Car Seat Question

How long do kids stay in car seats?  DH was talking about it with his dad today b/c we are looking at new cars and his dad said something about how DS (13 mos) won't need a car seat by next year and DH said he thought kids stayed in car seats until 4 or so.  I thought it was even longer than that (counting the booster seat phase). long (approx) do kids stay in car seats with 5 point harnesses and then how long are they in booster-type carseats?

 I feel dumb that I don't already know this.  Thanks!

Re: Car Seat Question

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    it goes by weight... but they should be in a carseeat/booster AT LEAST till 5, I'm pretty sure.
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    These are things that vary based on state law and parental preference.  I live in NY and the law here states that they must be in a 5-point harness until 4 years and 40 lbs.  Then they must be in a booster seat until 80 lbs, 4'9" tall, or 8 years old.  I will likely keep her in a harnessed carseat longer than the legal minimum. 
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    Mine will be in a 5-point harness until 5 or 6, and then a booster after that. ?I think the law here in VA is booster until 8 years, although maybe there's a height/weight component too.


    No way should your child be out of a carseat by next year.?

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    It depends on your state law nd what you chose to do.  Here in CA they by law must be in a car seat/booster untill 6 years old and 60 lbs some states its 8 years and 80 lbs other states it 5 years old.  I plan on keeping dd in a harnessed car seat untill 6-7 years then move her to a booster seat untill 8-10 years old. 
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    Oh my! Dont listen to his dad! Kids should be in a 5 pt harness until they outgrow either the weight or height restrictions of that particular seat- but a minimum of 4 years old. Plenty of convertible seats?accommodate?older (taller, heavier) children in a 5 pt harness until closer to 6 years old.?

    The bare minimum that is actually safe for even just a booster is 4 years and 40 lbs. ?

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    It depends on the height/weight of your kid. SS stopped using any sort of booster soon after turning 6. (Legally he could have been out of it sooner).

    But I LOL'd at the poster who said they'd put their 10yo in a booster - just because SS was bigger at that age than several adult women I know (he was pushing 5' and about 115lbs, which is top of the charts). Now if you have a small kid, then I could see it. We also did not let SS ride in the front seat at all until he turned 13 (he's almost 14 now), but again, he's basically a full-sized adult (5'9", wears size large in mens clothes, size 11.5 mens shoes, etc). Having him sit in the back all those extra years was very hard for the grandparents to comprehend. They just don't get it.

    Here's some guidelines that are probably safer than just following the legal minimum: "Although laws vary from state to state, you are much better off following the guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and keep your child who is over 40 pounds in a belt positioning booster seat until they are eight years old, unless they are already 4'9" tall. This is because 'a child under 80 lbs. is generally too small for an adult seat belt. The lap belt rides up over the stomach and the shoulder belt cuts across the neck. In a crash, this can cause critical or even fatal injuries.'

    The American Academy of Pediatrics goes a little further and says that most kids aren't ready for regular seat belts until 'the child reaches about 4'9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age.'"

    - Jena
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