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#1 of 20 Old 03-04-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds is going to be 11yo in a couple of months. He's right at 80lbs and is of average height and slim build. Recently I've begun to seriously consider whether or not he still needs a booster seat. I am familiar with the 5 step test.

In my Hyundai, ds definitely needs a booster to be safe but in my adult sons Ford, which does not have headrests in the back, a booster puts ds too high up. Fortunately, the belt goes low on his hips without a booster. Ds2 rides in it maybe once a week, so I am OK with him not using a booster.

Do others go through phase as well, where their dc uses a booster only in certain cars? With ds1, I was way less informed... I just arbitrarily chucked the booster into the trunk on his 11th bday. He was the last of his friends to be in a booster and I thought I was mom of the year, Haha

I need the BTDTs for my exdh, who is going to hear from ds2 that he is starting to go without a booster and will want to stop using one altogether. The problem is that I know how to tell if it's safe and he doesn't, so I just keep drilling it into his head that ds can't ride without one.

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#2 of 20 Old 03-04-2013, 05:08 PM
 
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Yes, this is totally normal. Seat belts in different cars fit kids differently. 

 

Your DS is old enough to learn about the 5-step test and advocate for his own safety. Teach him how to tell whether the seat belt fits correctly, and talk to him about what happens in an accident if the seat belt is not on right. Look up some information on "seat belt syndrome" and the abdominal injuries that happen when the belt is too high up on the belly. At his age, don't be afraid to use a little old-fashioned scare tactics. He's old enough to say "No, Dad, the seat belt doesn't fit me right in this car, I still need my booster until I grow into the belt." Hopefully he can understand the importance of it and will cooperate. 

 

I would consider getting him a Bubble Bum and teaching him how to use it. He can keep it in his backpack. Teach him that when he gets into a car and the belt doesn't fit correctly, to just ask the driver to wait a minute while he blows up his booster. And if the belt fits correctly, he doesn't need to bother.


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#3 of 20 Old 03-07-2013, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful response!  I've done just this with my ds.  I've shown him online what to look for when he gets into a car for the first time.  I've taught him to speak up with my exdh and exmil to make sure that the extra boosters I bought for their cars get used.  I thought I had done a good thing in putting some of the onus on ds, but the other day my exdh called to chew me out bc he had just bought a new car and told ds to hop in the front seat to check out the radio and ds hesitated to get in front, thinking his dad might intend to drive off with him up there.  He thinks I'm overdoing it and that I've made ds afraid...of what I don't know...dying unnecessarily maybe?  If so, good!

 

Anyway, as big a safety nerd as I am, I have to admit that as ds's 11th bday approaches, I am getting really antsy to put away the booster for good.  Again, my kiddo is the last in our circle of friends to use one.  Most people I know just stop using them anywhere between the 6th bday and maybe about 7 1/2.  I literally know not ONE SINGLE person who has had an 8yo in a booster.  Ds's stepbrother is just a month ro two older than he is, but is much much smaller in stature.  He hasn't used a booster in years and regularly sits in the front.  Ds tells him all the time that it's not safe (they are the absolute biggest BFFs ever) and asks him to stop, but they all just laugh as ds over there and roll their eyes about me.  If ds hits 11 and still needs his booster, I'm gonna need some serious support here to keep it going!


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#4 of 20 Old 03-09-2013, 10:42 PM
 
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It definitely makes it more complicated with the ex takes it personally.

 

Maybe you should tell him that if he didn't try to put his child in danger he wouldn't have to worry about his child thinking he would put him into danger.

 

Or maybe not. *sigh*

 

I've never had a whole lot of luck dealing with my ex when he is being unreasonable. :P


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#5 of 20 Old 03-10-2013, 04:58 PM
 
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Personally, I think it's crazy that children anywhere are *required* to use boosters as late as age 11.  If you think it makes riding in a particular car safer, then certainly follow your parental instincts.  But I know that - despite changing laws and guidelines - keeping our youngest in a booster past kindergarten will be a hard sell with my entire family, since his older brothers (ages 13-17) either weren't required to use them at all, or were out of them (legally) shortly after preschool.

 

So, it should be clear that my ideas below are not based on feeling horrified at the idea of a child younger than 11 being without a booster.

 

It sounds problematic for you to let your kids stop using boosters - under any circumstances - earlier than you've told your ex he may do so.  Your assessment miight be spot-on (that you can tell which cars don't need one and your ex can't).  But you can't expect an ex-spouse to accept that kind of reasoning.  I'm sure there are things he thinks he does/understands better than you do, yet if he insisted you do something with the kids "his way" - yet eschewed those rules in his own home - surely you'd find that offensive.

 

If you get along with your ex well enough that, currently, he's listening to you about the boosters, then that kind of cooperation and respect is a good thing to maintain - for you and your kids.  Even assuming you're right about everything you said, in your shoes I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice the functional dynamic with my ex, to let my kid out of boosters earlier than the age I set for my ex.  Next time you tell him something is important for the kids, you want him to trust your judgment, not say, "Yeah, whatever.  She just likes to think she can control my parenting time.  She doesn't even do what she tells me to do!"


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#6 of 20 Old 03-11-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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It sounds problematic for you to let your kids stop using boosters - under any circumstances - earlier than you've told your ex he may do so.  Your assessment miight be spot-on (that you can tell which cars don't need one and your ex can't).  But you can't expect an ex-spouse to accept that kind of reasoning.  I'm sure there are things he thinks he does/understands better than you do, yet if he insisted you do something with the kids "his way" - yet eschewed those rules in his own home - surely you'd find that offensive.

 

If you get along with your ex well enough that, currently, he's listening to you about the boosters, then that kind of cooperation and respect is a good thing to maintain - for you and your kids.  Even assuming you're right about everything you said, in your shoes I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice the functional dynamic with my ex, to let my kid out of boosters earlier than the age I set for my ex.  Next time you tell him something is important for the kids, you want him to trust your judgment, not say, "Yeah, whatever.  She just likes to think she can control my parenting time.  She doesn't even do what she tells me to do!"

 

Unfortunately, at 11 and average height if he is riding in a car without headrests he is probably too tall to safely be in the booster.  The choices would be to go without a booster (if he can 5 step), attempt to find a high back booster that would accomidate his height or not let him ride in that car.


 

 

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#7 of 20 Old 03-12-2013, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe you should tell him that if he didn't try to put his child in danger he wouldn't have to worry about his child thinking he would put him into danger.

 

 

 

Love this!  haha

 

 

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Personally, I think it's crazy that children anywhere are *required* to use boosters as late as age 11.  The law in my state allows kids to be without a seat at age 4, I think.  The only thing requiring me to keep ds in a  booster as he approaches age 11 is the fact that he is smallish and doesn't fit safely without one.  If you think it makes riding in a particular car safer, then certainly follow your parental instincts.  But I know that - despite changing laws and guidelines - keeping our youngest in a booster past kindergarten will be a hard sell with my entire family, since his older brothers (ages 13-17) either weren't required to use them at all, or were out of them (legally) shortly after preschool.  I can relate to family disagreeing, but I sincerely hope that you will not allow anyone to transport your ds without a booster just because he's started 1st grade, or hit some other arbitrary milestone, unless of course he is tall enough, heavy enough, and mature enough to not need a booster any longer. 

 

So, it should be clear that my ideas below are not based on feeling horrified at the idea of a child younger than 11 being without a booster.

 

It sounds problematic for you to let your kids stop using boosters - under any circumstances - earlier than you've told your ex he may do so.  Your assessment miight be spot-on (that you can tell which cars don't need one and your ex can't).  But you can't expect an ex-spouse to accept that kind of reasoning.  I'm sure there are things he thinks he does/understands better than you do, yet if he insisted you do something with the kids "his way" - yet eschewed those rules in his own home - surely you'd find that offensive.  Luckily for me, he doesn't do that.  :)

 

 

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Unfortunately, at 11 and average height if he is riding in a car without headrests he is probably too tall to safely be in the booster.  The choices would be to go without a booster (if he can 5 step), attempt to find a high back booster that would accomidate his height or not let him ride in that car.  Grrr...I know the rule about ears being at a certain level with the headrest.  In my older sons car, the lap belt fits but in my ex's car, while ds's ears are just at the point where he is almost too high, the lap belt is not low enough.  I can't imagine shelling out for a HBB for an 11yo, and even I wouldn't try to tell ex ds couldn't ride in his car.        

 

 

So which do I protect?  The neck or the abdomen?  In his dads car, he can probably safely use the booster height wise for another month or two, assuming I check EOW when he gets picked up, but if he gains literally a quarter of an inch, he's up too high.  A HBB isn't going to work, it's an Acura with weirdly shaped bucket seats in the back.  I would feel fine letting him stop now except the belt isn't quite low enough on his hips.  Maybe I can google some pics of what the lap belt should look like...


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#8 of 20 Old 03-13-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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Love this!  haha

 

 

 

 

So which do I protect?  The neck or the abdomen?  In his dads car, he can probably safely use the booster height wise for another month or two, assuming I check EOW when he gets picked up, but if he gains literally a quarter of an inch, he's up too high.  A HBB isn't going to work, it's an Acura with weirdly shaped bucket seats in the back.  I would feel fine letting him stop now except the belt isn't quite low enough on his hips.  Maybe I can google some pics of what the lap belt should look like...

 

I don't know what is statistically safer, but in that situation I *personally* would protect the neck.  I would also work with DS on *trying* to position his belt correctly--- some belts don't naturally rest well, but with work and concentration can be made to sit correctly.


 

 

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#9 of 20 Old 03-17-2013, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I needed to hear someone else echo my own instinct.  He'll be 11yo in a wink and I have a strong feeling ex is going to very arbitrarily call it quits.  He's already got his petit 10yo step son in the front, a teeny tiny 7yo step dd with no booster, and his newly-4yo son in a LBB with no headrest.  TBH, I know I can't argue for an 11yo riding in a booster with this man.  I have to switch my battle to "no front seat til at least 12" and "no lap-only seatbelt EVER".


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#10 of 20 Old 03-17-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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Thanks, I needed to hear someone else echo my own instinct.  He'll be 11yo in a wink and I have a strong feeling ex is going to very arbitrarily call it quits.  He's already got his petit 10yo step son in the front, a teeny tiny 7yo step dd with no booster, and his newly-4yo son in a LBB with no headrest.  TBH, I know I can't argue for an 11yo riding in a booster with this man.  I have to switch my battle to "no front seat til at least 12" and "no lap-only seatbelt EVER".

 

Yes, that would be a MUCH bigger deal to me than the 11 year old in a booster.  DS got a ride to a math competition the other day and I told him he needed to not sit in the front seat (he is around 4'11" and 90 lbs)--- he knows he usually doesn't but there was a chance that there would be a kid sitting in the front seat.  DS was concerned because *some* kid might end up there and I felt bad saying, "Well, it's not going to be you" but... they let their kids sit in the front normally anyway and that just isn't a risk I'm willing to take.  Depending on what state you live in, the 7 yo with no booster may be against the law, btw, but I doubt you want to "waste" your arguments with XH on a child not your own when you need to advocate for your own :(


 

 

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#11 of 20 Old 11-20-2013, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So here I am like 8 mos later and ds is STILL using a booster in my car.  He fits well in both of his dad's cars but only so-so in mine.  And he's lost 3-4 lbs since my OP.

 

How terrible would it be for me to toss the stupid seat in the trunk on his 12th bday and just pretend I didn't know better?


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#12 of 20 Old 11-20-2013, 11:56 PM
 
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This should be out soon (and comes in a few colors to match upholstery).  It might be an option to be less visible, but have the belt fit properly: http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Incognito-Positioning-Black/dp/B00FLXBHIU


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#13 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, that looks interesting...

 

What's wrong with this company, though, that they would use this particular picture?

 

 

 

The caption reads "Designed to prevent slouching, it is more comfortable for your child to ride on. Most importantly, it keeps the seat belt positioned where it should be."   They might as well add "Twisted seat belts are ok, and so are belts that ride a little bit up on the tummy!"


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#14 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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So here I am like 8 mos later and ds is STILL using a booster in my car.  He fits well in both of his dad's cars but only so-so in mine.  And he's lost 3-4 lbs since my OP.

 

How terrible would it be for me to toss the stupid seat in the trunk on his 12th bday and just pretend I didn't know better?

Beyond losing 3-4 pounds, has he gotten taller in the last 8 months?

 

Any time you want to "pretend you don't know better"  then you KNOW you're doing the wrong thing!

 

However, he's been in a  booster seat a good 6-8 years longer than many other kids, and has benefitted from the safety all that time. If he fits properly in the vehicle seat, then it's fine to not use the booster. Also, how soon is his 12th birthday and how likely is he to have a huge growth spurt between now and then?


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#15 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Beyond losing 3-4 pounds, has he gotten taller in the last 8 months?

 

Any time you want to "pretend you don't know better"  then you KNOW you're doing the wrong thing!

 

However, he's been in a  booster seat a good 6-8 years longer than many other kids, and has benefitted from the safety all that time. If he fits properly in the vehicle seat, then it's fine to not use the booster. Also, how soon is his 12th birthday and how likely is he to have a huge growth spurt between now and then?


As far as getting taller...a bit.  He's gone up one pant size because of his legs getting longer even though his waist did not get thicker.

 

On the second point, you are SO right!  What I think is going on is that he fits just fine without a booster but I am being obsessive.  I bought a clek 4 years ago and by golly! I want my $80 worth out of it!  haha

 

He is exactly half way between 11 and 12 and if the current pace keeps up he will be no bigger in 6 months than he is right now.  For perspective, my 19yo son is just 140#, maybe 145 after a huge meal.  They're just not big boys, but unlike his older brother, my 11yo ds is not muscular AT ALL.  He is hypotonic, in fact.


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#16 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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My son was out of his booster by age 9 or so; he was too tall for it, so it was time for the vehicle seat belts. He's now 4'11" tall (I think) and over 100 pounds. He's mad that I won't let him sit in the front seat while the car is moving until his next birthday (11.5 months away.) I'd remembered something about "age 12 and the front seat" but I double-checked, and it's "12 and under in  the back seat" not "12 and over in the front seat." His shoes from 2 years ago fit me, and he's taller than my 17 year old daughter! I know she's 4'10.5" and he's now about half an inch taller than her, so that's why I'm guessing he's 4'11".

 

If you want to go by height, Hannah would still be in the back seat, which she can't do while learning how to drive! Her hips have been more than ample to place the seatbelts in the right place for quite some time though!

 

I think you've  gotten your money's worth out of the booster seat, since it lasted until he no longer needs a booster.


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#17 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh gosh, Ruth, that's my next thing to obsess over!  When to let him sit up front...I let ds1 sit up front on his 12th bday and that's what ds2 is expecting also.

 

I'm going to take some pics of ds in my car with and w/o his booster and get some pro opinions to settle this once and for all.  Stay tuned...  :)


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#18 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 09:55 AM
 
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I had three daughters, and then two sons.  My older son is 13 today.  He's been out of a booster for quite a while--at least 3-4 years?  But he's HUGE.  He's at least 5'10" and 195lbs.  He's pretty solid too...spends quite a bit of time splitting wood (by hand) with his stepdad.  

 

Curious to see how old his little brother will be when he outgrows a booster.  Younger DS is 8 months (tomorrow) and is in a NextFit.  Hoping to get to 4 years RF in it!  Crossing fingers on that!  :)


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#19 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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Hmmm, that looks interesting...

 

What's wrong with this company, though, that they would use this particular picture?

 

 

 

The caption reads "Designed to prevent slouching, it is more comfortable for your child to ride on. Most importantly, it keeps the seat belt positioned where it should be."   They might as well add "Twisted seat belts are ok, and so are belts that ride a little bit up on the tummy!"

Yeah, it is an awful picture.  Carseat blog gave it a good review, though, and I trust them.  It's probably a vehicle seat geometry issue for some vehicles, just like with any other booster.  (also goes to show that photographers and people in promotions don't know much about the products they are working with!)


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#20 of 20 Old 12-04-2013, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They're marketing the seat to older kids who would be embarrassed to use a booster but all the models they use look like they are 5 or 6.

 

Gonna get some snaps of ds when I pick him up from school in a bit.


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