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Did you know that if your child weighs less than 80 lbs, regardless of age, that they should be in a high back booster? Apparently
seats belts don't hit kids in the right places and can cause them to sustain internal, possibly fatal, injuries even in minor accidents. With really small or slender children the belts can fail to hold them in and they literally fly out. It's a misnomer that a 40 lb child no longer needs a booster seat. There have been campaigns (boost 'em before you buckle 'em) to raise awareness about this issue but they have been only moderately successful which is obvious by the number of people I see at preschool and kindergarten who no longer use booster seats. Just wanted to pass this along since it's something so important.
 

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Our son who will be 5 in January recently broke the 40 lbs. mark. We removed the harness from his booster seat and now use it with the safety belt only. I was told that even though he fit in well with the harness, that it may not hold or could injure him in case of an accident.

As for using the booster seat, he will be in it until the 80 lbs. or too tall for the seat. Only then we he ride in the car with belt only.
 

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Good points. The general rule is about 8 years, 80 pounds or 4 feet, 9 inches. Roughly :)

If your vehicle has headrests or high seats in the rear, a backless booster like the Evenflo Rightfit may also be acceptable.

Most harnessed seats only go to 40 pounds, as you mentioned. So, most people will switch to a booster at 40 pounds, but preferably not much sooner since a 5-point harness is considered safer. A few carseats, like the Britax SuperElite (80 lbs) and Fisher Price Futura (60 lbs) do go above 40 pounds in a harness. They are currently hard to find, though.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I was told that even though he fit in well with the harness, that it may not hold or could injure him in case of an accident.
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That was good advice. It's too bad that the car seat manufacturers don't get together on this and do more to make people aware. I'd like to think that it's more that people don't know than that they don't care. But then I'll be driving around and will see a little child that's not buckled at all. What a tragedy for a child to die because their parents couldn't be bothered to secure them properly. Glad we have this forum and this topic category. Safe travels with your little one.
 

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California enacted the 6 years, 60 pounds law this past January. What was strange, though, was that they said they wouldn't "enforce" the law until July 1. And then I've spoken to a lot of people who had absolutely no idea the law came into effect. In fact, my sister-in-law took my five year old out shopping one day without a booster seat (while she was babysitting). Horrified, I informed her about the law, and she said she had no idea. I'll tell you, I can't count the number of times I've seen kids without booster seats coming to preschool in their parents' cars. And some of them are even in the front passenger seat! Perhaps these laws would protect innocent children more if they would actually be ENFORCED!

Some of my friends seem to think I'm being a little paranoid about the issue. But I'd do anything that would make my children more secure. I just wish I could confront all these careless people and get them to change...

It makes me feel good that there are other people here who care as much as I do.
 

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I've researched this topic intensely, and discovered that because the law pretty much ends at 4yrs/40 pounds, the car seat issue becomes a wild wild west after that--and manufacturers have been EXTREMELY slow to come to bat on the issue.

I spend a bunch of money on care safety for my kids. Britax toddler seats all the way, because they're built like tanks and are incredibly easy to use. The web is wide and won't twist, it's incredibly easy to buckle (my 3 year old can even make the bottom buckles work), and so on.

Imagine my surprise when I went to research what happens after 40 pounds. Pretty much anything goes, with the market catering to the "mom on the go who doesn't have time to deal with buckles and straps", not to mention the "I don't want to spend a bunch of money on this stuff, especially since the BLESSED GOVERNMENT, SAVIOR OF ALL AND KNOWER OF ALL THINGS, doesn't REQUIRE it."

Phah. My Britax cost a couple hundred dollars. Well worth it. No hassles and worry-free--and installed tight as a drum. My boy is buckled in like an F1 driver.

So after 4 years, until recently all you could find are these silly "belt positioning booster seats". ENTIRELY inadequate.

Fisher Price was the first one to come to bat with the Futura 20/60 car seat--not the one with the stupid 3 point harness and stupid shield, but the model with the proper 5 point harness and NO shield. Good for up to 6 years and 60 pounds. Wheeeeee! I was ecstatic. I bought one.

Suitable for lap-belt use only (good because my current Toyota van is lap-belt only in the middle seat, but that's a non-issue now or will be in a few weeks). Also FAA certified for aircraft use.

Now I find that my beloved Britax has gotten on the bandwagon with their Super Elite model, complete with ISOFIX anchors--AND it goes up to 8 years and 80 pounds with the 5 point harness!

Do the physics. There is NO subsitute for a 5 point harness. That's impractical for everyday adult use, but growing bodies need all the help they can get. Ratchet that seat down as hard as you can--don't worry about making marks in the seat, those are inconsequential when compared to the safety of your children--and yank that harness web as tight as you can. Don't be gentle and leave slack (like my wife who's afraid to discomfort His Majesty). Your child won't mind, and he will be SAFE.
 
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I LOVE our three Futuras! They have to be the best seats we've ever bought. So easy to securely install! My little bro will be three in a week, but is already 45 lbs. We had to buy them because none of our cars (except the '95 Civic) have rear shoulder belts.

We considered the Super Elite, but didn't have time to wait for three and also didn't want to shell out $600. I think I saw a model that looks like the Century Breverra, but is rated higher...any idea what I'm talking about?

Just thought I'd put a plug in for the Futura (breaks my heart that now they're unavailable--that means that more people will have their kids in a unsafe situation).

Sigh.

I also do feel safer driving my brother around with a 5pt, he can't tweek it like a seat belt.

Michelle

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  • 1995 Civic Teal DX Coupe
  • 2002 RP Odyssey EXL-RES (soon!)
  • 1987 Blue Civic Sedan
  • 1990 Grey Chrysler LeBaron GTC Convertable
  • '86 Silver Toyota LE Van
  • 1967 Honda Dream Motorcycle
 

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The Futura is unavailable???? Hang on, wait a minute.

http://www.cipsafe.org/carseats/40-60.html

This is where I got mine. It's the ONLY place, for some reason, that the 5 point harness version is available. The $95 includes shipping.

I really don't like it all that much; the webbing is too narrow (easy to twist) and the buckle system is too awkward. So far we're using it as an occasional seat. But as His Majesty gets bigger and out of the Britax, I planned on putting up with my dislikes of the design to get the results once he's in the seat.

Now that Britax is out with theirs, it's no contest. Britax knows how to do it so that you buckle him in properly every time, with no hassles or inconveniences.

If the Futura is unavailable, does Fisher Price have any alternatives?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adam1991:
Now I find that my beloved Britax has gotten on the bandwagon with their Super Elite model, complete with ISOFIX anchors--AND it goes up to 8 years and 80 pounds with the 5 point harness!

Do the physics. There is NO subsitute for a 5 point harness. That's impractical for everyday adult use, but growing bodies need all the help they can get. Ratchet that seat down as hard as you can--don't worry about making marks in the seat, those are inconsequential when compared to the safety of your children--and yank that harness web as tight as you can. Don't be gentle and leave slack (like my wife who's afraid to discomfort His Majesty). Your child won't mind, and he will be SAFE.
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Good advice. Later this year, Simpson Racing is supposed to release their booster, rated to 60 pounds in a harness, then 80 as belt-positioning. It does have LATCH/ISOFIX.

I am pretty sure that the Britax Super Elite does NOT have LATCH/ISOFIX at this time. It may in the future, but it might also be too wide to fit in a LATCH position well.
 

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With these booster seat laws coming into effect, who do schools meet these rules on school buses? Or is it like the seat belt laws. They don't have to.
 

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Caviller:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I am pretty sure that the Britax Super Elite does NOT have LATCH/ISOFIX at this time.</font>
Darn, you're right.

LATCH is convenient for those of us who truly wish to put a tiny one in the center of the van. But my wife is resigned to the fact that with two, and with existing car seats--well, they'll just have to fare on the sides.
 
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adam1991, Fisher Price is stopping manufacture of all of their car seats (that's what I heard).

We ordered our three (5pt) from rightstart.com for about $95. I do agree that the belts twist and the buckle is a little akward. Just fix it as it comes and it sure is better than having a child in an unsafe seat.

Michelle

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  • 1995 Civic Teal DX Coupe
  • 2002 RP Odyssey EXL-RES (soon!)
  • 1987 Blue Civic Sedan
  • 1990 Grey Chrysler LeBaron GTC Convertable
  • '86 Silver Toyota LE Van
  • 1967 Honda Dream Motorcycle
 

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Fisher Price did halt manufacture of car seats in June. Called them myself to find out. Consumer Reports did state it in a little sentence in their article, which I finally discovered rereading it. Supposedly, FP just didn't sell enough seats to continue. That's what the rep told me.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by b1trentel:
With these booster seat laws coming into effect, who do schools meet these rules on school buses? Or is it like the seat belt laws. They don't have to.</font>
School bus safety is a separate issue. The sheer mass and size of a full size school bus provides a great deal of inherent safety. The small seating compartments also provide safety. In cars, boosters are necessary because the seatbelts are designed for adults, and may actually cause certain types of injuries if used on a child without a booster. Since many schoolbuses don't have belts at all, boosters are obviously not needed. Retrofitting belts is an extreme expense not many districts can afford. As newer buses are phased in with new seatbelts systems, they should be designed appropriately for use without an aftermarket booster. Smaller school buses are likely to have seatbelts much sooner.


My impression is that buses are relatively safe, so some of the concern is not warranted. Still, they can be made all that much safer. The systems already exist for adding seatbelts and other safety features, it is now just a matter of money and time before we see them.
 
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