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Discussion Starter #1
I know that booster seats are recommended for kids 40 lbs. and over, but what exactly is the basis for this recommendation?

I currently own the Britax Roadster booster seats (which I love for their portability and ease of use) that I use when carpooling other people's kids. My daughter, however, is 3 years old and only about 30 lbs. and I still have her sit in her Britax Expressway, but every time she gets in the van she asks if she can sit in the Roadster booster (which I of course say no to). If weight is the primary reason (that kids have to be heavier than 40 lbs. for the use of regular seat belts with the booster seat to be an effective restraint), then what about the fact that some booster seats, like the Britax StarRiser, allow for children as light as 30 lbs.? As far as the height, my daughter's shoulders easily come up to the lowest setting of the Roadster, so fitting the regular seat belt correctly over her is no problem.

Mind you, I've read postings within Odyclub and info elsewhere on the net and agree that strapping children in car seats with 5-point harnesses is the safest option for as long as the kid will tolerate it, but the Britax Roadster is such a convenient booster and was wondering whether it's an absolute NO-NO to have children over 30 lbs. but under 40 lbs. using it.

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(o: Terry :eek:)
'02 GG EX-L RES
Splash guards, mod floor mats & cargo tray, Poron backup sensors, VCR/TV tuner
 

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As you indicate, 5-point harnesses are preferred. 3-point lap/shoulder belts can and do provide a very good degree of protection, but only if the passenger is seated properly.

Most children around 30 pounds simply aren't mature enough to stay with a regular seatbelt on them properly. Heck, some adults aren't, either. A 5-point harness is much more likely to keep children positioned properly before a crash, and is probably somewhat safer in some types of crashes, too.

If you have an Expressway, the recommendation would be to continue to use it until your child outgrows it by weight or height. If you do need to use a booster for an emergency, it is safe provided your child does meet the minimum age/weight requirements and the belts are adjusted properly. Just be sure to instruct your child how to remain seated properly, and not to push the belt aside or be leaning off to the side or too far forward.

More information:

http://www.carseat.org/Resources/boosters.htm

http://www.car-safety.org/faq.html


[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 12-06-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the additional info, caviller. Your input has always been so helpful.

In researching this matter, I was surprised to learn that children at 30 lbs. can ride in a booster seat, so long as, like you mentioned, they meet the weight/height requirements and are capable of behaving themselves. Since I have the Britax Roadster seat, I called Britax to find out whether a child of 30 lbs. can ride in that particular booster(it specifies 40-100 lbs.), and they said that it's up to the parent. The rep said that the Roadster has been crash-tested for 40 lbs. and over only, but that the seat itself can handle lighter weights (again, so long as the child is correctly fastened and won't unfasten or play with the seat belt). In fact, their other booster, the StarRiser, specifies 30-80 lbs., and it's not very different from the Roadster (she even said that 30-lb kids can ride without the back support attached if they're tall enough to properly fit in the seat of the car). I suspect the reason for the different weight specifications is really a marketing one--that way they can sell more of both models, IMHO.

As an added safety measure, when I carpool other kids (a bunch of 5-year-olds) in these booster seats, I always pull the car seatbelts all the way so they lock and retain the tension. This may not be necessary, but I feel that this way the kids can't play with the belt by pulling on it or sliding it out of position which would compromise safety. Just a thought.

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(o: Terry :eek:)
'02 GG EX-L RES
Splash guards, mod floor mats & cargo tray, Poron backup sensors, VCR/TV tuner
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by forgaming:
My daughter, however, is 3 years old and only about 30 lbs. and I still have her sit in her Britax Expressway...
</font>
Hi Terry,
Noticed you have an Expressway... just wondering, have you experienced any of the problems I/my wife did in regards to harness tightening? Just wanted to get another's opinion... Did I have an experience different from others? Is there something I/she may have been doing wrong?

Thanks!

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-SJ (former username: shinjohn)
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)

[This message has been edited by shindog (edited 12-06-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by shindog:
Hi Terry,
Noticed you have an Expressway... just wondering, have you experienced any of the problems I/my wife did in regards to harness tightening?
</font>
Hi, shindog. I wrote down Expressway when I really meant Freeway, which is what we have (can't keep these names straight
; couldn't they have been more creative?...). Sorry for the confusion. I understand that the Freeway is an older model convertible (20-40 lbs.). It's been a good car seat, but I find that the buckle is somewhat flimsy and looks like kids could easily get it unbuckled. Britax's website says they offer a buckle cover for free (plus $1.95 s/h) to prevent that, but so far my daughter hasn't gone exploring that area yet. The harness tightening mechanism has worked well so far, though the tightening part requires a bit of exertion (need to pull down hard), but not bad. Sorry I can't help with the Expressway
.



[This message has been edited by forgaming (edited 12-07-2001).]
 

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Shindog -- we have the Expressway and have had some of the issues you described. I am a fairly small woman, but I like the seat well enough otherwise to deal with it. I can get it tight, but like you mentioned, it involves constantly pulling the hugs mechanism down as I tighten (pull the tightening strapp until it stops, pull the hugs things down, pull the strap, etc.). I get it very tight this way, but it's especially tricky when my son is wearing his coat. I have gotten into the habit of having him coatless in the car regardless of the outside temperature.

Since I didn't have the Roundabout to compare it to (just a Century Smart Move which is also a pain to adjust) I didn't see the inconvenient adjustment as a deal killer, but I do worry that other less anal people (my husband, my mother, etc.) will not get him really tight in the seat b/c they won't go to the trouble. Fortunately, my husband doesn't loosen the straps either so as long as I don't loosen them to get him out, I just have to hear my husband complain about how hard it is to get him in.
I also don't really like the fact that I have to fit the buckle together before I can slide the pieces in the base -- it makes it really a two handed job (meaning my baby always has to get in her carseat before my son which means he is potentially running around free in the parking lot -- he generaly doesn't do that, but the possibility stresses me out a little).

Anyway, I can see why you would take it back given your wife's situation. I can adjust it, but not with the ease I expected from Britax given the rave reviews their products seem to get.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LuvMyRRPOdy:
Shindog -- we have the Expressway and have had some of the issues you described. I am a fairly small woman, but I like the seat well enough otherwise to deal with it. I can get it tight, but like you mentioned, it involves constantly pulling the hugs mechanism down as I tighten (pull the tightening strapp until it stops, pull the hugs things down, pull the strap, etc.). I get it very tight this way, but it's especially tricky when my son is wearing his coat. I have gotten into the habit of having him coatless in the car regardless of the outside temperature.

Since I didn't have the Roundabout to compare it to (just a Century Smart Move which is also a pain to adjust) I didn't see the inconvenient adjustment as a deal killer, but I do worry that other less anal people (my husband, my mother, etc.) will not get him really tight in the seat b/c they won't go to the trouble. Fortunately, my husband doesn't loosen the straps either so as long as I don't loosen them to get him out, I just have to hear my husband complain about how hard it is to get him in.
I also don't really like the fact that I have to fit the buckle together before I can slide the pieces in the base -- it makes it really a two handed job (meaning my baby always has to get in her carseat before my son which means he is potentially running around free in the parking lot -- he generaly doesn't do that, but the possibility stresses me out a little).

Anyway, I can see why you would take it back given your wife's situation. I can adjust it, but not with the ease I expected from Britax given the rave reviews their products seem to get.
</font>
Hi,
Thanks for the comments LuvMyRRPOdy!
I'm glad the seat worked out for you. All is well now, with a FP SEII happily installed in the Ody now.... I not only like the LATCH capability and the energy absorbing foam, but the wide harness straps are great too.

I know exactly what you mean about the two piece-fit together buckle design on the Britaxes. I see it as an inconvenience, but it defintely assures that the buckle is latched properly every time...

Anyhow, my thanks to the people on this board, and esp. Caviller for moderating this forum!


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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 
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