What age can children use high-back booster seats with just the seatbelt?

(16 Posts)
ceebeegeebies Wed 03-Aug-11 21:26:58

I am aware that I am a bit anal about car seats and my DC so probably keep them in the various categories of car seats for longer than most people would but a friend mentioned that her 2.4 year old was now in a high-back booster using the seatbelt and I was a bit shock. He is not a big toddler - fairly average I would say.

This does seem very young to me but my 2.9 year old is still in a Stage 2 (I think - I get very confused with the stages) with a 5-point harness and my 5 year old only just started using a seatbelt about 2 weeks before he turned 5!!

bran Wed 03-Aug-11 21:30:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hi ceebee smile Must stop meeting like this...

DS must have gone into a high back booster at around 3.5yrs (maybe a little before) as that was when DD went into the stage 2 seat. DS is tall and heavy tho, can't see titchy DD coming out of the stage 2 seat for some time - she is 2.7yrs

ceebeegeebies Wed 03-Aug-11 21:44:20

Rhinestone I think that is very similar to when DS1 moved to a highback booster - when I needed the Stage 2 one for DS2 so DS1 would have been the same age as yours I guess.

Should google really but can't be bothered!! It would seem that 2.4 is too young but I guess it is none of my business really!

DD was in a booster at about 2.10 ish... she is tall for her age and heavy in proportion (same height as her male cousin who is 9 months older) she was 15kg at that point

DS however is a dink... I can see him closer to 3.5 ... he's 19 m now and looks I swear about the height DD was when she moved into the car seat he is in (at 7.5 months) ..... go figure!

the key things seem to be the weight, and how high out of the seat their head is ... or something

SecretNutellaFix Wed 03-Aug-11 21:48:57

the absolute minimum is a weight of 33lb/15kg although being closer to 18kg/4lb is much more preferable.

ceebeegeebies Wed 03-Aug-11 21:51:10

I just looked on Mothercare website and the highback boosters without harness says from 4 years old.....why would you put your barely 2-year old in one of those sad??

Giddly Wed 03-Aug-11 21:53:32

My very tall DD was 4 - she was 19kg, which was 1 kg over the recommended minimum for her high back booster. Prior to that she'd bee in a rear facer.

Llanarth Thu 04-Aug-11 08:49:39

the mothercare website says 4 years old because that is the age when a 50% percentile (i.e. average) child reaches 18 kg. According to the weight charts, a 98% percentile boy will reach that weight before 2 and a half years, so maybe that is the case with your friend (my son reached 18 kg at 2.9 years so went into high-back booster then, as he was too heavy for his 5-point harness). So it all depends on weight of the child, nothing to do with the child's age.

pipkin35 Thu 04-Aug-11 11:26:35

DD is in one of these, she's 2.4. It's based on weight. I actually regret changing her over that early now. She's in a defiant stage where her latest 'game' is to wriggle her arm out and we have to pull over while I scream manically reason with her why she should wear it properly...angry

mousymouse Thu 04-Aug-11 11:33:10

from 4years or from 100cm height.
weight is not that important as the height afaik, as smaller children have the belt too close to their throats for them to be safe (even if they have the required wheight).

ceebeegeebies Thu 04-Aug-11 12:16:00

llanarth I accept that but my friend's DS is definitely not on the 98th centile (or anywhere near it!)

pipkin35 Thu 04-Aug-11 12:26:45

Oh no! is it really from 4? Are we being stupid and illegal to boot then? Does it depend on country etc...?

We took her into a Halfords car place, she got weighed (not height measured though) - but she is a big gal and they said it was fine as she was just over.

Oh no, am now really worried. Would y'all advise going back to the other seat?

lynniep Thu 04-Aug-11 12:27:18

Its too young (small) from what you've said, but its her choice. I have friends who have switched to them imo far too early as well, for their convenience. And who also use just the booster cushions rather than high backs for the same reason. Its just someone with a different viewpoint. I don't even want to say 'with different priorities' because that suggests the parent in question doesnt care about their childs safety - they probably just dont analyse it in the same way I do. Or maybe they do and think the risk of an incident is so low that it isnt an issue. I'm a bit anal about it too - and I insisted my 4 yo stayed in his 5 point harness till the very last minute (by weight - he is very tall but I'd already bought him a high back booster with a harness insert so I just took that out) The high backed booster he has chosen for its side protection properties - but that means it cost a lot more, and some folk can't afford that.
I can't really be too high and mighty - many folk on here are firm believers in rear facing seats for older toddlers because they are regarded as safer - but I dont use those, so like I said, its that parents judgement and at the end of the day, at least they're in a car seat.

ceebeegeebies Thu 04-Aug-11 12:31:44

lynniep your attitude is good and I am not judging my friend as, you said, it is just different viewpoints etc.

My Ds1 was perfectly happy in his highback booster with the 5-point harness - it was me in the end that made him switch to a seatbelt just before he turned 5 because it was getting quite embarrassing when I was dropping him off at school and all his friends were using seatbelts/just on booster cushions and I was still having to strap/unstrap DS1 in blush

Interestingly, I tried to buy a booster cushion seat thing from Mothercare about a month ago as a spare/emergency - the employee told me that they are not considered safe anymore and the main carseat manufacturers are not producing them any more and he would advise anyone from buying them even for older children shock

AnotherJaffaCake Thu 04-Aug-11 13:57:40

We were in an interesting position with DD. She is small for her age, and underweight (around the 9th centile most of the time) due to an eating disorder, but she needed to go up to her booster seat because she no longer fitted properly in the 5-point harness car seat. She only just reached the minimum required weight when she got to 4. We hung on for as long as we could before we moved her up.

For DS we're going to have difficulty keeping him in his seat until he's 4. He's 26 months now, and is quite tall for his age. He's already looking squashed in it, so we may have to look into getting a booster seat for him earlier. He is, however, a big squirmer, and regularly wriggles out of his seatbelt and we have to stop and tell him off put him back in.

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