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when can you use a booster seat legally?

(20 Posts)
marialuisa Tue 10-Jun-03 13:19:04

DD (27months, but big) is looking less than comfortable in her Britax Eclipse carseat. Does anyone know whether there's any legal issues to do with booster seats? We have used one in a friend's car and she was fine.

codswallop Tue 10-Jun-03 13:22:51


(Bother caps - sorry)

codswallop Tue 10-Jun-03 13:23:03

related even

LIZS Tue 10-Jun-03 13:32:31

I am not aware of specific legal issues so long as seat is "appropriate" for age/weight. However if your dd still habitually falls asleep in the car they offer very little support for the head. Our ds (5) still nods off occasionally on long trips and his head lolls around (Maxi Cosi Rodi). I assume you are still thinking of a seat as opposed to a booster cushion since the other issue is the position of the shoulder strap which would be too high for a toddler unless threaded through a routing device.

If you are thinking of a changing you could get one designated as suitable from nine months but convertible to a cushion later (Britax do a number of them). Incidentally in Switzerland it is unusual to find a seat without an integral harness suitable from under 3.5 yrs/15kg.


chanelno5 Tue 10-Jun-03 13:32:38

You have to watch out for the diagonal bit of the seatbelt digging into their neck. Although it may fit ok when they are sitting bolt upright, when they fall asleep and slouch down, it can move over their neck which is very dangerous in an accident. I tried my 'big' 3 yr old on a booster, but for this very reason, I bought him a booster with a back attached. Looks rather like a child car seat, but more roomy, and the seatbelt fastens straight over with a clip to keep it away from his neck. Converts into a plain booster seat for when he's older. Said on the box it was for ages 9 mths to 11 yrs, so should get our money's worth! Better safe than sorry. HTH

codswallop Tue 10-Jun-03 13:35:17

yes I agree I thibk I rushed into it with the first but he never took to it - The Britax ranger - v uncomfy..

I would leave it as long as poss

marialuisa Tue 10-Jun-03 13:36:01

Thanks, DD is spot on 15kg, but tall. My friend had a basic Britax seat with a clip thing so that the seat belt was in the right place, so I guess that might be ok after all. Carseat is getting ridiculous but I was worried we'd be stopped by the police for not having her in one.

codswallop Tue 10-Jun-03 13:38:11

yes thats the ranger - I wish i had got the cruiser or super cruiser as it was because of the head lolling

Lorien Tue 10-Jun-03 13:46:03

I just tried DS (30 months, 17kg and generally a large lad) in a booster seat. He fitted fine but then I realised that:
1 He could get out of the seat, and thought it was great fun to 'escape' in traffic jams and clamber around the car
2: Whe he went to slepp he lolled rather alarmingly (as others have mentioned)
Anyway, I quickly put him back in his toddler car seat (MaxiCosi) where I intend keeping him for as long as I can. It looks a tad on the small side, but is much safer in my particular case. HTH

marialuisa Tue 10-Jun-03 13:52:37

I think we have to do something as at present she can loosen her straps and take her arms out so the harness is next to useless. She travels well, an ELC catalogue can entertain her for hours ("i've got that, I need that..) so not too worried about getting out.

Bozza Tue 10-Jun-03 14:27:56

If she's taking her arm's out of her harness, surely an adult seat belt would be even worse. One of our car seats broke and so with DS aged 25 months at the time we bought a Graco high back booster which has an integral harness which can eventually be removed to use adult seat belt and then the back can be removed - so 3 options.

DS tends to slip his arms out when he's not wearing much however tightly I fasten the harness. Ds still uses maxicosi priori in other car.

marialuisa Tue 10-Jun-03 14:49:24

No, she takes her arms out because she's uncomfortable, we used friend's booster seat over the W/E and she was fine, including on a 2 hour drive. Thanks for the tips, have had a look at britax super cruiser and that looks like a good compromise.

Boe Wed 11-Jun-03 09:18:48

Graco do a really good one that has a hole for the seatbelt to go through to hold it into place - is adjustable and grows withthe child (by the time they are 21 it will fill you car - ha ha!!)

I have a really good Britax Rennaisance car seat, one that suctions to the seat of the car and goes up to when the child is 5 and fully intend keeping my daughter in it until then. Seeing at first hand the injuries and trauma caused to young children in car accidents I take road safety very seriously and think that we should not rush to put our children into booster seats.

I am the annoying lady who will get out of the car and have a go at you at traffic lights if you have small children climbing around inside your car - I do think allowing a child to be in a car unrestrained is tantamount to child abuse. I know I sound like a complete nag but my elder sister has a hole in her skull (just skin over it and hair) and she has had mental health problems all her life, I just think the risk is far too big to take and do not allow my daughter in any car without her car seat.

You can also phone ther manufacturers of car seats and they will advise you as to whether the car seat you are thinking of buying is a suitable model for the car that you have. Some of them do not fit in all cars. Mothercare will check to see whether the car seat fits in your car and will weigh your child tomake sure that they are heavy enough for the car seat, they also take the seat out to your car and try it in there and show you how to fit it safely.

Do you know it is advised that children also do not travel in the front of a car until they are about 11?

Sorry to harp on - just think this is a really important issue.

Boe Wed 11-Jun-03 09:20:11

Oh - after reading that thought I better add that the head injury that my sister substained was through a car accident before it was made law that seatbelts or child seats had to be used.

CAM Wed 11-Jun-03 14:12:48

I have used a booster seat for dd (6) since she grew out of/became too heavy for her car seat at about 4 and a half years. We have 2 Britax ones (1 in dh car as well)and they have a holder which keeps the strap off her neck. I intend to use them until she is too big for them (supposed to go up to age 11 but dd is v. tall and will undoubtedly grow out of them long before that). What really amazes me is that she is the ONLY ONE out of her Yr 1 class (ok, small class, but all 5 or 6 years old) who *still* uses a car seat of any kind!!

LIZS Wed 11-Jun-03 14:21:10

Over here (CH) it is law to use one until they are 7 and they are not supposed to travel in the front seat until a certain age(can't remember exactly). Having said that the law was only introduced Jan 2002. Until then I understand that kids' seats were not obligatory nor did each passenger have to use a separate seat or belt. I still occasionally see cars overloaded and/or with unrestrained kids but the police can revoke a licence for this and do spot checks.

RockingRosebud Wed 11-Jun-03 21:53:44

Don't forget booster seats are not so your child can see out of the windows.

They are to raise the position of the vital organs out of the way of the line of the seat belt in case of a crash.

Please pass this on to all those Mums you see with kids rolling around in the backs of their cars.

CAM Thu 12-Jun-03 10:53:18

Exactly RRR

CAM Thu 12-Jun-03 10:53:50

I'll try again: exactly RR

Boe Thu 12-Jun-03 14:10:22

Just thought shouldadd - went over to Paris a short while agao and was shocked to find that dp's bil's child (newborn) was in one of those carrycot things - it strapped to the back seat and the baby only had a strap across his belly. Got really cross and told him where abouts of all the vital organs and the force needed to rupture these in a small baby would be next to nothing. He was obsessed that the baby should be lying flat (told him baby had been scrunched up in womb for 9 months and was sure would not mind it for a while longer) and that was why he would not get a travel system??

Is this normal in France are there not any laws??

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