S.S. asks from Roseville, CA on June 15, 2009
Booster for a Car
I'm looking into a booster seat for my 5 year old. She is 44 lbs. I'm not sure on her height since she has not been to her pediatrician yet. I would like something that is reasonably priced, easy to install, and very safe. The booster will be at my parents' home in Hawaii so it will be used once or twice a year. I do want something that will last for several years. Since I won't be there to do the initial install of the booster, the booster needs to be very easy for my parents to install in their car.
Since we are currently using the Britax Marathon, which goes up to 65 lbs., I have no experience with boosters. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks for your help!
2 moms found this helpful
E.C. answers from San Francisco on June 15, 2009
How tall/heavy is your 5YO? By "booster" are you referring to a belt-positioning booster (which just positions the lap and shoulder belts to fit the child) or a "combination" seat which has a 5-point harness and then converts to a belt-positioning booster after the child outgrows the harness by height/weight?
Assuming your 5YO is mature enough to sit properly in a belt-positioning booster (no squirming or putting the shoulder belt behind him/her), a high-back Graco TurboBooster is a reasonably-priced (often on sale for about $40 at places like Target) and reliable choice that positions the seat belt well for most children. Since it is just positioning the seat belt on the child who is using it, there is no "installation" required like there is for harnessed child seats. Just make sure that you install the screws in the arm rests -see http://carseatblog.com/?p=634 for details.
If you feel that your 5YO needs something more secure than a belt-positioning booster, a couple other options are the Graco Nautilus (forward-facing seat that can be used with 5 point harness to 65 lbs. or about 18" torso height, then converts to a belt-positioning booster similar to the Turbo Booster, retails for about $160) or the RideSafer Travel Vest (http://www.ridesafer.net, retails for about $90) . For something that's only used once or twice a year, I'd lean more towards either the Turbo Booster or the RideSafer vest. The vest is a bit more work to use than a belt-positioning booster but it has the advantage of being very portable so you could easily bring it in your luggage.
1 mom found this helpful
T.H. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
I have an old booster my Century that you could have. Never been in an accident. It was a five point harness for infants toddlers, but was converted by removing the five point harness. It is used with a regular shoulder harness seat belt, so doesn't really need installation. It's free. 10 years old.
A little about me- working mother of two, 18 & 12.
K.V. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
I also recommend the Turbo Graoo booster seat. They are super easy to install, the directions are easy to follow & last for several years as you can take the back rest off & just use the base once your child is about 6-7 yrs old, or depending on how tall they are & where the seatbelt hits them across the neck/chest area. I have never ehard anyting unsafe about boosters seats & in fact, CHP recommends them once your child is too big for a 5 pt harness system. Best of luck!
A.S. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
We love the clek brand booster seats. They click into the lower anchor things, so you know the seat won't slide around. My sister and parents each have one, they pick our daughter up each a couple of times a month, so they only have to click it in when they go get her. My sister always hated the car-seat situation, but now it's easy even for her.
L.S. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
Get the Graco high-backed booster - its about $50 pretty much where-ever they are sold (Target, Wal-Mart, Babies R Us, its a pretty standard model). It is very lightweight, and quite simple to move out from one car to another if necessary, and turns into a standard booster seat when your child is ready. I feel your pain! You do NOT have to buy another convertible: at 46 inches and 40 lbs, my 3 1/2 year old has been unable to fit into a convertible carseat for a long while now, and has been in a high backed booster per recommendation of her pediatrician since just before she was 3. There is NO WAY I am going to purchase a new convertible seat for my child every 3-6 months as she sprouts 2-4 inches and outgrows those convertible seats like no ones business.
As long as the seat belt hits your child at the correct place across her body (with the over the lap portion sitting across the hips, and the over the shoulder portion across his chest and NOT digging into his neck) and he meets both the height and weight requirements, she can safely use the high backed booster well into her older childhood until she outgrows it.
However, I want to make one note: if she is wiggly and will NOT sit properly or frequently tries to get out of her carseat, this is not the option for you. They can easily wriggle out of a high backed booster if they are not "mature" enough to understand that we have to seat in our seats properly to be safe. At 5, though, I think you guys should be all good :)
J.P. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
Boosters are easy you just through them in the car and go. All it does is elevate the child so the seat belt will fit them correctly. You can get a perfectly good booster for under $20 that will do the job and last. You only need to use the booster until the child can sit in the regular car seat and the seat belt fits them correctly. State laws differ some require a booster until 6 years old or 60 pounds and some require a booster until 8 years old and 80 pounds so be sure to check.
R.C. answers from Sacramento on June 16, 2009
I just asked the big booster seat question two days ago and got the best (and scariest!!) advice. Elaince C. told me to go to kyledavidmiller.org and read up on booster seats being a no-no. I instantly got rid of mine. PLEASE do not use a booster seat! There is a neat contraption called the gogo Kidz Travelmate that you can haul your Britax and your daughter while she is in the carseat. It is $89 and is great since you need to have your daughter in the carseat on the plane. Literally she doesn't get out of her carseat from the car to the plane and back into the Hawaiian car. The seat clips into this contraption making it a backward stroller of sorts. Check it out on hipmonkey.com - 100% of the net proceeds from every sale are donated to The Kyle David Miller Foundation to help purchase car seats for children in need.
Please checkout this 2 sites before getting a booster. If you get the travelmate you won't have to buy a new carseat!!
Good luck and don't forget to let us know what happens!
R.B. answers from San Francisco on June 16, 2009
Car seats don't count as luggage for most airlines (they're free to take as checked bags as are strollers). I'd take mine along each time if I were you.
I know some have suggested you have her sit in the car seat on the plane, but many airlines have decreased the size of the seats and full back booster car seats simply don't fit widthwise. Those without backs aren't allowed in the cabin (at least the last time I few with a child in a car seat they weren't)