even say it had to cost less at all, but I wanted to be fair to them.  Buying a $200+ seat to replace a 6 year old (I'm guessing) $100 seat doesn't seem fair to me. 

 

Are there any combination seats where the height of the straps adjusts easily?  If not, is a preschooler safer in a harness that's at the wrong height or in a booster?  I can't imagine that anyone but me and maybe one other staff is going to be rethreading the harness every single time.

Momily is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 05-28-2011, 10:50 PM
 
DahliaRW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Near the beautiful Cascades!
Posts: 6,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

Get a maestro or nautilus and put the straps in the highest position.  It's ok for them to be above the shoulders, even by tons.  But not ok at all for them to be below.


Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
DahliaRW is offline  
#5 of 17 Old 05-28-2011, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So, I looked up the Maestro and I see lots of reports of it being too short for kids who still need a booster. I read about kids outgrowing it by height at 4 or 5.  Is that most people's experience?  If so it won't work for this since I need a seat that fits as many kids between 3 and 8 as possible.

Momily is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 10:31 AM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

4-5 is kind of pessimistic, but most 8yos will indeed have outgrown the Maestro by height as both a harnessed seat and a booster, and it can't be used backless.  If you need to fit kids ages 3-8, I'd go with the Nautilus.

 

In almost all cases, I'd prefer to see a preschooler in a seat with straps "too high" than in a booster.


Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is online now  
#7 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Is it OK to use a nautilus as a booster, with the straps still attached?  That is, to have the kid sit on the straps?  I guarantee that if we start installing and uninstalling straps they'll get lost or misinstalled, and we'll quickly have a very expensive booster-only seat.

Momily is offline  
#8 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 01:57 PM
 
leighi123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indialantic, FL
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You are supposed to take them out to use it in booster mode, I'm not sure why though.    If you have "a few booster seats"  you could just use one of the others you have for kids too big for the harness (either over 65lbs, or over the top slot in height), and designate the GN for younger/smaller riders.  

 

 

 

I would double check all of the seats you currently have, check their expiration dates, most expire in 6 years though some have different time periods.   It may be stamped on the seat, or just the "DOM" or manufacture date listed, if it doesn't say on the seat you can look it up by model to check how long before it expires. 

leighi123 is offline  
#9 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 01:57 PM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

No, that's not permitted.

 

If you want a seat that's harness and booster, and you can make do with what you have for a few months, look at the Compass Unite B830 seat: http://www.learningcurve.com/product/detail/Y11269?locale=en_US .  The harness does not have to be removed and it stays under the seat pad.  Top strap slots are similar to the Nautilus.


Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is online now  
#10 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 02:20 PM
 
BathrobeGoddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: The rural foothills of N Colorado
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry to crash...

How does that learning curve Compass work as a booster Well? My dd is almost 5and in a True Fit now. She isn't in danger of outgrowing ff (she is 50lbs) it BUT it would be awesome to have another booster in the car for other children when she isn't in there!

Eden yikes.gif, working on a PhD in Education mama to Laurelleshamrocksmile.gif (16), Orijoy.gif (6), Yarrowfaint.gif (4) and Linusfly-by-nursing1.gif (1) partner to Brice. 
BathrobeGoddess is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

You are supposed to take them out to use it in booster mode, I'm not sure why though.    If you have "a few booster seats"  you could just use one of the others you have for kids too big for the harness (either over 65lbs, or over the top slot in height), and designate the GN for younger/smaller riders.  

 

 

 

I would double check all of the seats you currently have, check their expiration dates, most expire in 6 years though some have different time periods.   It may be stamped on the seat, or just the "DOM" or manufacture date listed, if it doesn't say on the seat you can look it up by model to check how long before it expires. 


It doesn't really work that way.  We've got 2 campuses, and it's not uncommon for a staff member to have a seat installed in their car for a while (e.g. we've had a family staying in a homeless shelter, and a staff member has been picking up the kids) or for a seat to be on loan to a family for a while (e.g. we had a child go into foster care from school, and we sent a seat with him), so while we might 4 seats total, it's quite possible that there's only one seat at school at the moment when we need it. 
 

 

Momily is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 03:16 PM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by BathrobeGoddess View Post

Sorry to crash...

How does that learning curve Compass work as a booster Well? My dd is almost 5and in a True Fit now. She isn't in danger of outgrowing ff (she is 50lbs) it BUT it would be awesome to have another booster in the car for other children when she isn't in there!


I don't think anyone really knows yet, because we've only seen prototypes.  Based on what I have seen of the seat design, and the fact that my daughter and I love her Compass B570 booster, I would be cautiously optimistic that it would be a decent booster.

 

BathrobeGoddess likes this.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is online now  
#13 of 17 Old 05-29-2011, 03:43 PM
 
leighi123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indialantic, FL
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

What about getting the nautilus for kids up to about 6ish, and then buying Harmony Literiders (backless boosters) for the 7-8yr olds and bigger 6yr olds, that you could keep a bunch of around (they are only $12)

 

 

Removing the harness, you could have a little bag that the harness has to live in (in whoever's car the carseat is in) when its in booster mode, so it always stays together even when taken apart. 

leighi123 is offline  
#14 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

What about getting the nautilus for kids up to about 6ish, and then buying Harmony Literiders (backless boosters) for the 7-8yr olds and bigger 6yr olds, that you could keep a bunch of around (they are only $12)

 

 

Removing the harness, you could have a little bag that the harness has to live in (in whoever's car the carseat is in) when its in booster mode, so it always stays together even when taken apart. 


OK, I want to be clear.  My insurance company will pay for one seat.  One.  This seat needs to replace the all purpose seat, that we used for all ages that we serve (3 through 9). It needs to be something you can throw in a car quickly when there's an emergency.  The kinds of situations where we're using the seats are often semi-crises where things are moving fast, and we need a seat that's pretty much idiot proof and doesn't need to modified from child to child.  When it's used it's likely being used by either a parent (who may not use carseats in their own car, as they aren't the norm where I live), a staff member who doesn't have children and has never installed a carseat, or an emergency worker of some kind such as a social worker.  The person using it is unlikely to know a child's weight, and is unlikely to take the time to figure out how to thread and unthreaded harness, or unthread a threaded one. 

 

If you feel as though we need to change the policy, and have training and a wider range of seats, you can continue to advocate for that.  I actually think that by having a small number of seats we're way ahead most urban schools, and that there are other fish to fry.

 

My question here, though, is what 1 seat do I buy in the next couple of days to replace the one that was in the accident.  Is it safer to have 3 year olds in an unharnessed Turbo booster, or 6 year olds sitting on the straps of the nautilus?  What do people think?

 

Momily is offline  
#15 of 17 Old 05-30-2011, 10:39 AM
 
chickabiddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

Given those choices, I'd have 6yos sitting on the straps.  Buckle the straps first and pull them as tight (close to the seat) as you can, have the kids sit on the buckled straps, and then seat belt the kids in.


Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
chickabiddy is online now  
#16 of 17 Old 05-31-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Boot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm not a car seat expert so I won't comment on which carseat to buy but I did have a suggestion for when you get it. Could you make a laminated label with very clear instructions that is permanently attached to the seat. Something like:

 

Children 1-4 years old MUST be harnessed

If using booster mode tighten the harness as much as possible and have the child sit on it. 

Please refer to manual for installation instructions on page x

 

And then attach the manual permanently too. I'm thinking a hole punch and one of those plastic slide ties. 

 

 

 

Boot is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 05-31-2011, 03:42 PM
 
leighi123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indialantic, FL
Posts: 1,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Given those 2 choices, I'd have a 5yr old sit on the harness.   I'd also just leave the harness in a heigh slot so that a range of sizes can fit in the seat without messing with the straps. 

 

 

 

I would also suggest taking pictures of each step of instillation (i.e where the seatbelt goes though, lock the belt, make sure its tight) and putting a kid in the harness (i.e straps tight, chest clip up). Print them on a piece of paper with a picture/directions for each step, laminated it and attach it to the seat.  Also put on there big on the top that kids under 5 need to be harnessed, kids 5+ can ride in booster mode.  

 

 That way anyone who sees it has a pictorial on how to use it, without having to decode the manual.  Easier in a situation where a quick install is needed by someone who is not used to carseats.  

 

If you can, have the main people who tend to use the seat practice it in their car, but if not, at least they have a the pictorial to help.   

 

 

 

The reason I suggested the literiders is because of the price, insurance covers the main seat, and they are only $12 so not much extra to buy seperatly just in case.  

leighi123 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off