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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    http://news.consumerreports.org/baby...d-at-risk.html

    Has anybody seen this article?

    In our recent review of booster seats, we found a disconnect between the minimum weight limits allowed by manufacturers and what we would consider best practice for booster use. Of the 34 booster seat models in our tests, 28 state a minimum allowable weight of between 30 and 33 pounds. Current growth charts, however, show that the average 30-pound child is about two-and-a-half years old, far too young to move a child out of a seat with a harness, according to our safety experts.
    I thought the article was interesting. Not that I consider CR to be a top authority on child safety, and there were a few things in the article which were a little off, but overall I thought it brings up a lot of good points. And a lot of parents turn to CR for advice on everything, whether "we" wish them to or not.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy hedgefun's Avatar
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    The thing I don't like about that article is that it doesn't point out that boosters also have age minimums. I think it does a good job pointing out that people may be boostering too soon. As someone who knows a 5 yo under 30lbs I don't have an issue with a 30lb minimum (she'll probably be just over 30lbs at 6 I'm guessing), but I do take issue with 30lb 3y minimum. 30x6y I'm okay with.

    Slightly related, but did anyone notice that they say an infant seat is safer than a convertible on the "car seat guide" link? I'm scratching my head at that one...
    Last edited by hedgefun; 04-10-2013 at 07:54 PM. Reason: typo, hit send too soon

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    I didn't follow the link. Maybe later.

    The article does address age minimums on seats.

    of the 28 booster seats with the lower allowable weight limits, at least half also include a minimum age limit of three and others include height limits that are more typical of a three-year-old.
    and
    We also found two seats that indicate they can be used by a child starting at age one. Lets be clear, a booster is not the seat for any one-year-old.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy hedgefun's Avatar
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    Ok wow I obviously didn't read that carefully! Oops!

    What booster has an age of 1???

  6. #5
    CPST Instructor monica-m's Avatar
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    I know Dorel backless boosters have a minimum of 1 on them. I'm not sure about their high back models.
    DS1 3.24.10 riding in a Frontier 90 in booster mode and a Cybex M-Fix.
    DS2 1.18.14 rear facing in a Foonf and a Fllo.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Safety 1st Boost Air also says minimum 1 year in both highback and backless mode.
    Highback:
    30-100 lbs (13.6-45.4 kg) and 34-57 in. (85.1-144.8 cm) and Over 1 Year Old
    Backless:
    40-100 lbs (18.1-45.4 kg) and 43-57 in. (110.1-144.8 cm) and Over 1 Year Old
    Granted, there aren't a lot of 43" tall 1 year olds out there, but most parents ignore height requirements. And besides, 34" is the 50th percentile for a 2 year old. I'd venture to guess there are a LOT of kids between ages 1 and 2 who meet all the minimum requirements to use this seat in highback mode.

    ETA: At her 2 year checkup, my daughter was 33 lbs and 36" tall. So if it weren't for my state law requiring 40 lbs to be in a booster, she could have legally used this seat sometime before she turned two, probably at about 20 or 21 months old.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  8. #7
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Harmony states no age.

    As a mom who has a child who didn't hit 40 pounds until nearly 7, I'm fine with the 30 or 33 pound boosters. We needed them. As usual, education is needed to make people understand that their two year old who is 35 pounds really shouldn't be in them, but a six year old who is 35 pounds is just fine in it.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

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  10. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    Harmony states no age.

    As a mom who has a child who didn't hit 40 pounds until nearly 7, I'm fine with the 30 or 33 pound boosters. We needed them. As usual, education is needed to make people understand that their two year old who is 35 pounds really shouldn't be in them, but a six year old who is 35 pounds is just fine in it.

    Wendy
    Thank you from a mama of a 33-35 lb 6 year old. I know there are people here who would keep her in a harness for another 2-3 years, but that just isn't an option for us - when the radian 65 expires in the fall, she will be boostered.

  11. #9
    CPS Technician tiggercat's Avatar
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    Finally, an article from CR that I actually kind of like, lol. Alas, my Canadian is showing.

    I'd rather see older kids harnessed for longer than see toddlers in boosters. I think increasing the minimum age limits on boosters would be great. I think it is ridiculous that some state no age (or 1 or 3 years).

    Somehow it doesn't seem to be a big problem up here with our 40lb booster mins and lower harness limits?

    Sent from my iPod touch using Car-Seat.Org
    Natalie, CRST-I, mum of Greg (15), Megan (10), Benjamin and Samuel (6).


  12. #10
    CPS Technician christineka's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    Harmony states no age.
    Someone elsewhere bought a new cruz and asked about going above the upper age limit and in that post, reported that the seat said for ages 4-10, so possibly, Harmony has quietly added a minimum age on their boosters. I will have to do some looking around at stores.
    Christine *mom* to

    Dd1 age 17 (seatbelt), Dd2 age 15 (seatbelt), Ds1 age 14 (seatbelt), Dd4 age 12 (Seatbelt), Ds2 age 10 (Probooster), Dd4 age 7 (rstv), and dd5 age 1 (rfing Pria)

  13. #11
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by bigteamug View Post
    Thank you from a mama of a 33-35 lb 6 year old. I know there are people here who would keep her in a harness for another 2-3 years, but that just isn't an option for us - when the radian 65 expires in the fall, she will be boostered.
    With a six year old skeleton there's no need to harness provided they're over 30 pounds.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  14. #12
    CPS Technician urchin_grey's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Well, until people stop thinking that "my kid is huge" is a reason to booster regardless of age, there really isn't much carseat manufacturers can do. Parents are going to ignore minimums and recommendations.

    And yeah, my kid is 30lbs even at nearly 8. He was 20lbs at 18mo so it will be years before he gains another 10. His booster use is very minimal currently (5 miles/week max) and he'll be harnessed all summer because I gave his dad our True Fit. But I don't want to have to harness him full time until he's old enough to drive.
    Carly
    mom to Bram [10 years/32lbs/41" - BT 3-in-1 & Nauti]
    ...and TTC an excuse to buy a new seat since 2/2013

  15. #13
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    I have zero problem with 30 lb minimums. If they started putting five year age minimums on I'd be thrilled though.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!


  16. #14
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    With a six year old skeleton there's no need to harness provided they're over 30 pounds.

    Wendy
    Just a (slightly OT) question here: Is the 30 pounds you state because that's the lowest weight the booster allows?

    Age minimums on booster seats make total sense to me. Is there some reason for the weight minimums? (Does that just have to do with the size of the test dolls, or is there something fundamental about 30 lbs that makes it very unsafe to booster below?)

    I can't really imagine a 6 YO being below 30 lbs, but if one did exist, would the main reason not to booster simply be because there are no boosters available for kids that weigh less than 30 lbs?

    Sorry, that's a bit confusing.

    While I agree that the article misses the point slightly by focusing on weight rather than age, they do mention age and in a sensible way. It seems like a step forward for CR.

  17. #15
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by mrosehughes View Post
    Just a (slightly OT) question here: Is the 30 pounds you state because that's the lowest weight the booster allows?
    Exactly. In Canada I'd have no problem boostering a 40 pound six year old, because that's the minimum there.

    Age minimums on booster seats make total sense to me. Is there some reason for the weight minimums? (Does that just have to do with the size of the test dolls, or is there something fundamental about 30 lbs that makes it very unsafe to booster below?)
    Probably because the majority of kids under 30 pounds are way too young to booster, so why test them out?

    I can't really imagine a 6 YO being below 30 lbs, but if one did exist, would the main reason not to booster simply be because there are no boosters available for kids that weigh less than 30 lbs?
    Right. A harness would be necessary. And technically in Canada and some states a harness would be necessary to 40 pounds by law.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

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  19. #16
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    So, I decided to call Safety 1st out on this on their FB page, and got this response:
    Hi, ladies. Thank you for your question. Starting early last year, we started making changes to our age requirements. All of our non-harnessed boosters now have older age requirements -- a booster with a back has an age requirement of 3-years-old and without the back at 4 years of age. The child must meet all three criteria: age, weight, and height in order to use the booster seat. The weight and height range we use on our boosters match the size of an average 3-year-old. Thanks!
    I think it's a little odd, though, because 34" tall is NOT the height of an average 3 year old; it's the height of an average 2 year old.

    Anyway, I'm a lot more concerned about the age minimums than I am about the height minimums. My personal opinion is that I'd harness a child under 40 lbs of any age unless the child were too tall to harness. I'm just not convinced that I can count on the vehicle belt to lock on a lighter child in an accident, and some vehicles state 40 lbs as the minimum for using the seat belt also (sorry, I can't recall which vehicle(s) off the top of my head). But it's a moot point anyway because (a) my child will probably hit 40 lbs at or around her 3rd birthday, and (b) I live in a state where we have a law requiring kids under 40 lbs (regardless of age) to be in a harnessed seat.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  20. #17
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    I'd rather see higher minimums, given that parents go to the next stage when their kids are 'close enough', it would keep more kids harnessed longer. Is it inconvenient for the tiny fraction of kids who are in the lowest percentiles? Yeah. So be it. Honestly, people at both ends of the special needs/weight spectrum are inconvenienced, but if the ethical goal is to save the lives of the majority, then the best thing to do is raise the minimums. (Until my long-stated ultimate goal of cars being safe for all sizes of occupants. I love playing with carseats, but I'd rather see kids be safe in cars without them :P)
    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

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  22. #18
    Carseat Crazy daniele_ut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas
    Harmony states no age.

    As a mom who has a child who didn't hit 40 pounds until nearly 7, I'm fine with the 30 or 33 pound boosters. We needed them. As usual, education is needed to make people understand that their two year old who is 35 pounds really shouldn't be in them, but a six year old who is 35 pounds is just fine in it.

    Wendy
    Thank you for answering a question I have been meaning to post. DD had her 5 year old well child check 2 weeks ago and she is only 34.5 lbs. She rides in a Nautilus right now but I've been considering when to move her to a booster and was wondering if it would be safe to do when she turns 6 even though she won't be 40 lbs.
    Daniele
    dd1 born/died 4/30/03
    ds1 11yo and 5 stepping it
    dd2 8yo and riding in a Parkway SGL
    ds2 4yo and riding in a Frontier CT and a Tranzitions

  23. #19
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by wendytthomas View Post
    With a six year old skeleton there's no need to harness provided they're over 30 pounds.

    Wendy
    And for the benefit of those reading this type of thread for the first time, I'd add "and behaviorally and developmentally they can and will sit properly".
    henrietta
    former CPST & Mom extraordinaire of 2 rowdy little boys & 1 spunky girl toddler, among hundreds of other skills!
    #1, age 9.5, Harmony Literider or Transit backless booster, occasional Safety First Incognito
    #2, age 6.5, Cybex Xfit booster/Harmony folding travel booster/Evenflo hbb
    #3 age 15 months, Britax Advocate CT/Combi Cocorro

  24. #20
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    Re: Consumer Reports on Booster Minimums

    Quote Originally Posted by daniele_ut View Post
    Thank you for answering a question I have been meaning to post. DD had her 5 year old well child check 2 weeks ago and she is only 34.5 lbs. She rides in a Nautilus right now but I've been considering when to move her to a booster and was wondering if it would be safe to do when she turns 6 even though she won't be 40 lbs.
    My oldest child may have weighed 35 lbs at 5 yrs old...maybe...and he hit 40 on his 6th birthday. He is super skinny, below what a kid his size should be...but he did it. She may surprise you!! (-;
    henrietta
    former CPST & Mom extraordinaire of 2 rowdy little boys & 1 spunky girl toddler, among hundreds of other skills!
    #1, age 9.5, Harmony Literider or Transit backless booster, occasional Safety First Incognito
    #2, age 6.5, Cybex Xfit booster/Harmony folding travel booster/Evenflo hbb
    #3 age 15 months, Britax Advocate CT/Combi Cocorro

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