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Group 3 booster or HBB 8 year old

8 replies

squealingpiglets · 31/10/2018 12:35

DS is 8, 129cm tall & 23kg and is currently in a group 2/3 recaro isofix HBB. The headrest is now up to the maximum but he still fits comfortably & is likely to still need a car seat (legally) for the next year or so, depending on how fast he grows.

DD (3.11) needs a new car seat. She hasnt outgrown her current one yet but the harness keeps slackening off & I don't want to keep her in it much longer. She's 1m tall & 14.8kg so on the cusp of being able to use the group 2/3 HBB.

My dilemma is: do we leave ds in his HBB seat and buy the same or similar for dd (which will be fairly expensive as we need 2 seats - 1 for each car) or do we move DS (8) onto a group 3 booster cushion for the last year, so DD can have his HBB.

On the one hand I don't want to spend loads of money on 2 new seats (we have 2 cars) if DS will outgrow his in the next 6 months or so, but equally I don't want to compromise DS's safety by putting him on a cushion if they are less safe. There doesn't seem to be many places selling them now either even though I checked the regs & they are still ok for older children over 125cm/22kg.

WWYD in this situation? Are booster cushions unsuitable at his age group? Would you keep your 8 year old in a HBB rather than on a cushion?

Sensible advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks

OP posts:
HotInWinter · 31/10/2018 12:40

I'm planning on keeping my 136cm, 28kg 9 year old in his hbb until he is as close to 150cm as I can.
So, if anything, I'd buy a bigger hbb, to keep him in one for another 3 years or so.

clara10 · 31/10/2018 12:59

It also depends on your car’s seats. I have very deep seats and a seatbelt only doesn’t sit in the right area (pelvis) for anyone under 150cm. I have just moved my 144cm DS to a booster cushion now but did have 2HBB for many years.

teaandbiscuitsforme · 31/10/2018 13:57

Your 3 year old is very young and too light for a HBB so I wouldn't do anything for at least 6 months until she's 4.5yrs.

Your DS would be much safer in a HBB than anything else for a good while yet. If you need a second HBB in 6 months, the Joie Trillo is inexpensive but good.

squealingpiglets · 31/10/2018 19:41

thanks for the replies. i think in that case we will err on the side of caution & keep DS in a hbb for longer.

teaandbiscuits DD will be 4 in a matter of weeks. She is 0.2kg (0.5lb) off the minimum weight limit for the HBB (15kg) at the moment & although she is nowhere near the upper weight limit for our group 1 seat (18kg) I feel the 5 point harness has become unsafe. Its a maxi cosi tobi & it has a green light system to show the harness is tight but it slackens off during the journey & we are having to repeatedly tighten it up mid-journey. It does this in both cars so not sure if its a design flaw with this particular seat but I worry about how safe she would really be in an accident if her harness is loose. So we do need new seats for her asap but can't really afford to fork out for more group 1 seats that will only last her 6 months before we have to replace them again.

Back to the drawing board to try & find a seat that might be more suitable than a hbb I guess.Confused Any suggestions welcomed!

OP posts:
teaandbiscuitsforme · 31/10/2018 19:57

Have you contacted Maxi Cosi? I'd try to see if they can suggest anything or sort you current car seat out to last another 6 months. (Or replace if you're really lucky! Grin)

I know she's not far off 15kg but legally she still can't go in a HBB. She's also very light for them once she does reach 15kg. Do you think she's also mature enough to sit in one without playing with the seatbelt? They're also not supposed to fall asleep in a HBB because it's so easy for them to become out of position and therefore the seatbelt wouldn't restrain as it should in a crash. That plus their pelvis not being developed enough for a HBB are the main reasons why the experts on the Car Seat Advice U.K. Facebook group recommend trying to get to 4.5yrs before moving to a HBB.

schooltripwoes · 31/10/2018 20:02

@squealingpiglets I'd keep DS in his HBB until he no longer fits and meanwhile get DD something like the Römer (Britax) Advansafix or Evolva. It uses a harness up to 18kg, then the harness is removed and it's used as a HBB with seatbelt:

squealingpiglets · 31/10/2018 20:23

tea I haven't contacted maxi cosi - thought the seats would be well out of warranty as we bought them 7 years ago & used them for ds too but just looked at their website which says they offer lifetime warranty - not sure how long they've offered this for so might try calling them tomorrow to see if ours is covered or not.

She's quite sensible on the whole, don't think she'll mess about & she doesn't sleep in the car anymore really but of course want to keep her the safest she can be. thanks

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 11/11/2018 20:19

Personally I would put her in the HBB and get a basic booster for the 8yo. If you can get her seat repaired then obviously it would be better to keep them in the ones they have until outgrown, but a difference of 200g - she could easily gain or lose that over the course of a few days given a good meal/poo/heavy clothing. And while I would definitely keep an 8yo in a HBB if it was a choice - it is silly to buy another one for him when he is already nearing the height limit for HBBs in general (IME there is no such thing as a HBB which really lasts a child until 150cm). Most 8yos are tall enough for a low booster to position the belt well across pelvis and shoulder, though he will lose the head protection from a HBB.

The pelvis thing doesn't have any good evidence behind it (yes I've seen the graphic from facebook) and the behaviour argument - you could argue that the HBB is a better protection than a static harness as it readjusts when the passenger leans back into position whereas if a child becomes fed up enough in a 5ph they will tend to simply remove their arms or put pressure on the harness (which might be what's happening with it coming loose?) which renders the entire harness useless until an adult stops the car and refastens the child. Ultimately it's up to you to weigh up the evidence you're aware of and make the decision you feel happy with.

One option which could be a compromise might be the Joie Elevate? This is fairly cheap as car seats go and is a 123 seat so can remain harnessed until she reaches 18kg. Unlike other 123 seats though the harness extends up to the full height of the group 2/3 booster, meaning that a tall but slight child can use it for much longer than a standard Group 1 harness.

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