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At what age did you stop using car seats for your older kids?

(39 Posts)
H1978 Mon 13-Jul-20 09:36:13

Dd3 turned 10 last week and I’m wondering whether she legally still requires a booster seat. She’s a bit of a shortie, so I’m thinking she might still needs one. I hope one of you lovely ladies could help me 🥴

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Mon 13-Jul-20 09:38:22

Minimum height not to use one is 135cm. Its either 135cm or age 12, whichever comes first

MrsKoala Mon 13-Jul-20 09:40:18

Ds1 is 7 and doesn’t use one. He’s 143cms. We stopped when he got to 140cms.

Hoppinggreen Mon 13-Jul-20 09:41:21

My dc were about 7/8 when they reached the required height

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Mon 13-Jul-20 09:45:10

Car seat belts are designed for people who are 150 cm so I stopped using one when DD reached that height, however she is extremely tall so she was about 8. If I take her friends out with us then I insist on a car seat for them if they are shorter than the recommended height 135 cm and they are 10.

dementedpixie Mon 13-Jul-20 09:46:05

This is a better test than height alone

isabellerossignol Mon 13-Jul-20 09:48:45

I'm an adult woman and I find it pretty hard to meet all those criteria in most cars, as do most women I know.

isabellerossignol Mon 13-Jul-20 09:49:22

That's not a criticism of the idea or of the previous poster, that's me criticising car design.

Jerble Mon 13-Jul-20 09:49:58

Exactly what DementedPixie has said. We have 2 cars - DD was in a booster seat in one car for over a year after she stopped using one for the other car.

DominaShantotto Mon 13-Jul-20 09:55:02

My not long 8 year old's just hit 135cm so we've taken hers out. Can't raise the headrest anymore on it and she's having to squish her shoulders down to fit into it and has been for a while, but we've been making her hang on till she hit 135cm. 7 year old still has hers and will have for a while longer as there's a fair height gap between them at the moment.

Error011 Mon 13-Jul-20 10:05:24

10 years old

Error011 Mon 13-Jul-20 10:06:11

Just depends on your child. If they are small they may have to stay in it until they are 10 - 12...

Sirzy Mon 13-Jul-20 10:07:14

My 10 year old is 136cm and still in one.

breathingok Mon 13-Jul-20 10:09:41

They need to be 150cm to not use a car seat.
The legal height is 135 cm but the safe height is apparently 150 cm so that’s what we have decided to do and wait till then I’m assuming my dc will be about 12 ? (They are both the exact same size atm 135 cm)

AldiAisleofCrap Mon 13-Jul-20 10:09:50

It’s 150 cm not 135 , I wouldn’t do the bare minimum when it comes to safety.

newphoneswhodis Mon 13-Jul-20 10:15:24

I would be mortified if my parents had made me use a car seat in secondary school (11-12).

Aroundtheworldin80moves Mon 13-Jul-20 10:16:37

DD1 is 9 and over 140cm. She finds the booster cushion or her HBB more comfortable than just the seat. I think our seatbelts are particularly high though, she's fine in other cars heightwise.
(Her HBB was purchased in Germany so is for children up to 150cm. DD2 is however growing out of her smaller HBB and will need the bigger one soon, hence the booster cushion)

Sirzy Mon 13-Jul-20 10:20:26


I would be mortified if my parents had made me use a car seat in secondary school (11-12).

I would be more upset if my child was killed or left seriously injured by not being in the right seat.

H1978 Mon 13-Jul-20 10:41:23

Thanks for all the suggestions, she’s definitely not reached the safe height limit and she’s slight in body too, so will probably use a booster and wait for a growth spurt grin though unlikely as both dh and I are short too. She might need to be in a seat till secondary school 😂 😳

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-20 10:46:40

She needs to use one by law until she's 135cm tall or 12 years old, whichever comes first smile

She should use one until the seatbelt fits her correctly without one. To be honest DS2 still doesn't fit great without one even though he is 150cm and nearly 12. He is skinny so that's why. However when we've visited home (UK) I've let him go without any seat occasionally since he was 135cm and he fit OK in some cars, not in others!

To fit correctly the lapbelt should cross the pelvis, not tummy and her knees should bend at the edge of the chair with her bum right to the back of the seat. If her legs aren't long enough to bend there she'll slouch forwards as it's more comfortable to bend her legs at the edge, and that pulls the pelvis forwards and out from under the lap belt. That can lead to catastrophic injuries in a crash, it's called submarining. So it's important that she can sit comfortably with the lap belt in the right place.

Then the shoulder belt should not rub her neck, if it does she might be tempted to put it under her arm which is also very dangerous.

If you go on any long jorneys it's also nice to have the HBB with headrest in case she falls asleep.

BogRollBOGOF Mon 13-Jul-20 10:49:06


I'm an adult woman and I find it pretty hard to meet all those criteria in most cars, as do most women I know.

Same here, and no way would my backside fit in a booster seat!

The proportions of a child matter too. DS (9)still uses his HBB as he's not at the height limit, but he has a long body and he's running out of space at the shoulders.

9 seems to be quite a mixed age on children being over/ under the minimum.

sunlight81 Mon 13-Jul-20 10:56:16

My DD is 18 and a shorty. She should prob use a booster seat but she already has trouble reaching the peddles!!

BertieBotts Mon 13-Jul-20 11:28:05

The thing is when we were in secondary school it was neither the law nor the norm to use booster seats until age 12.

It's still not the norm but considering it's the law it's likely she wouldn't be the only one.

PaperMonster Mon 13-Jul-20 12:40:29

My daughter’s 9 and 138cm and still in hbb and will be for the foreseeable. Safest place for her still.

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Mon 13-Jul-20 12:44:11

All cars are different. With DS 1 he was quite tall so by about 7 or 8 he was fine without a seat in our car. My mum's car was different, he needed a seat for a bit longer.
Ds2 is still using his most of the time. He can sit in the middle of the car without one, but not at the sides because the seats dip in, and they are longer.

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