C.M. asks from Anchorage, AK on February 28, 2010
Booster Seat - Anchorage,AK
I have a Britax Convertible car seat for my daughter, who is about 4.5 years old. She is very tall but only 35 pounds. She is out growing the straps of her convertible seat and I would like to find a booster seat for her. I havent been able to find too many safety rating info sites, so I am wondering where did your research before investing in a booster seat.
J.B. answers from Madison on March 01, 2010
At that weight your child is not yet developmentally ready for a booster that only uses the car's seat belts.
I am not sure how much you want to spend...I think that you would get the most bang for your money with the Britax Frontier 85. Great seat....pricey...but this seat is probably the one that will last you the longest. It is the LAST seat you will need. It harness to 85lbs. It has SUPER high harness slots to fit those tall/ long torso kids. It also converts to a booster when the time is right. Check out a review here...it's a great seat!
2 moms found this helpful
L.C. answers from Washington DC on March 01, 2010
I have the same problem, tall & skinny kids. I put my now 6 y.o. (when he had just turned 5) into a Safeguard Go 5 point harness booster. I looked only at 5 point harness boosters and at the time the only ones available were that and the Britax frontier. The reason I chose a 5 point harness booster is because if you can google crash tests and compare the difference between them and a regular booster you will know why I chose the way I did. It should go without saying that the 5 point harness booster is so much safer for children than a seat belt booster - especially at that age.
I chose the Safeguard Go because it fit in the third row of my GMC Acadia better than the Britax. It has a smaller base width so it takes up less seat space and in a third row that is important. It comes with a travel case too and the seat folds up nicely and fits in the bag for travel. It will convert to a backless regular seatbelt booster when your child is age/weight ready for that step, so this should be the last safety seat he ever needs. It does require a top tether when using the back and 5 point harness and it has the option of using LATCH or threading a seatbelt through the back to secure it to the seat, much like a Britax convertible.
I did buy a Britax frontier eventually as an extra seat and also for use in my husbands Durango. It fits in his SUV better but I had an issue with threading the seatbelt through the back to secure it to the seat... if you follow the installation instructions the vehicle seatbelt is just not long enough to follow the path they show in the instructions. So we just use LATCH with it.
These are some of the places I looked when choosing my 5 point harness booster. I recommend you go to a store that has a good selection of them and try them out in your vehicle. The safest rated carseat may not be the safest in YOUR vehicle if it cannot be installed correctly because of seatbelts, LATCH capability, seat depth, etc. Also let your child sit in it and make sure she fits in it and is comfortable in it.
By the way, while looking up the information I used, I noticed the following statement in the first link listed below (from Sept 2009):
'In the latest ease of use ratings published by NHTSA, the SafeGuard Go received a four star rating, the highest of any
restraint in the category of combination seats used in forward facing mode.'
I hope all this helps.
2 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Medford on March 01, 2010
I love this question. So many parents are ill-informed or uninformed about child safety. I applaud you for asking. I have lots of information if you want to email me privitely. The basics are this: go to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov for all the information you need to keep your child safe. They also rate Carseats of all brands/type for safety. The ONLY booster with an acceptable safety rating is the Safeguard GO booster (available at www.albeebaby.com) for about the same price as other convertable seats. They harness your child with a 5-point system up to 6 years and 60lbs. Then converts to a booster. Its the only carseat you will ever need. It starts seating at 1 year old also. I have them for both my kids because we travel so much and I am just not about to have a 4 year old strapped with nothing but a seatbelt! My mother-in-law also has one and several friends have taken to them also. They are in my opinion the ONLY safe booster out there. Oh, another thing that I love, it that they are slim (very slim). They take up little more room that the seat itself. If you want more information I would love to talk with you.
Oh one more thing (I read that you were asking about long drives/flying...The seats I am telling you about are also made for travel! They are approved for airline travel and fold down into a carryon size case that comes with it. We go ours just before our long flight to Alaska and we loved having it!!!). The only downside is that you have to have a latch system in order for it to work as a carseat with the harness (it comes with an attachment for airline seats), so check your rental car company first.
1 mom found this helpful
F.M. answers from Portland on March 01, 2010
I spoke to friends who do lots of consumer research on these matters and then went to Segals for Children. I ended up with the Graco Nautilus-- it still has the 5 point harness for now and converts to a booster later. It is one of the safest products around. I don't know where you live, but Segals is really great for my money. The staff are trained technicians who can install car seats safely for you and they really know all the products. They have sample seats in front installed for your kids to try out for fit, etc. They even measured my daughter for height and weight when we were looking for a car seat/booster seat the last time we went in. (I promise I don't work for them!) Anyway, best of luck in your search!
1 mom found this helpful
L.R. answers from Seattle on March 01, 2010
Here is some recent research:
D.F. answers from Portland on March 01, 2010
Our daughter was the same weight and height as yours. She was too small for a true booster as they "have" to be 40 pds. The best answer we found was the graco nautilus. We have been a graco family all along and like it. It does have some drawbacks as her head tends to fall forward when she falls asleep, looking so uncomfortable. But this doesnt stop her from sleeping. It is highly rated. We got the graco turbobooster for the second car knowing she would grow into it soon enough and she uses it so sparingly as we couldnt afford two nautilus. Segals in Beaverton is the most helpful place. You dont have to buy it there and they will even install seats bought other places for free. Do some research there and buy it walmart or bru or even target I think carries it. OOPS, just realized you werent local, but good info for those who are.
L.G. answers from Anchorage on March 02, 2010
My favorite site to research car seats is www.car-seat.org they are awesome and you can ask questions and get them answered by a certified CPS technician!