Xpost : Backless vs. full back booster seats — The Bump
Pre-School

Xpost : Backless vs. full back booster seats

Myles is too big for his car seat, and I purchased a full back booster seat that goes from 30-80 lbs, and can be converted into a backless later on. It was okay-ed by our ped, even though he isn't four yet, because he is big for his age (height and weight).

 My MIL got a backless one for him, and would like to put him in that when he is in her car. I always thought they had to be in a full back booster seat until 60lbs (or I thought that is what I read anyway), so I told her no. She got pissy with me and looked at me like I was crazy. Now I am researching it online, and I can't really find a concrete answer about when to switch to backless, or if you can go straight to backless.

Do any of you know anything about this? Or know a website I can look at? I am mostly interested in what is safest, not just the laws.

TIA!

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Re: Xpost : Backless vs. full back booster seats

  • How tall is he and how much does he weigh?

     A 5pt harness will probably still be the safest option. The things to look at when it comes to using the actual seat belt are maturity level and where the seat belt sits on the child. Will he sit properly in the seat and sit still without messing with the seat belt? The seat belt should rest nicely on his shoulder and the lap part should not be too high on the belly. 

     http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/BoosterShop.aspx

     

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  • Here's a story for your MIL:

    I was riding with my 2 boys and my friend's son in the back of her car.

    Her son is in a backless booster (this was when he was 4).  He was wiggling down under the seat belt and putting his feet on the floor effectively putting the lap belt at his neck.  If we'd been hit he probably would have been decapitated.

    She had NO clue.

    He'd obviously been doing it for a while as he was quite adept at the maneuver.

    My kids will stay 5 point until middle school if I have my way.

    I like them alive.

    She can eye roll all she wants.  This isn't the kind of thing you need to defend to her.  If she's not willing to abide by your wishes she just doesn't drive your child, plain and simple.  

    Beyond the physical safety issues there's a maturity issue here.  5 points can't be jacked with as easily as a lap belt can.  Not worth the risk - especially at his young age. 

    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
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  • i will have my boys in 5-pt harnesses as long a they will fit in one.  I'm planning to get the Britax Regent (i think that's the name) once Griffin outgrows his Decathlon....

    how big is your child? are you sure he has outgrown his seat? Griffin is 40lb 40" and still fits in the Decathlon.

  • imagehowleyshell:

    Here's a story for your MIL:

    I was riding with my 2 boys and my friend's son in the back of her car.

    Her son is in a backless booster (this was when he was 4).  He was wiggling down under the seat belt and putting his feet on the floor effectively putting the lap belt at his neck.  If we'd been hit he probably would have been decapitated.

    She had NO clue.

    He'd obviously been doing it for a while as he was quite adept at the maneuver.

    My kids will stay 5 point until middle school if I have my way.

    I like them alive.

    She can eye roll all she wants.  This isn't the kind of thing you need to defend to her.  If she's not willing to abide by your wishes she just doesn't drive your child, plain and simple.  

    Beyond the physical safety issues there's a maturity issue here.  5 points can't be jacked with as easily as a lap belt can.  Not worth the risk - especially at his young age. 

    all of this! 

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  • imageGoldie_Locks_5:

    i will have my boys in 5-pt harnesses as long a they will fit in one.  I'm planning to get the Britax Regent (i think that's the name) once Griffin outgrows his Decathlon....

    how big is your child? are you sure he has outgrown his seat? Griffin is 40lb 40" and still fits in the Decathlon.

    He is 37 lbs, but he is tall. Im not really sure exactly how many inches, but he has always been in the 90th plus %tile for his height. The seat he is in goes up to 50lbs, but the straps don't loosen any more, and they are becoming way too snug for him. I wasn't aware that they made 5 point harness seats that were made for older children. I always thought it was front facing convertable, and then booster. Im going to look into it. I already bought him a booster, but it is still in the box and can probably be returned.

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  • I would definitely keep him in a 5 pt harness for as long as possible. My DD just hit 30lbs but has been off the charts for height since she was 3 months old. We have her in a Graco Nautilus and she'll be in it forever! lol She outgrew her convertible seat in height long before she'd ever outgrow it in weight.

    With the Nautilus she can be in a 5pt harness until 65lbs and then it turns into a high back booster and then into a regular booster seat. 

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  • My DD uses a backless booster if she is being picked up by someone else. She weighs 32 pounds.  I have never put her in it on the highway, but around here, most trips are 2 miles or less going 25-30 miles an hour.  She has a 5 point for our cars.  She sits well in the backless booster because it is a novelty.  It is perfectly legal here.  The law is an "appropriate seat" and the booster is rated 30 pounds and up.  The time/space trade off of moving her seat isn't worth it to me for what is a really unproven measure of safety when you  add in that the 5 point is most likely going to be installed incorrectly by someone who is not used to installing them.
  • I had the same problem with my 3 year old, he's 41 inches and 42 pounds, but I purchased the Bridax Frontier, it is a 5 pt harness for up to 30-80 pounds and a high back booster for 80-120 pounds...I just bumped my 5 year old up to the Britax Parkwy SGL because my 3 year old outgrew his Boulevard, and even the parkway still has a 4pt harness (it has a strap for between the legs that latches to the lap belt)

     

    Even though your Pediatrician says that its ok, you will get a ticket, your child has to be 40 AND 40 pounds to be in a booster (that is what the law satates)  and as long as there is a seat out there that accommodates him, i'd say go for that ...

    On the high back vs no back boosters there is actually no law there, it's a preference, but your child does have to sit in the seat with the belt properly positioned to be in the booster.  The high back booster offers a place for the shoulder belt to be placed properly where the backless does not.

     

    I hope you reconsider the booster for your three year old, but if not I hope the other info I gave you helps!

  • Even though your Pediatrician says that its ok, you will get a ticket, your child has to be 40 AND 40 pounds to be in a booster (that is what the law satates)  and as long as there is a seat out there that accommodates him, i'd say go for that ...

     

    Just an FYI, this is not true in all states. Our state has no such law. Our state is extremely lax when it comes to car seat laws and only states that kids under 6 have to be in some kind of seat. It doesn't specify at all what kinds of seats for which ages and weights. 

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  • Here's a link to car seat laws by state.  It looks like in Maine (where your profile says you are) you must be 40 pounds before moving to a booster.

    http://www.iihs.org/laws/childrestraint.aspx
    DD1 - 12.25.05
    (m/c 1.17.07, m/c 5.15.07)
    DS - 03.15.08
    DD2 - 12.03.09
    DD3 - 3.28.11
  • Height is way more important for the move to a booster seat.  No polic officer is going to stop you and weigh your child.  The age thing is there for maturity and if your child will stay in the seat and honestly, I don't know many 3 years olds that will sit nicely in a booster seat, the 5 point harness holds them still where the booster won't.  As others said with the height part, in the booster you need to make sure the shoulder strap sits on the shoulder, not up against the neck.  I would use a back booster until your child is a lot taller but at age 3, I would buy another 5 point harness seat.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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