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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds is all for his age (49" at age 5 1/2), and skinny (45 lbs.) AND his height is in his torso more than his legs.

We've always had issues with carseats because of this. He outgrew his first Britax very early because his shoulders were too big. We now have him in a Graco booster seat (we converted it from a 5 pt harness to just using the seatbelt when he got too tall for the 5 pt harness). I noticed the other night that his head is at the top of the seat. When he grows another inch or two, his head is going to be ABOVE the top of the seat (which incidentally is at the same height as the head rest in the car). In other words, his head will be ABOVE the head rest when he's using a booster.

The law in our state says that a child needs to be in a booster until 60 lbs. At his current weight, that's about 2 years away. What can we use? Do we need to use anything if he's tall enough for the seatbelt to fit him properly without the booster? (I don't think the Britax Regent would work, as it only goes up to 52", which in my experience means 50" for ds, as his tall torso is definitely an issue for the Britax seats. And I'm sure it wouldn't fit in our car.)
 

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It sounds like you have a combination seat.These are very short backed generally. You could look into the Regent (measure his torso like Angela said) or you would need to get a dedicated booster taht goes to higher heights, like the Britax Parkway.
 

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My 4 yr. old is 42" and 41 lbs., and his head is already at the top of the Cosco combination seat his grandma has for him (which we recently had to convert to a booster- scary!!!) but he has a LOOOOONG time to go in both the Regent and the Cosco Apex (which harnesses to 65 lbs. and then is a booster to 100 lbs., with an adjustable height headrest). You can go to Babies R Us and try him out in both of those seats to see if they are tall enough, but I'm pretty sure they will be. The Apex is only $130, and with such a skinny guy, you probably won't need to harness past 65 lbs. To use the Apex you need headrests in your car.
The Regent has 20" harness slots, slots on Apexes vary-- some are 17.5", but some are taller-- 19"? Also, it's okay for the top of their head to be over the top of the booster, they can keep using it safely until the top of their ears are at the top of the seat.
I definitely wouldn't put a 49" kid in a seatbelt. Supposedly, most kids are tall enough to sit with just a seatbelt around 57". And at only 45 lbs., I'd really want them in a 5 pt. harness.
 

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What about a backless booster? Yours might convert--I think I have the same one.

My 7yo is very close in size to your 5.5 year old! He is now 50 inches and 49.5 pounds. His height is also largely in his torso. He rides on a backless booster, or in a built-in booster (one of our cars has them). Our state is 6 or 60 to be out of a booster, but he is not comfortable that way because his legs are too short, plus he is so far from 60 pounds it makes me nervous. Dh drove him around the block one day to prove he wouldn't like it--no more complaints
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by craftymom View Post
What about a backless booster? Yours might convert--I think I have the same one.

5-pt harnesses are MUCH MUCH safer. I would not have my child in a backless booster unless there was no other seat on the market that fit them.

-Angela
 

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The child is already in a booster, not a 5 pt. harness, as he weights 45 lbs. The problem is the seat backs being too tall. If he goes to a backless, they don't need to worry about the seat back height any more. It's a practical and AFFORDABLE solution. Not everyone can go out and buy a new Britax every year.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravin View Post
The child is already in a booster, not a 5 pt. harness, as he weights 45 lbs. The problem is the seat backs being too tall. If he goes to a backless, they don't need to worry about the seat back height any more. It's a practical and AFFORDABLE solution. Not everyone can go out and buy a new Britax every year.
He's in the booster part of a combination seat which is MUCH lower then regular dedicated boosters. This is not a case where the child has outgrown every seat on the market. You can get an Evenflo high backed booster for $30 or less. A backless booster offers so side impact protection and cannot be used unless you have a car w/ headrests for the child's head to prevent neck injuries in a crash.
 

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My tall skinny 4.5 year old is in a Graco Turbobooster. She is 45" (I think, I haven't measured her in a while) and is still on the second lowest setting for the headrest, so she still has lots of room to grow with it. The back also comes off and can be used as a backless booster later. The TurboBooster is good seat and dd really likes it (hopefully for more than just the Disney Princess cover!)

(Before I get flamed for having a 4 year old in a booster, I am in Canada, and dd outgrew the Marathon heightwise, and it's the biggest seat available here, so there is no other choice for us).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
5-pt harnesses are MUCH MUCH safer. I would not have my child in a backless booster unless there was no other seat on the market that fit them.

-Angela
Do you mean safer when a child should be in a car seat rather than a booster? We just bought a backless booster for our 5 1/2 year old yesterday because he wants to be able to buckle himself and it was too difficult in the Alpha Omega 5-80 lb seat. I called and spoke with a certified safety seat technician and she said they are perfectly safe as long as the seatbelt is in the correct position across the thighs and on the shoulder. I also checked out www.boosterseat.gov and www.nhtsa.dot.gov and both recommend either a backless or high back. They don't recommend one over the other. I was really nervous because he went from a seat that was so big to this little thing that just raises him up, but I feel much better after hearing that it is safe.
 

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A 5pt harness is always safer than a booster if you are in the weight limit. An alpha omega only goes to 40# w/ the harness. After that, a highbacked booster is safest, especially w/ one like the Britax that offers the true side impact protection. After that (as long as you have headrests to support the child's head in a crash) comes backless boosters. They are fine IMO for travelling or maybe grandma's car, but I feel strongly a child is safer in a highbacked booster as long as it still fits them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lovemyfamily6 View Post
Do you mean safer when a child should be in a car seat rather than a booster? We just bought a backless booster for our 5 1/2 year old yesterday because he wants to be able to buckle himself and it was too difficult in the Alpha Omega 5-80 lb seat. I called and spoke with a certified safety seat technician and she said they are perfectly safe as long as the seatbelt is in the correct position across the thighs and on the shoulder. I also checked out www.boosterseat.gov and www.nhtsa.dot.gov and both recommend either a backless or high back. They don't recommend one over the other. I was really nervous because he went from a seat that was so big to this little thing that just raises him up, but I feel much better after hearing that it is safe.
5pt harnesses are simply safer than a seatbelt. Period. It would be better if the seats in cars ALL had 5pt belts instead of 3 pt seatbelts.

-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We have a Graco Cargo Booster, and he's well past the 5 pt. harness slots for it. We can't afford a Britax Regent even if we could find one AND fit one in our cars (we've got two that he rides in - one is a small Mazda, and dd's Britax Roundabout barely fits there!)

He probably does have more room - I looked up info on the web, and it seems that as long as his ears are below the top of the booster, I'm OK. And we've got about 2" before that happens, I think. That will give us about a year. Still not sure what we'll do after that. He'll probably still be only 50 lbs, and 51" and 6 1/2 years old.

I measured him sitting down (it was a bit difficult as he's currently sick and wasn't sitting in his seat at the time) and he's about 26 1/2" - 27" while seated. Problem is I can't find anywhere to use that little tidbit of information. None of the car seat info I can see uses that. The NTSA just says that kids need to be in boosters until 4'9" or when the lap belt fits them properly across the shoulder and the hips.

And as a side issue can anyone give me studies that show that the 5 pt are better? Not anecdote or opinion. Are 5 pt harnesses better than booster+lap belt for older children? What are you basing this on?
 

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My dd is currently in a high back Graco Turbo booster. She is 5 years old 48" about 60 lbs and her torso is 18" as best I can get her to sit still to measure it. While we would have loved a Regent there was no way it would fit in the back seat of our truck. I posted over on the car seat board when I saw her head was almost level with the top her her booster with the back extended all the way. They reassured me that she will be ok in the seat until the top of her ears are level with the top of the seat which gives us a couple more inches. From my research it looks like if we need to go that route the Britax Parkway would give her another inch or so of high back booster seat.
 

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we have 3 children in Graco High backed Turbo Boosters. The height of the seat is adjustable, thereis side and head impact protection comparable to the Britax boosters for less then half the cost. Love Britax, it's the cadillac of safety seats because if ease of use, but there are seats that are just as safe for less available.

The three in boosters are 9years (4'9 and 62lbs), 8yrs (4'8 and 64lbs) and 5yrs (4' and 50-some lbs).

The convertable boosters are all crap IMO...there isn't one on the market that translates from harness to BPB without loosing some protection becAUSE OF THE FIT OF THE SEAT or the child to the belt. Some have crappy threaders for the belt, some a bit too much room between the body and the belt and most are simply too short! We've had the Cargo in the past, but it can't be used well for a skinny tall kid as a BPB.

The Turbo has a more narrow seat too, we like that we can fit 6 carseats in our car now! We used these seats to drive 3600miles this past christmas.
 

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Ds1 is in a high backed Graco Turbobooster and he likes it. I would have gotten him a Regent if I'd known about them. There's no way he'd go back to a harness after being in a booster. I've talked to him about it, and it's a no go. If your ds is still willing to be in a 5 pt harness, that would be ideal. If not the Britax boosters and the Graco Turbobooster are good boosters.
 
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