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View Poll Results: Please read entire original post BEFORE voting.

Voters
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  • I plan to use my Radian until the top of my child's ears reach the top of the seat.

    8 11.76%
  • I will stop using my Radian when my child's shoulders go above the top harness slots.

    49 72.06%
  • Still undecided.

    11 16.18%
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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Okay, I have been all over thes forum in the past few days and it seems to me that there are varying "understandings" and "opinions" on this topic. I wanted a straight answer, so I went to the source.

    Here is what Sunshine Kids has to say on why it's okay to go to 51" tall (or until the top of the ears reach the top of the seat) on the Radians. For those of you with older models, (or who have read the height limit to be 49" somewhere, please note that after further testing was done, Sunshine Kids released the 51" or top of ears rule on ALL Radians, reguardless of manufacture date. They didn't change the seats, just did more testing.):

    " I understand that no other car seat allows this [shoulders above top slots FF], but Radian is like no other car seat. Radian has a unique structure and different seated positioning for the child than other convertible car seats. Radian65 is the strongest car seat in its class and (to our knowledge) Radian80 is the strongest car seat in the world.
    Radian’s unique design and incredible strength allow it to do what no other seat can: Permit a child’s shoulders to go above the top harness slots as long as the child’s ears are below the top of Radian’s seat back. While there will be some very tall 65 lb kids for whom this will make a difference, more practically it is focused towards the Radian80 to allow the highest percentage of larger and older kids to still be able to take advantage of Radian80's harnessed capacity and yet continue to maintain an overall height that allows the flexibility of rear-facing.
    ...Simply put, Both Radian65 and Radian80 were crash tested with large size dummies whose shoulders were above the top harness positions. In crash testing, both Radian65 and Radian80 met all the biomechanical values established by NHTSA – standards which Radian is not even required to meet for such a large child occupant.
    The dummies used for crash testing (whose shoulders are above the top harness slots) were fully instrumented to record loads in all 3 vectors of movement: X, Y and Z (ie. fore-aft, horizontal and vertical). The numerical values recorded during crash testing show that the biomechanical loads experienced by the dummy in each of these three vectors. Results of these crash test showed that all the biomechanical values were all well below those values established by NHTSA in FMVSS213.
    What this means is that even with the child’s shoulders above the top slots, Radian’s vertical chest loading (Z- vector) was sufficiently low enough (ie. well within NHTSA’s values) to demonstrate conclusively that there is no excessive spinal loading.
    And remember, NHTSA does not even set any limits for biomechanical values for children above 50 lbs – perhaps because such limits were deemed too difficult to meet for traditional car seat designs? Currently, to ‘pass’ crash testing for an 80 lb or even 65 lb child occupant the dummy must simply remain contained within the restraint and that restraint cannot break. That’s it. That’s all that is required by law. Sunshine Kids is committed to providing safety and performance well beyond what is required by NHTSA in terms of strength, safety and performance.
    ...Again, this does NOT mean you can do this with other seats. Radian is an exceptionally strong seat, has a low center of gravity. There is a reason other seats do not allow shoulders above the harness slots, and there is a reason why Radian can.
    ...51” standing height is a good rule of thumb for Radian…because standing height of a child is what people know, not seated height. But really the limitation is the seated height: As long as the tops of the ears are below the top of Radian’s seat back, then the child is within the correct height for Radian."

    Again, that was all quoted verbatum from an email from Sunshine Kids. (With permission to post, of course.) With this new info, please vote on poll.

    Stephanie

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  3. #2
    CPST Instructor
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Don't own one but will never recommend it to the parents that come in with one in my fitting station until I see hard proof crash testing data. I am just not going off the "because they said so".
    Jenny
    Senior CPS Tech-Instructor & Mommy of 2 girls
    K1 12 yrs old- 61" & 100lbs in vehicle seat belt
    K2 10 yrs old- 59" & 92lbs in vehicle seat belt

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I don't care if they can cram an 80 pound 10 yo dummy in that seat and meet or exceed head excursion limits, the seat is *VERY UNCOMFORTABLE* for a kid above the top slots (and even an inch below them, the straps are way too close together and rub the kid's neck). I value my child's comfort, and my own ears (don't want to hear whining on every trip), and I just can't bring myself to cram my poor kid into this seat above the shoulder slots. All kinds of seats have all kinds of random limits (Ever seen a hundred pound kid in an Alpha Omega as a booster? Never. A 40 pound 40 inch tall kid in a Graco Comfortsport? A time or two. See? Random labeling based on how crash dummies fit into seats or how the computer thinks they would behave in seats, not real life kids...)

    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic CandCfam's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Yeah, I just don't see how they could possibly prove that the spinal column isn't compromised when the shoulders go above the harness slots. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be comfortable utilizing that 51" standing height limit.

  6. #5
    CPS Technician rachel3612's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I wouldn't use it above the tops slots just because they claim it is safe, they also claim the Mighty Tight is safe. LOL
    Rachel
    CPST and mom to Hannah (3/00) and Liam (8/02)



  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    We will stop when AJ's shoulders are even w/ the top slot. Do I still tell people that they 'can' use the seat over the top slot, sure. I have to trust the manufacturers IMO b/c I don't test seats etc nor do I have time to look at crash test results (if I could find them) for all the seats out there that I may check.
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

  8. #7
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    So the Radian is unique ... so they tested with dumbies whose shoulders were above the top slots ... so what! Is my kid's spine unique enough for me trust this? NO. They have not tested this with a living child with an actual spine. I say again -- I just wouldn't do it unless there were absolutely no other choice (only in an emergency). I mean, heck, liability isn't an issue anymore because we've got the go ahead, but my kid's spine is more important than liability
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  9. #8
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I don't have the Radian, but I answered the poll as if I did. I would stop using it once the child's shoulders went above the top slots. I jsut don't feel comfortable using it past that.

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Quote Originally Posted by joolsplus3 View Post
    I don't care if they can cram an 80 pound 10 yo dummy in that seat and meet or exceed head excursion limits, the seat is *VERY UNCOMFORTABLE* for a kid above the top slots (and even an inch below them, the straps are way too close together and rub the kid's neck). I value my child's comfort, and my own ears (don't want to hear whining on every trip), and I just can't bring myself to cram my poor kid into this seat above the shoulder slots. All kinds of seats have all kinds of random limits (Ever seen a hundred pound kid in an Alpha Omega as a booster? Never. A 40 pound 40 inch tall kid in a Graco Comfortsport? A time or two. See? Random labeling based on how crash dummies fit into seats or how the computer thinks they would behave in seats, not real life kids...)

    Quote Originally Posted by jen_nah View Post
    Don't own one but will never recommend it to the parents that come in with one in my fitting station until I see hard proof crash testing data. I am just not going off the "because they said so".
    Quote Originally Posted by CandCfam View Post
    Yeah, I just don't see how they could possibly prove that the spinal column isn't compromised when the shoulders go above the harness slots. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be comfortable utilizing that 51" standing height limit.
    Quote Originally Posted by rachel3612 View Post
    I wouldn't use it above the tops slots just because they claim it is safe, they also claim the Mighty Tight is safe. LOL


    I agree with every one of these posts.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Quote Originally Posted by CandCfam View Post
    Yeah, I just don't see how they could possibly prove that the spinal column isn't compromised when the shoulders go above the harness slots. I am pretty sure I wouldn't be comfortable utilizing that 51" standing height limit.
    This is exactly what I think about it. Every non-SK affiliated thing I've read on the issue says there is NO way to measure spinal compression. Until I hear otherwise from someone NOT making a profit off of the statement, I choose to be skeptical.
    Also, I agree with those who said, "don't trust what SK says, they say the MT is safe, too."

    I think it's a good seat, but I'd follow all the basic rules that apply to every other seat. As far as I can tell from reading, spinal compression has to do with the physics of a crash, and nothing at all to do with the strength of a seat.
    Kelly, mom to Aaric (7.5 and 65 lbs), Mikayla (6 and 52 lbs), and Xander (20 mo and 25 lbs)
    No more Huskies due to a wreck...
    Xander's in a MA, Mikayla in a GN, Aaric is temporarily in the pink Vivo...
    Graco SS1 due to come out of retirement in Jan 09

  12. #11
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Nope, I'm not comfortable with using the Radian with a child whose shoulders are above the top slots. DD1 will be in that position probably within the next year and I'll switch her back to a Regent at that time and pass down the Radian to her little sister.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Connor's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Quote Originally Posted by papooses View Post
    So the Radian is unique ... so they tested with dumbies whose shoulders were above the top slots ... so what! Is my kid's spine unique enough for me trust this? NO. They have not tested this with a living child with an actual spine. I say again -- I just wouldn't do it unless there were absolutely no other choice (only in an emergency). I mean, heck, liability isn't an issue anymore because we've got the go ahead, but my kid's spine is more important than liability
    I totally agree.
    Plus my son was uncomfortable in it when we tried it, pulling at the straps because they where too close to his neck.
    We like our Regent.
    Peggy, RN-Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, CPST and Mommy to Connor (2/05) in a Graco Highback TurboBooster with Safety Surround

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I'll discontinue using it when the shoulders go above the top slots.

    ChaoticOctopus
    Dd (4y)~Radian: 36#, 41"
    Dd (7y)~PW: 43#, 45"
    9y, 11y, 13y & 15y/o~ seatbelts

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member JOII's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I will also stop using it when my son reaches the top slots. Not something I am willing to risk.
    Jessica
    three across in a honda fit
    11y-literider/6.5y -affixHBB/8y-affixHBB



  16. #15
    Carseat Crazy cdncasper's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I don't have a Radian but I don't think I would use it once the child's shoulders were past the top slot. Just seems so uncomfy.

    April
    mommy to K, 5 years, 41.5 lbs, 44 inches, harnessed in a Britax Frontier CT


  17. #16
    CPS Technician CRS's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I don't have this seat but if I did, I'd' use them below the shoulders without any hesitation. None of us can test car seats, but these people not only make these seats but test them too (WOW!) lol. We put so much faith in to car seat manufacturers and their testing and follow their instructions to the letter but whenever anything strikes us as against the grain we no longer want to follow the manufacturers recommendations? LOL Just find it ironic is all. And FWIW I can't see how it would be uncomfortable for a child, never was for mine when he was FF.
    Bonnie, Mum to a (38lb) 3 year old rear-facing in a Brio Zento (Black)
    and a (40lb) 4 1/2 year old in a Booster in New Zealand.

  18. #17
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Gosh, you guys, the more information I read about spinal compression and then go back and read skjp's reply, I can see where the center of gravity might make a difference in wether straps are below the shoulders and the direction of movement of the child......however, my seven year old cousin was too wide (and I would not call her obese, by a long shot) when I asked her to sit in the radian for comparison.....Bummer, narrow seat=narrow seating area

    (BTW, she fit beautifully in the regent with a .5 in to spare before the top slots. She is one of Jackson's tall cousins so it gave me hope)

  19. #18
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    Quote Originally Posted by CRS View Post
    I don't have this seat but if I did, I'd' use them below the shoulders without any hesitation. None of us can test car seats, but these people not only make these seats but test them too (WOW!) lol. We put so much faith in to car seat manufacturers and their testing and follow their instructions to the letter but whenever anything strikes us as against the grain we no longer want to follow the manufacturers recommendations? LOL Just find it ironic is all. And FWIW I can't see how it would be uncomfortable for a child, never was for mine when he was FF.
    I didn't even mention spinal compression this time... really, it's just really, really uncomfortable for a kid that big in that seat...really, really uncomfortable
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  20. #19
    CPS Technician Suzibeck's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    I think comfort would be an issue. My MA says that it can be used until the ears are even with the seat shell once the top slots are needed. No mention of stopping use when the shoulders go over the top slot. I understand they no longer say this, but my MA has never been recalled on this issue.

    Anyway, last fall, I used the MA for my middle dd on a long trip. Her shoulders were just a touch over the top slots at that time. She was OK comfort wise, but by the next long trip, when her shoulders were about 1/2 inch over the top slots, she was just too uncomfortable. By then, I'd heard that I shouldn't use the seat that way, but I wouldn't have anyway because my dd would have been uncomfortable for 12 hour drives. No thanks!

    My guess is that the Radian would simply not be comfortable much over the top slots. I might be willing to use it just a touch over, like when they are at that under/even with/over stage, but once they are clearly over I'd probably stop. But, I don't own a Radian and have no plans to own one at this time either.
    Mom to three big girls in adult seat belts (20, 17, and 14) and one booster rider (8) in a Kia Sedona and a VW Tiguan.

  21. #20
    Carseat Crazy musicmaj's Avatar
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    Re: Using the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 or 80 above top shoulder slots--PLEASE READ

    My dd is at the top slots now. I still have her sit in it when her brother is not in the car. (it is his seat) When she goes over the top slots I will have her just use her booster in that car. My son is 1.5 below the top slots and I will stop using the seat for him when he goes over. He will probably make it to his sixth birthday in the seat. Then we will have to get an 86Y harness for him so that I can still fit three kids in the car.
    Angie mama to R 4 years, 33 lbs/38 inches in a radian
    W 7 years,66 lbs/51 inches in a parkway
    M 9 years, 58 lbs/51 inches in a parkway

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