Car Seat.Org - Carseat, Automobile & Child Passenger Safety Community Forums
Forums Home | Mobile Site | Search | Carseat Blog | Carseat Basics | FAQ | Store | Support Us and Shop Amazon

 

Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!



  Contact Us to Sponsor a Top Banner Ad!  

Visitors are welcome to post a question anonymously, without registration. Please see announcement for more details.

Go Back   Car Seat.Org - Carseat, Automobile & Child Passenger Safety Community Forums > Safety Questions and Topics > Carseat Reviews, Articles and FAQs

Notices

Carseat Reviews, Articles and FAQs Member Submitted Articles on Child Passenger and Vehicle Safety; Frequently Asked Questions, Reviews and Ratings. Moderated.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-02-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
skaterbabs
Car-Seat.Org Zealot
 
skaterbabs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 10,022
Blog Entries: 1
skaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leaderskaterbabs is a Car-Seat.org Leader
Booster Seats and the Five Step Test

Safety belts are designed to fit the average adult male. Women and children (especially in older vehicles) simply do not fit. While there is little that can be done for adults (we’re still working on boosters to fit grown-ups who might want them LOL) belt positioning boosters make that adult belt fit your child.

Keep children in booster seats until they pass the "5 Step Test" (usually around 10-12 years old and close to 5 feet tall) in every vehicle in which the child rides. If the child meets the 5 Step Test in one vehicle, but not another, the child will need a booster for every vehicle in which the 5 Step Test is not met.

Weight is a useless measurement of whether a child is ready for the adult seat belt or not. Age is only helpful when considering the child's ability to sit properly.

In order to work properly, a shoulder belt needs to be across the collarbone and the lap belt needs to be on the hipbones. However, children often slip the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back, losing all upper-body protection. Or, they slide forward so their knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat, making the lap belt ride up on the abdomen. In these cases, the seat belt CANNOT work properly! Children can slide down and out of the restraint, or the belt can be forced into the stomach, causing damage to internal organs. These types of injuries are known as "seat-belt syndrome."

However, some children should NOT be in boosters.
Children under 40 pounds and under the age of four should remain in a 5 point harness at all times.

A booster does not restrain the child the way the harness does, it simply "boosts" the child up in order to make the adult-sized belt safely fit a child-sized body. Children under age 4 do not possess the ability to sit perfectly at all times, and a child who leans forward to retrieve a cup or toy, or who twists around to see something or someone behind them, will not be protected in a crash and is at risk for serious injuries and possibly death. Also, children this age sometimes still fall asleep in the car. The slumping that occurs when this happens means they are not properly positioned and should be in a 5 point harness for that trip. Ideally all children should remain in an appropriate 5 point harness until age 5.


The 5 Step Test
If you answer "No" to any of these questions, your child must be in a booster seat:
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Is the lap belt touching the top of the thighs, not the tummy?
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTERS CAN NOT be used with only a lap belt!
(See your car dealer for a lap/shoulder belt retrofit.)


So what booster is best for your child?
That is a complex question with no hard and fast answers. The best booster for your child is the one that fits your child, your vehicle, your budget and that you will use correctly each and every time. Some boosters (like other car seats) are outgrown early by height, others can be tricky to use properly. Others are very expensive.

DO NOT use a shield booster. These are VERY dangerous and should never be used. For more information, see: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/shieldbooster.aspx
QUOTE:
Shield Boosters provide little or no upper-body protection. In many cases, the children who are injured or killed in these either:
Get flung too far forward, resulting in serious head or spinal injuries or
Submarine UNDER the shield and have spinal/neck injuries or are actually decapitated.
There are also unfortunate cases where children are thrown OUT in a side-impact or rollover collision.


MY RECOMMENDATIONS:
For children under age 4, and under 40 pounds, use a "COMBINATION BOOSTER". This is a seat which has an integrated five-point harness which can be removed once the child outgrows it, and the seat can then be used as a belt-positioning booster at that time. This will NOT be the last seat your child needs, as the current models are typically outgrown by height (tips of ears above the shell of the seat) well before the 5 Step Test (above) is passed. However, at that point in time, if your vehicle has high seat backs or adjustable head restraints (aka "head rests"), an inexpensive backless booster may be an option for you.
Once you move your child to a belt-positioning booster, leave them there until they pass the 5 Step Test - no matter how old they are or how much they weigh. This may mean purchasing more than one booster, and it may mean having your 8, 10, or 12 year old in a booster!!!
If your child is OVER 4 years and 40 lbs, and sits properly for every ride, every time, a booster is acceptable, although a 5 point harness is still much safer AS LONG AS the child has not outgrown the seat.


Some boosters are shorter than others, some are wider. Some fit well in small seats, others do not fit well in conjunction with other child restraints. Be aware that should you choose a shorter booster, you may need to purchase another booster later because your child outgrows it by height.

Boosters are outgrown by height when the shoulders are above the belt guide at it's tallest setting OR the ears are above the shell of the seat. They are outgrown by weight when your child meets the weight limited listed on your seat and in the manual for the seat.

Some boosters function as both high back boosters and "BACKLESS BOOSTERS". If you choose a booster with this configuration, and the booster is outgrown by height as a high-back booster, some manufacturers permit you to remove the back and use the booster as a backless as long as proper head support is available in your vehicle. Before attempting this with your booster, verify that the manufacturer allows this by reading your owners manual.


Whichever type of booster you purchase, whichever brand you buy, use it every ride and every time. Don't prematurely evict your child from the booster. Explain to them in as much detail as necessary why they must use a booster, even if their friends do not.
__________________
Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
"That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
- Denis Waitley

Last edited by skipspin; 12-02-2006 at 06:01 PM.
skaterbabs is offline  
Reply With Quote

  #ADS
Car-Seat.Org
Please Support Our Sponsors!
 
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Car-Seat.Org
Age: 2010
Posts: Thank you!
 

 
Car-Seat.Org is online  

RECARO Child Safety – Child restraints inspired by decades of safety in racing seat technology.



Visitors are welcome to post a question anonymously, without registration. Please see announcement for more details.

Reply



Support our Forums at Car-Seat.Org!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


VISITORS ARE WELCOME TO POST A QUESTION ANONYMOUSLY, WITHOUT REGISTERING. It may take a couple hours or overnight until your post is approved and appears to the public. Due to recent spam attacks, this moderation delay is in effect until you register, confirm email and have your account approved. Please do not re-post your message if it does not appear immediately. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please also read our announcement for more details.

All responses are the opinions of each indvidual, who may or may not have relevant training or familiarity with your vehicle or carseat. It is your responsibility to read and follow the directions in the owner's manuals.  If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician for a FREE CARSEAT SAFETY INSPECTION.  The best child safety seat is one that correctly fits your child, your automobile and can be used properly each and every trip. No registration is required to ask a question! Please read our announcement for details before posting.

Clek is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.org
Kids N Cribs.com is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!
Snugglebugz.ca is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!
'Britax USA is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org
Recaro Child Safety is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.org!
Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please Support Car-Seat.Org with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Orbit, Recaro, Safety 1st, Diono & more!


About Us Support Car-Seat.Org Forums

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All Website Content Copyright© 2001-2014, Car-Seat.Org, All Rights Reserved.