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Old 09-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
adventure_woman
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Car Seat Safety Techs - need advice

(I also posted this on the budget board - but I didn't find any techs)

My DD is almost 6, 55 lbs and around 46" I think? Anyway, I have her in a Britax Frontier and my spare seat for my mom's car and DHs car is Graco Nautilus. I like them both, I am hoping to keep her harnessed for quite a bit longer - I just think she is so much safer.

Now onto my question.....Since she is getting older, and may/will be riding in a friend's car at times, should I break down and buy a booster for her to use in those instances? Is it safe enough? If I should buy a booster, what kind would you recommend? High back? What kind? (budget minded too if possible). I know her 2 seats now will turn into boosters, but I don't want to monkey with the straps, etc when I'd have to put them back.

So, am I being too overly cautious? (For example, her friend is going to be picking her up every Wed night to go to a church group - just let her ride in the booster?)

Thanks for the advice for a paranoid mommy!
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
Habbott
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I'm not a carseat tech, but for that short amount of time I would get just a plain old booster seat. If there was a chance she might fall asleep, high back would be the way to go. I think at the age of 6, you should be able to show her exactly how she needs to ride in that seat to be safe (buckled, with shoulder strap in proper position). Just make sure that the lap portion of the belt is in the proper place.

I agree that it's best to keep her harnessed as long as possible, and I plan on doing the same for my little guy. But, I think it may be easier to just do a belt positioning booster.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
LONES
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I'm not a carseat tech either, just a mom that's done a crazy amount of research. My 8 year old DD is about the same weight and height as your child. We still have her in the Nautilus in our van, but my DH drives an extended cab truck. The Nautilus really doesn't fit well in his truck, so we opted for the Graco Turbobooster. My reasoning for allowing this was pretty much what the previous poster said. She is really only ever in his truck for short distances where she would not be falling asleep. If she is sitting up correctly, I feel she's perfectly safe.

As a side note... my DD is now in 2nd grade. From the time she started pre-school, I would say I only ever saw a handful of kids that were still harnessed. By kindergarten, most of the kids I saw were in backless boosters, and honestly.... It seems like now most of her friends are using nothing at all ( I believe the law in our state is age 8). If I didn't get to read posts like this on-line... I would think I was the craziest mom on the planet for keeping my kids harnessed and in carseats for as long as I do!!! My 6 year old DD is only 36" tall and 33lbs. I'm pretty sure I'll be sending a booster along when she gets picked up by friends to go to high school football games!
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
justhat
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When my kids were around 5yo, we got boosters to use for that purpose, as well as travelling. My older 2 are in Britax Frontiers in my car and my husband's, but they are just too bulky to transfer for playdates and such. I bought backless boosters, but that was primarily because the first time I bought one I was pregnant with #3 and just wanted the smallest, lightest seat to take on a vacation cause i was flying alone with the kids. If I were to do it now I would get high back boosters (and actually am planning to get one soon anyway).

And WTG with the harnessing! My 6yo is still harnessed in his Frontier (little smaller than yours, he's 45" and 42lbs) and my 8yo switched to using the Frontier as a booster at 7.75yo. Don't totally remember her size but I guess around 55-60lbs and 50"? She's 55" and 65lbs now and still uses it as a booster.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
LISmama810
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I'm a car seat technician

At her age and size, a booster is likely a very good choice. You'll want to make sure the belt fits properly and that she is mature enough to sit properly (won't mess with the belt, etc.)

For longer trips, I'd prefer a high-back because it provides more support when sleeping. For occasional use in friends' cars, a backless is fine as long as they have headrests/high seatbacks that will support her head (at least up to the top of her ears).
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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I'm pro extended rear-facing and using boosters until they pass the 5 step test. The research, so far, does not say either harness or booster are safer. They are both safe when used correctly, so set your mind at ease

I think a high-backed booster would be more versatile. It can be used in a vehicle that doesn't have headrests and also support her in case you have to use it for longer trips and she falls asleep. I like something with deep headings for sleeping and bought the Graco Turbo Booster with Safety Surround. The original TB is just fine, but it has a tendency to come apart when you carry it around. I don't have that issue with the SS. Also, she may need the belt positioned for a good fit and a HBB provides that.

If you want a booster that accommodates someone who is very tall or has a long torso, the Britax Parkway is one of the taller ones (second to your Frontier). My daughter uses this one and finds it comfortable.

A low-back booster is fine as long as she has adequate head support and the seat belt is positioned correctly across her chest and shoulder.

I'm not a car seat tech yet but, like the PPs, I've done a bunch of research.

*Edit-I just repeated everything from above. I took too long submitting LOL!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:43 PM   #7
adventure_woman
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Thank you guys - this has made me feel better about her riding in a booster in her friends cars!
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Me (Stephanie) DH (Sam) DD7 (Elizabeth) DD4 (Natalie)

WDW
LOTS of trips before!
CP CM - Summer 1999
FT CM - May 2000-Dec 2001 (AKL, BC, Poly)
ASMo 11/03 ASMo 11/06 AS Sp/Mo 8/08 ASMo 1/9 ASMu 8/09 ASMu 8/11 ASMu 1/13

DL/DCA
CM - Dec 2000-Feb 2001 (Grand Opening of DCA)
Off-site 12/05

DCL
Magic Eastern Caribbean 1/29/11
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
adventure_woman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LISmama810 View Post
I'm a car seat technician

At her age and size, a booster is likely a very good choice. You'll want to make sure the belt fits properly and that she is mature enough to sit properly (won't mess with the belt, etc.)

For longer trips, I'd prefer a high-back because it provides more support when sleeping. For occasional use in friends' cars, a backless is fine as long as they have headrests/high seatbacks that will support her head (at least up to the top of her ears).
So - if I get a backless for her - is there one you would recommend over others? I read the Evenflo Big Kid Amp and Harmony Youth would be good?

Thanks again!
__________________
Me (Stephanie) DH (Sam) DD7 (Elizabeth) DD4 (Natalie)

WDW
LOTS of trips before!
CP CM - Summer 1999
FT CM - May 2000-Dec 2001 (AKL, BC, Poly)
ASMo 11/03 ASMo 11/06 AS Sp/Mo 8/08 ASMo 1/9 ASMu 8/09 ASMu 8/11 ASMu 1/13

DL/DCA
CM - Dec 2000-Feb 2001 (Grand Opening of DCA)
Off-site 12/05

DCL
Magic Eastern Caribbean 1/29/11
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