Booster seats/cushions

(37 Posts)
Brownowlahi Thu 13-Jun-13 21:05:42

One of my Facebook friends has just asked on fb if it is legal for her 7 year old to have the back taken of her boost seat. I am now concerned I have been putting my children at risk by not having backs on their booster seats. My 7 year old has been to tall for quite a while to have the back on, so just sits on the base (I think this is called a booster cushion?). But my nearly 5 year old boy who does still fit in his seat with the back on, sometimes just has a booster cushion when in our second car or out with his grandparents. I am getting conflicting advice from different Internet sites, so wondering if anyone can help me. Thank you.

xMinerva Thu 13-Jun-13 22:08:49

It's always safer to have the back on the booster for the side impact protection.

I think it's Britax who have actually stopped making backless boosters now and are only making HBB.

My dc will be in HBB until they reach the maximum height/weight of their seats by which point they shouldn't need a seat anymore. As it is, they are 4yrs and 2 1/2yrs old and are still Rear Facing so there's a while until they need to go into a HBB.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:12:37

My five year old sits in a high backed booster seat, a maxi cosi rodi? They are safer and I think they are going to stop selling the basic booster cushions.

Your son may not weigh enough, they are supposed to be 22kg? To use a booster cushion rather than a high backed booster.

xMinerva Thu 13-Jun-13 22:14:28

Here's a link to the Britax page.

And a link to the AA's page which included a crash test video comparing booster cushion and HBB.


only one of our seats converts to a backless booster and dd has only just moved to that one in dh's car as her shoulders were getting too wide for the back (she is nearly 10). Her and ds (6) are still in high backed boosters in my car and ds has a hbb in dh's car. The hbb are safer than booster cushions as they offer more side impact protection. Some booster cushions are suitable from 15kgs but that doesnt mean you have to use them if you have a hbb to use instead.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:16:02

Here you go, legal guidelines, they need to be over 22kg to just use a booster cushion.

I kept mine with a high backed booster as long as possible, my ds2 and ds3 have just started using just a booster cushion, theory are 10 and 8 and are 134cm and 125cm tall, the booster cushion makes sure the seatbelt fits correctly, tbh if we go on a long journey ds3 still gas the back on his (its removable) as its more supportive/comfortable if he goes to sleep.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:17:41

ilove the booster may say its suitable from 15kg but legally children must be 22kg before they use just a booster cushion. Check link I posted.

that site (even though it is the one) doesnt give the full story on car seats as there are booster cushions that are approved for use from 15kgs. - gives a fuller explanation of the different groups and what seats fit into each group

there are booster cushions that are legal from 15kg if you check the link I posted - Group 3 is from 22kgs but some boosters as approved as group 2 and are ok from 15kgs.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:21:32

They are approved by some but not legally, the ,manufacturers may say they are OK but legally a child should weigh 22kg, there was a court case recently where a mum was found partly liable for her dd's I juries despite the accident not being her fault, as she had her on a booster cushion and she didn't weigh 22kg.

p.s. I am not saying it is ok to use a booster cushion from 15kgs just that there are seats that are legally able to be used from that weight

xMinerva Thu 13-Jun-13 22:23:07

I find it quite shocking that you can get boosters cushions suitable from 15kg's.

My 4.2year old son is 21kg's and I just can't imagine him sitting on just a booster cushion.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:23:59

You can use a high backed booster from15kg but if it is just the booster cushion with no back they must be 22kg, lots have a removable back but you shouldn't remove it until your child is over 22kg, these are often group 2-3 ones, we have some.

xMinerva Thu 13-Jun-13 22:24:06

Why does my phone keep adding ' to kg's?

that court case involved a 3 year old on a booster cushion rather than in a 5 point harness so not strictly relevant - it related to age rather than weight as she was 3 and the age guide was from age 4.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:25:15

Regardless of the manufacturers guidliens you cannot use a booster without a back until a child weighs 22kg as that is what the law says, it changed fairly recent.y so some manufacturers ,at not have changed the guidance with their seats etc.

Startail Thu 13-Jun-13 22:29:45

For those of you who are shocked, the thinking on this has moved on in a very few years. Most of us with teens never had high backed boaster seats.

DD2 sat on the Graco one in a shop (the only faintly safe looking one available at the time) and said it was rock hard.

if you check halfords, mothercare, argos, etc all the backless boosters say 'from 15kgs'

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:39:16

Given mother care tried to sell me a booster seat for my 9mth old as he was chunky I don't believe anything they say!

The law has or is changing re rear facing, babies are to stay rear facing till 15mths old and once they have changed appropriate weight. I think it changed this January.

My eldest is 13 and was on a high backed booster till 9 and then just a booster for a while, he is now taller than me.

I had a booster cushion as a child as well.

from the court case:
Although Emma, who weighed 15kg, was at the minimum weight limit for the booster seat seat, she was 8cm shorter than the minimum height stated in the instruction booklet and younger than the guideline age suitability of four years.

The judge, Mr Justice Blair, described Ms Williams as 'an excellent and caring mother' but summarised: 'the evidence establishes that the booster cushion should not have been used, that the child seat should have been used, and that if it had been, the injuries sustained in the accident would largely have been avoided'.

I dont think it has changed yet, it may have been due to change last January but seems to have been delayed. I was lucky we had seatbelts as a child never mind a car seat or booster!

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:46:23

Yes it could be next January? Thru really need to clarify things amdnmake sure parents know the law and what this safest, that is information that should go in your ante natal pack/bounty pack!

found some info here - will be i-Size regulations

p.s. looks like it will be several years before a new regulation will be implemented as it involves new seats that will all be isofix

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 22:58:06

It says some rules ie the rear facing ,any be implemetmed as early asjune 2013? Tjue really need to get a move eon and sort it out and publish clear guidelines!

Can you retrospectrivley fit isofix? Our car doesn't have isofix?

I really dont know. I have never used an isofix seat despite having isofix in the car.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 23:02:31

Having gogledot seems you can get I fitted to some cars, depending on the manufacturer... It sounds a right palavaer.

I need to check, I dotn think ours has isofix, its eight years old, a citreon c8.

elemis Thu 13-Jun-13 23:08:08

I really don't understand this
A hbb offers more protection, why the rush to move to a booster?

Rowgtfc72 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:01:48

Just moved dd to a booster seat. Cant say Im a fan of them but she is very big for a five year old and we cant squish her shoulders under the high back seat anymore. She has a long back and if she sits without a seat at all the seatbelt still fits correctly but shes not legal for another six cm ! Shes not that far off the weight limit for either seat as well.
We did jam her in as long as we could though as I feel the high back seats are much safer.

my dd is nearly 10 and still fits in her high backed booster so no way should a 5 year old be too big for one. Her hbb has an adjustable back and will still do her another wee while. She is legally the height to not to have to use a seat at all but as she is 9 i want to keep her in the hbb a bit longer. She has a maxi cosi rodi xr hbb.

ouryve Fri 14-Jun-13 19:12:48

We only use a booster cushion with DS1, who is only 9, but way too tall for a high backed booster, but not tall enough to use the seatbelt in our car without it cutting across his neck.

I have just realised that dd is actually too heavy for the hbb and booster seats we have but is under the age of 10. Wonder if they are ok still to use if she fits in them?

smokinaces Fri 14-Jun-13 19:20:00

Ds1 is nearly 7 and over 130cm. He is still in a hbb. Just. Ds2 is 118cm and 5 and also in one, with a couple more notches to go.

I don't like backless boosters. in crash tests some slipped out from under the child. They also offer no side impact.

I have allowed both on one in other cars occasionally. Like twice. Ds1 sits in the middle in his stepmothers car, between two carseats. He is on a backless booster there simply because of fit. And he has some protection from his siblings seats in a crash.

I've told mine they are in the backs till they literally outgrow them. They are unimpressed but I don't care if their friends came out them at four or five. Imo they are unsafe and the sooner backless are banned the better.

smokinaces Fri 14-Jun-13 19:22:05

Is there an upper limit on weight on boosters?? Do they really come off at 36kg - I thought 15-36kg was the guideline for going into it. Mmmm. How much is 36kg in stones and pounds?

mikkii Fri 14-Jun-13 19:26:54

DD1 uses a HBB, she is 6, height 120cm and weighs about 22kg.

DD2 uses a stage 1 seat, she is 2.8, we do have a spare seat which is a HBB including a 5 point harness which she uses occasionally.

DS is 8, height 122cm weighs around 22kg and uses a booster cushion, mainly to make it easier if I have to use all 7 seats in the car, as the other seats are isofix and I have to remove them to access the back row seats.

mikkii Fri 14-Jun-13 19:27:32

36kg is about 5.5 stones

smokinaces Fri 14-Jun-13 19:30:00

Thanks miikkii - ds1 is 130cm but 4st 10 so we are ok. He's like a bloody giant, I'm only 5ft 4! Glad to know he's ok weight wise.

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