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Old 06-28-2009, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Andersonville, Chicago
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When can I switch from a regular car seat to a booster seat for my child. He just turned 3. He is 3'3'' and weigh 38 pounds. So he is a big boy. His car seat is getting to be too small for him. Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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YouTube - Importance of a 5-Point Harness Carseat

He is much safer in a 5 point restraint. Some only go to 30 lbs. But some go to 80 lbs. See SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. Safe Ride Helpline for more info.
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Old 06-28-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: chicagoland
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This is absolutely horrible. I always thought how unsafe those boosters without a harness looked. My own seatbelt hasn't locked when I needed it to. I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 17. Thank goodness the impact didn't eject me but I came pretty close! The seatbelt didn't lock and I broke my knee and collar bone (on the wheel) and banged my head up pretty good on the windshield!


What is the "tether" they talk about in the video. It says if the latch and/or the belt fail it is the last line of defense?
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:46 AM
 
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My 45 lb 6 year old is still harnessed (in a Britax Marathon), so I'm sure you will be able to find a carseat that will fit your three year old. A three year old is neither physically nor mentally mature enough to sit in a booster seat... the child has to be able to sit up straight without falling asleep in the car, and must know not to play with the seatbelt, stick his arms through, etc. I switched my son before he turned 7, because he was getting too tall for his Marathon. (They harness up to 65 lbs.)

Miasmommy, the tether is the long strap that is attached to the back of your carseat and clicks into a tether hook behind the seat of the car (it could be on the roof, or on the back part of the car, or on the floor of the car... check your owner's manual. Some cars need them retrofitted if they don't already have them). If you use LATCH, then it's not optional. If you use a seatbelt, it is considered optional, but the carseat will be much more secure if you do use the tether strap. The seatbelt can become unlatched during a car accident (as in the video above) and the tether strap gives the extra measure of protection.

Booster seats are very safe for kids who fit in them properly. The little boy in the video above would not have had a different outcome if he were in a harness that was only installed with a seatbelt. In his case, it was not a booster seat failure, but a seatbelt failure. It could happen to anyone. Using LATCH or a seatbelt plus a tether gives your kids another year or two or three of protection, but at some point everyone graduates from that type of carseat.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:48 AM
 
Location: chicagoland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
My 45 lb 6 year old is still harnessed (in a Britax Marathon), so I'm sure you will be able to find a carseat that will fit your three year old. A three year old is neither physically nor mentally mature enough to sit in a booster seat... the child has to be able to sit up straight without falling asleep in the car, and must know not to play with the seatbelt, stick his arms through, etc. I switched my son before he turned 7, because he was getting too tall for his Marathon. (They harness up to 65 lbs.)

Miasmommy, the tether is the long strap that is attached to the back of your carseat and clicks into a tether hook behind the seat of the car (it could be on the roof, or on the back part of the car, or on the floor of the car... check your owner's manual. Some cars need them retrofitted if they don't already have them). If you use LATCH, then it's not optional. If you use a seatbelt, it is considered optional, but the carseat will be much more secure if you do use the tether strap.

So is the latch just as safe? I use the latch system in my car.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:51 AM
 
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Yes, the LATCH includes the tether strap, so you're all set, assuming you have it in correctly with all three hooks in use.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:56 AM
 
Location: chicagoland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
Yes, the LATCH includes the tether strap, so you're all set, assuming you have it in correctly with all three hooks in use.

Now I'm assuming since my husbands work checked it out for us (fire department) it IS in correct. However, the latch is two hooks and there is no third? Where is the third?
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:57 AM
 
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LATCH and Top Tether Information for Child Safety Seat Restraints

I was mistaken, the tether is actually optional with LATCH; I thought it was a required part of the system. That's strange that your fire department didn't show your husband how to use the tether, though. Was he a certified carseat specialist (most fire fighters are NOT certified specialists)? Try to find someone certified in your area.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:59 AM
 
Location: chicagoland
1,636 posts, read 2,654,950 times
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OH oh oh. I get it. I forgot we are talking about boosters/forward facing seats. Mine is still in the rear facing!!!!! No tether then. Thanks for the link. I wouldn't have known to look for this when we get another seat. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:05 AM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,611,885 times
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Ah, then that makes sense! LOL!
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