Does the seat belt need to lock with a booster? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 03-10-2013, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been wanting to switch my almost 6 year old to a booster from a harness seat. We have the Britax Frontier 85 and I was planning to get her a backless booster and put her brother into the Frontier.  I purchased the $13 one from walmart that had fabulous reviews from consumer reports. It fits across her lap and chest perfectly but I was a little too freaked out to go from a harness to such a little thing. So, I decided to keep her brother in his seat for a little longer and switch the frontier to booster mode. The only problem is that my daughter absolutely cannot buckle herself into the frontier in booster mode. It has been very frustrating.


I realized the reason she can't buckle herself is because every time I buckle her I pull all the slack out of the belt and lock it in place. If I don't lock the belt in place, she can buckle it just fine. I looked all over the user manual and I can't see anything about the necessity of locking the seat belt into place. It just says to 'remove the slack from the belt.' 


So my question is: Is it necessary to lock the seat belt? I know I don't lock mine? 


Thanks for any recommendations. 

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#2 of 4 Old 03-10-2013, 07:15 PM
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I don't think you're supposed to lock the belt with a booster.  Do you mean pull it all the way out and let it retract so it locks in a tight position like when you install a car seat?  If so, that seems uncomfortable and dangerous to me.  I would never wear a locked seat belt.


I have a Turbobooster for my 6yo dd, and it is great.  Easier to move around than the bigger car seats that convert to booster, and still has side impact protection.

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#3 of 4 Old 03-10-2013, 08:04 PM
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Locking the belt is unnecessary.  A child that is using a booster needs to be mature enough to sit in proper position without having to lock the belt tightly around her.  Is there any reason you're choosing to go with a backless booster?  A high back booster would be a more appropriate choice for a 6 year old.  The Graco Turbobooster is a good option that fits most kids pretty well.  


Graco also has the Affix booster, which is pretty much a Turbobooster that has LATCH anchors.  The anchors do not offer your daughter more protection, but they save you the step of having to buckle in the booster even when it's empty.  Unbuckled/unLATCHed boosters are a projectile hazard, which could cause injury to other occupants of the car in an accident or sudden stop.  Are you willing to buckle the seatbelt around the booster for every car ride?  If not, choose a LATCHing booster like the Affix.

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#4 of 4 Old 03-10-2013, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the feedback, I appreciate the quick response! I will try again without locking the seatbelt and see if she can buckle it.
Mama2soren, I bought a backless because it was so inexpensive and thought it would be fine. But when I put it in the car and she sat in it, it did not feel right, she seemed so unprotected. So I decided to keep her in the frontier, but convert it to booster mode (we had been using it in harness mode). If she still can't buckle it then I will switch back to harness mode. She still fits in harness mode just fine, but my little babe has bloomed into a social butterfly lately and I think it would be easier to have a booster that can be quickly and correctly transferred to another car.
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