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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My almost 5 1/2yo son weighs about 36 lbs. He and his brother are both in britax marathons. Once or twice a week, DP and I split up with the kids and he's been taking out the carseat and switching it to another car. It's not a huge deal, but it takes time that we barely have. I was thinking of getting another carseat for the other car and then thought maybe a booster since eventually DS1 will outgrow the carseat.<br><br>
Any thoughts? Am I better off getting another carseat? How long can I keep him in a carseat? All his friends are in boosters -- which doesn't matter except I'm thinking that within a year he's going to realize he's still in a carseat. What the absolutely safest booster out there?
 

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The guideline that CPSTs will give you for minimum safe booster use is 4 years old AND 40 pounds. My daughter will be 5 the end of this month but is only about 36/37 pounds and I wouldn't DREAM of putting her in a booster.<br><br>
From 5 point to booster is a step down in protection, so if you child still fits in a harnessed seat and you want him to be as safe as possible, I would not "graduate" him to a booster. To heck with what his friends ride in! My daughter is also the only one of all her friends still harnessed, but I DO NOT CARE. She has noticed she's the only one and I say mommy wants you to be as safe as possible, and this is YOUR seat, and I'm sorry but you don't have a choice. So buckle up!<br><br>
My daughter's main seat is a Britax Regent and I think I can probably keep her in it until she is about ten. So as to your question, how long CAN you keep him in a carseat? About ten.<br><br>
This site has some pics of older kids in Regents, which is the biggest harnessed seat out there. That should give you an idea of what's possible.<br><a href="http://cpsafety.com/articles/FFalbum.aspx" target="_blank">http://cpsafety.com/articles/FFalbum.aspx</a>
 

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Here's what I'd do- I'd move the marathon to the "sometimes" car and get a regent for the every day car. Then, when he outgrows the marathon, you can evaluate whether he's ready for a booster yet or if he still needs a harnessed seat.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I agree - 5 point harness for as long as possible. (I linked to a video that shows a 5 p t and a seat belt positioned booster in a frontal 30 mph accident over in the safety forum - It convinced me.) There are some harnessed seats that look more like boosters - that might help his "image" LOL (they aren't on bases so their profile is lower). Someone already mentioned the Regent - there's also the Radian 65 (I wouldn't bother with the Radian 80 - same height but higher weight limit, which most kids would never reach), which is also considered a very well-made seat. (there are a couple of other seats which harness to higher wt. limits like the cosco apex 65 - which harnesses to 65 and then becomes a belt-positioner booster - and two seats coming out by recaro - the signo and the como (I think the latter is out and the former due to ship end of Sept.?) car-seat.org is a great site for recommendations.<br><br>
Out of all those recommendations, the Regent will lasts the longest. I see lots of pics of kids 8, 9, 10 riding in them on other sites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. What was I thinking even asking that questions???<br><br>
I'm going to look into the carseats. We're going to be due to get two new ones next year anyone because these will be 6 yo next Nov. It's funny because I know a couple of moms who insisted on getting Britax car seats when their kids are infants, but now they just use whatever they find on sale or those little boosters that provide no support. I was wondering about the 40lbs because most of the kids at DS's school don't weigh that much, but they are using those skimpy little things.<br><br>
DS will be ok when I tell him he's going to stay in a carseat and not get a booster. He may not even notice -- who knows. He's used to hearing me go on and on about why he isn't eating some of the food other kids eat, so this will be more of the same.
 

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My dd is 3.5 and 41lbs. (she is tall, wearing a size five in shirts and dresses.) It was recently brought to my attention that she could no longer ride in her 5point harness. It only went up to 40 lbs and then I was supposed to unlatch the latch system, take off the harness and just use the seatbelt. DUDE SHE IS THREE! We tried it ONCE... the whole trip she was moving the seatbelt under her arm, putting it behind her, and leaning out of it.<br><br>
So I ended up buying her the new Evenflo triumph advanced. It goes up to 50lbs with the harness instead of 40. I know the Regent goes up to 80lbs but I just couldn't afford it. It was $285 as opposed to $160. And I know that once DS out grows the original Triumph he is riding in, he can ride in this one, and by then DD can probably ride in the booster.<br><br>
I wish they wouldn't make car seats to complicated. They should just make convertible ones that go from birth to 60lbs or so. But then, they wouldn't make as much money when they force parents to keep buying bigger and bigger seats.
 

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Moving to the family safety forum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My 5.5 year old dd is several inches and probably pounds bigger then any of the other kids in her class. She will be outgrowing her booster seat soon, but I know many of the kids would be fine in most car seats. The scary thing is most of these kids hop in a car with not even a booster at the end of the school day! Just because the other kids are bouncing around in the car while their parents pull out does not mean I would allow my children to do that.<br><br>
It would be nice if the car seat laws were changed in FL. As they are now it's perfectly legal for a tiny 4 year old to be sitting in just a seat belt.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>grisandole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9066232"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Moving to the family safety forum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Woah.. .where did this forum come from? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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I put DS into a booster at age 5, but he was around 40 lbs by then. I just couldn't justify spending an extra $200 per carseat for a child who consistently sits properly in the car.<br><br>
BTW, DS still thinks of it as a "carseat" because it's a high backed booster. He seems to think that it's only a "booster" if it's backless like one of his friends has.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aniT</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9066165"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wish they wouldn't make car seats to complicated. They should just make convertible ones that go from birth to 60lbs or so.</div>
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They do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> --the big Britax convertibles and the Radian 65 harness from 5-65 pounds, the new Recaro carseats harness from 5-70 pounds, and the Radian 80 harnesses from 5-80 pounds. At first I was put off by paying $300 for a carseat, so instead I bought an infant seat ($200 for the travel system), then I bought the Evenflo Triumph ($120) and then when she outgrew that RF at 18 months I bought a Britax Marathon ($250). It would have been MUCH cheaper to buy a good convertible from the beginning, and then we could have gotten the full 6 years use out of it.
 

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I am confused as to why you replaced the Triumph at 18 months. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
The new ones however go up to 35lbs rear facing and 50lbs forward facing. The old one goes up to 30 rear facing.<br><br>
As for the Britex. yea.. they are really spendy. That is why I don't have one. That and I had NEVER EVER heard of them before a couple years ago. So I already had the Triumph. When DS was born I got a booster for DD and DS used the Triumph.<br><br>
Anyway.. my point was.. the majority of people cannot afford to fork out $300 for a car seat right off the bat. That is why they buy the $60-$80 infant seat.. then they buy another $80ish seat.. then another...<br><br>
So I guess what I should have said was, I wish they would make an AFFORDABLE convertible car seat that goes up to 60ish pounds so people aren't so confused.<br><br>
But it doesn't matter anyway.. eventually you are going to have to buy a booster. With the law at 8 yo or 4'9" there is no getting around it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aniT</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9068847"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But it doesn't matter anyway.. eventually you are going to have to buy a booster. With the law at 8 yo or 4'9" there is no getting around it.</div>
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I wish that is what the law was here. In FL a 4 year old can be restrained in just a seat belt. It was my understanding that less then half the states actually had laws in place that had decently high weight and height guidelines. I could be mistaken though as we live in a rather backwards place when it comes to public safety.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aniT</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9068847"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am confused as to why you replaced the Triumph at 18 months. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
The new ones however go up to 35lbs rear facing and 50lbs forward facing. The old one goes up to 30 rear facing.<br></div>
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My DD outgrew it by height at 18 months. So I bought a Marathon to keep her RF longer. And I actually just bought her a Radian to keep her RF even longer, because she only has about an inch left RF'ing in her Marathon.<br><br>
I totally agree that the seats should be more affordable. But, a Britax isn't that expensive if you consider you will get 6 years of use out of it--it equals out to about $4 a month. It would have been way cheaper for us to go that route from the beginning instead of "saving money" by buying cheaper seats.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>an_aurora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9070054"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I totally agree that the seats should be more affordable. But, a Britax isn't that expensive if you consider you will get 6 years of use out of it--it equals out to about $4 a month. It would have been way cheaper for us to go that route from the beginning instead of "saving money" by buying cheaper seats.</div>
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When you can barely afford a $40 Scenera, have no credit cards and no helpful family the Brtiax are well out of a family's league. Yes, the amount of money spread over time isn't that bad, but it has to all be paid for up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know it's not a lot, but our auto insurance company gave us $25 back for up to three carseats. I'm going to call them and see if they'll pay again since our carseats expire soon.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sarasprings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know it's not a lot, but our auto insurance company gave us $25 back for up to three carseats. I'm going to call them and see if they'll pay again since our carseats expire soon.</div>
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Cool!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>s_kristina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9073142"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When you can barely afford a $40 Scenera, have no credit cards and no helpful family the Brtiax are well out of a family's league. Yes, the amount of money spread over time isn't that bad, but it has to all be paid for up front.</div>
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Oh, I totally understand where you're coming from. Dh only made $13,000 a year when we bought our 1st Britax convertible. We ate spaghetti 3 times a week and saved and pinched to get dd's seat. We also sold a lot of things to add to the fund. It was worth it, but uck! I still hate spaghetti. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Here's my article on booster readiness and harnessing:<br><br>
Booster Seats and the Five Step Test<br><br>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br><br>
Safety belts are designed to fit the average adult male. Women and children (especially in older vehicles) simply do not fit. While there is little that can be done for adults (we’re still working on boosters to fit grown-ups who might want them LOL) belt positioning boosters make that adult belt fit your child.<br><br>
Keep children in booster seats until they pass the "5 Step Test" (usually around 10-12 years old and close to 5 feet tall) in every vehicle in which the child rides. <span style="color:#FF0000;">If the child meets the 5 Step Test in one vehicle, but not another, the child will need a booster for every vehicle in which the 5 Step Test is not met.</span><br><br>
Weight is a useless measurement of whether a child is ready for the adult seat belt or not. Age is only helpful when considering the child's ability to sit properly.<br><br>
In order to work properly, a shoulder belt needs to be across the collarbone and the lap belt needs to be on the hipbones. However, children often slip the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back, losing all upper-body protection. Or, they slide forward so their knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat, making the lap belt ride up on the abdomen. In these cases, the seat belt CANNOT work properly! Children can slide down and out of the restraint, or the belt can be forced into the stomach, causing damage to internal organs. These types of injuries are known as "seat-belt syndrome."<br><span style="color:#FF0000;"><br>
However, some children should NOT be in boosters.<br>
Children under 40 pounds and under the age of four should remain in a 5 point harness at all times.</span><br><br>
A booster does not restrain the child the way the harness does, it simply "boosts" the child up in order to make the adult-sized belt safely fit a child-sized body. Children under age 4 do not possess the ability to sit perfectly at all times, and a child who leans forward to retrieve a cup or toy, or who twists around to see something or someone behind them, will not be protected in a crash and is at risk for serious injuries and possibly death. Also, children this age sometimes still fall asleep in the car. The slumping that occurs when this happens means they are not properly positioned and should be in a 5 point harness for that trip. <b>Ideally all children should remain in an appropriate 5 point harness until age 5.</b><br><br><br>
The 5 Step Test<br><span style="color:#FF0000;">If you answer "No" to any of these questions, your child must be in a booster seat:</span><br>
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?<br>
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?<br>
3. Is the lap belt touching the top of the thighs, not the tummy?<br>
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?<br>
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?<br><i>BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTERS CAN NOT be used with only a lap belt!<br>
(See your car dealer for a lap/shoulder belt retrofit.)</i><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">So what booster is best for your child?</span><br>
That is a complex question with no hard and fast answers. The best booster for your child is the one that fits your child, your vehicle, your budget and that you will use correctly each and every time. Some boosters (like other car seats) are outgrown early by height, others can be tricky to use properly. Others are very expensive.<br><br><b><span style="color:#FF0000;">DO NOT use a shield booster. These are VERY dangerous and should never be used.</span></b> For more information, see: <a href="http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/shieldbooster.asp" target="_blank">http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/shieldbooster.asp</a> x<br>
QUOTE:<br>
Shield Boosters provide little or no upper-body protection. In many cases, the children who are injured or killed in these either:<br>
Get flung too far forward, resulting in serious head or spinal injuries or<br>
Submarine UNDER the shield and have spinal/neck injuries or are actually decapitated.<br>
There are also unfortunate cases where children are thrown OUT in a side-impact or rollover collision.<br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">MY RECOMMENDATIONS:</span><br>
For children under age 4, and under 40 pounds, use a "COMBINATION BOOSTER". This is a seat which has an integrated five-point harness which can be removed once the child outgrows it, and the seat can then be used as a belt-positioning booster at that time. This will NOT be the last seat your child needs, as the current models are typically outgrown by height (tips of ears above the shell of the seat) well before the 5 Step Test (above) is passed. However, at that point in time, if your vehicle has high seat backs or adjustable head restraints (aka "head rests"), an inexpensive backless booster may be an option for you.<br>
Once you move your child to a belt-positioning booster, leave them there until they pass the 5 Step Test - <b>no matter how old they are or how much they weigh.</b> This may mean purchasing more than one booster, and it may mean having your 8, 10, or 12 year old in a booster!!!<br>
If your child is OVER 4 years and 40 lbs, and sits properly for every ride, every time, a booster is acceptable, although a 5 point harness is still much safer AS LONG AS the child has not outgrown the seat.<br><br><br>
Some boosters are shorter than others, some are wider. Some fit well in small seats, others do not fit well in conjunction with other child restraints. Be aware that should you choose a shorter booster, you may need to purchase another booster later because your child outgrows it by height.<br><br>
Boosters are outgrown by height when the shoulders are above the belt guide at it's tallest setting OR the ears are above the shell of the seat. They are outgrown by weight when your child meets the weight limited listed on your seat and in the manual for the seat.<br><br>
Some boosters function as both high back boosters and "BACKLESS BOOSTERS". If you choose a booster with this configuration, and the booster is outgrown by height as a high-back booster, some manufacturers permit you to remove the back and use the booster as a backless as long as proper head support is available in your vehicle. Before attempting this with your booster, verify that the manufacturer allows this by reading your owners manual.<br><br><br>
Whichever type of booster you purchase, whichever brand you buy, use it every ride and every time. Don't prematurely evict your child from the booster. Explain to them in as much detail as necessary why they must use a booster, even if their friends do not.<br>
__________________<br><br>
copyright Rebekah Branch, CPST since 2005
 
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