When should I consider allowing my son to ride in a booster - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-15-2014, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When should I consider allowing my son to ride in a booster

My son just turned seven and will enter 2nd grade in the fall. He is quite tall, very high percentage and just hit 70 pounds, all in proportion. He rides in either a Britax frontier I think, the new one, and a nautilus in a five point harness. Which makes him one of the last in his class probably, certainly among the bigger kids. He doesn't complain, is fairly squirmy, and I like him being secure. But this summer playdates would be a lot easier if he occasionally rode in a booster with an adjustable strap. I'm not even sure how that works. Same seat right, just with the seat belt. Is it attached somehow to the chair?

Would just like some advice on when occasional, short trips might be reasonable.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-16-2014, 07:59 AM
 
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My dd started when she was four and too tall for her seat with straps. She used it until she was 9 and her pediatrician said she was tall enough and weighed enough to ride without if she was comfortable.   They have technicians at the hospital in our area who do the fittings. The seat just straps in with the seatbelt but you can make the seatbelt lock by pulling the strap all the way out then letting it go back in until it's secure.
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#3 of 7 Old 06-16-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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It sounds like he hits all the milestones for a booster seat. You can get one with a removable back if the seat belt doesn't hit properly across the shoulder. 70 lbs would have exceeded our Britax's weight limit.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-17-2014, 09:33 AM
 
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If he's 70lbs he's too heavy to ride in the nautilus harness (it goes to 65lbs). You need to stop using it RIGHT NOW as it is horribly unsafe to continue. Depending on the model of frontier, he may be too heavy for it as well, 70lbs is the harness limit on some of them. You need to switch to a booster for his safety, all the time, or invest in a seat with a higher harness weight (and make sure he's not too tall for the harness too - shoulders must be at or below the top harness slots, never above).

A booster is perfectly safe as long as he sits and keeps the belt positioned properly. All a booster does is position the seatbelt so that it sits properly on the child's body and helps absorb some of the crash forces. Your nautilus converts to a booster, so you can switch that out now and have him use that as a booster.

Again, he is NOT SAFE in a harness for which he is too heavy or tall. In a crash the harness could rip right out of the shell, and if he's too tall the harness could cause spinal compression and injuries.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-17-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks very much. I'm not sure how I missed that. He just had a big jump in weight and I didn't but two and two together. One car has a Frontier 90 and I'll keep him harnessed there. The prius requires the frontier because I have three in a row with one RF and two radians.

I guess I need to choose to upgrade our Nautilus to a Frontier (ouch) or convert other cars to booster mode.

Any thoughts on the upgrade? Is it worth the money for a newly turned 7, big big kid to have a harness?
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#6 of 7 Old 06-17-2014, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post
Thanks very much. I'm not sure how I missed that. He just had a big jump in weight and I didn't but two and two together. One car has a Frontier 90 and I'll keep him harnessed there. The prius requires the frontier because I have three in a row with one RF and two radians.

I guess I need to choose to upgrade our Nautilus to a Frontier (ouch) or convert other cars to booster mode.

Any thoughts on the upgrade? Is it worth the money for a newly turned 7, big big kid to have a harness?
IMO, no, only if he is not mature enough to sit properly in a booster. Most typically developing kids are capable of that around 6. There are no studies that show a harness is safer than a booster (or vice versa) for a child over 40lbs who is mature enough to sit in a booster (usually sometime around 5-6).
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#7 of 7 Old 08-06-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to update this post and say that we switched him after this post and it has actually worked out fine. He still rides harnessed in the Frontier. Thanks for the advice.
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