32 answers

When Can a Child Move to a Booster Seat?

I have a 3 year old son who is the size of a 5 year old. We battle at the car seat everytime we try to go out in the car. I was thinking that a booster seat might be in order, but I can not find the requirements for height and weight. Does anyone know this info? Also, what are the advantages/disadvantages to a highback vs. no back booster? Thank you in advance for any help on this.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all so so much for the great advice and tips. My husband and I have decided to wait until our son is 4 years old to move him into a booster seat. I am grateful for all the responses!

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most of the places i have looked have the info on the product display. booster seats age 4 or eight until 4'9"
tall.front facing until 4 years and 40 lbs.look on this website it has all of the info you are asking about-national highway traffic safety administration. NHTSA for abbreviation.

1 mom found this helpful

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S.,

It's much safer for our little ones to remain in a 5 point harness as long as possible. Britax has a seat called the REGENT which Harnesses to 85 lbs. It sounds like this might be an option for you.

The detailed information can be found at: http://www.britaxusa.com/products/product_detail.aspx?ID=9

It's a forward facing only seat and it looks like the minimum weight/age is 1 year and 22 lbs.

there's an incredibly heartbreaking video on youtube from the family of Kyle David Miller. Despite the fact that it brings me to tears, I really believe that it's a must watch for anyone with a child in a carseat. Here's a link:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/azgBhZfcqaQ&amp;hl=en&quot;&gt;&... name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/azgBhZfcqaQ&amp;hl=en&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

S.

2 moms found this helpful

My little girl is 4 and only 35 pounds they are not able to go into a booster seat until 40lbs. I have her still in a 5 point harness but her carseat transforms into the booster when the time is right. I would check with the department of transportation to double check.

C.

1 mom found this helpful

most of the places i have looked have the info on the product display. booster seats age 4 or eight until 4'9"
tall.front facing until 4 years and 40 lbs.look on this website it has all of the info you are asking about-national highway traffic safety administration. NHTSA for abbreviation.

1 mom found this helpful

It looks like you got somse ideas for the weight and height requirements. You should also be able to look on any seat or in the instructions and find them. Any website with a seat would also have that info - there are general ranges for each type of seat, but each seat has it's own specific limits. The other way you can determine if it's time to move up is comparing your son's shoulder height to the strap on that back of the seat - the strap should be at or ABOVE your son's shoulder for front facing. If this is not true, then it's time to move on (especially if he also weighs 30+ pounds.) (This is opposite for rear-facing children -- so you can use the rule the opposite way for your daughter.) Be aware that many kids that cannot release a child seat buckle can do so with the car seatbelt so it gives them some more freedom.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., I haven't had a chance to read the replies so hopefully I'm not duplicating. My daughter is also VERY large for her age (especially tall) - she is 3 1/2 and although I would love to get her a booster seat, in PA you have to wait until they are four for a booster (even if they are over the 40 pounds that is usually an additional recommendation).

We have an Eddie Bauer's seat that is supposed to be transferred into a booster but it's just too small and she can't wear any coat or anything like that in there - at this point, we are going to just battle it out until she's four in October.

Good luck!

S.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,

Frist let me say that I am glad you are concerned about your child's safety in your car and are willing to find the correct car seat/booster seat for your child. Have you ever had a car seat check? Most people, about 85%+, of us do not know how to install car seats properly or in your case your not sure what to use. Check with your local police department as they probably had the training and if not they should know who to contact. Your local 4-H office might also have someone who has experience with car seat checks as well as your DMV office.

Good Luck,

M.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,
I would check on the PA Dept of Transportation website for ages/weights, etc. I agree with a high backed booster IF he's old/heavy enough to move him. My son is 5 and without the belt positioning back part, the seatbelt still hits my son across the neck, so he still has his back on the high back booster. The important thing is that the position of the seatbelt is correct. You can also go to a free safety seat check (most local police/fire departments have a certified person). Surprisingly, most safety seats are not installed correctly at all!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.! My husband's a state trooper and he's also a certified car seat safety inspector. Legally, he needs to be in a regular car seat until he's 4 yr old and 40 lbs. Part of the reason is that he needs to be old enough to be aware of sitting up and proper positioning, and part of it is that he needs to be big enough to not get hurt by a regular seat belt. When it is time for a booster, the high back ones are the best. My husband comes home sometimes from car seat checks and is just fuming at the mothers who let their nine month olds ride forward because they're heavier or 5 yr olds ride without a booster because they're "big for their age". Call your local police department and see if they have a car seat inspector and/or find out when they're having the next car seat check.

1 mom found this helpful

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