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  1. #1
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    Keeping the shoulder on

    Hi,

    I am new here and glad that I found this forum. My 6 year old boy has sensory processing disorder and apraxia. He will not keep his seat belt over his shoulder and slips it under his arm. I think that he finds the belt very comfortable and has now started leaning forward in his seat. He is about 48 lbs and is now in a booster seat. I was considering buying a seat belt adjuster, but just read how unsafe they are. Please any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    If the booster is adjusted properly, then the belt fit at the shoulder shouldn't be any more uncomfortable than with a seat belt adjuster. What you've read about seat belt adjusters is correct. They are very unsafe. They pull up on the lap belt and often move the shoulder belt over so that it doesn't give good restraint to the torso. This can lead to abdominal injuries as well as head, neck, and spine injuries in a crash.

    A lot of kids with sensory disorders do well with a vest type restraint. Have you looked into something like the Ride Safer Travel Vest? It not only keeps the belt routed properly, but it also has an energy absorbing panel in the front to absorb energy. It doesn't have the SIP of a high backed booster, but it actually crash tests better in frontal crashes than many boosters. Many kids with sensory disorders or sensitivities such as Autism find its weight to be soothing or more comfortable.
    ~Danielle
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    CPST, SN Trained

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  5. #3
    CPS Technician Chely7425's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Before trying a vest which can be cumbersome and annoying for day to day use, I would try a larger harnessed seat. The Frontier 85 or Frontier 90 would likely keep him harnessed and safe for quite awhile.


    Rachel, mom to an army of Ts

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  7. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by Chely7425 View Post
    Before trying a vest which can be cumbersome and annoying for day to day use, I would try a larger harnessed seat. The Frontier 85 or Frontier 90 would likely keep him harnessed and safe for quite awhile.
    I agree with this. Almost all children that age will have a long time in a Frontier; if on a strict budget, most will also have a long time to grow in an Evenflo SureRide.
    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!

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  9. #5
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Welcome! I'm going to "yeah that" the Frontier or Sureride. My 4th could not sit properly in a booster at 6yo. No special needs or sensory difficulties; just a wiggly boy, as well as being a sound sleeper. When he was 6.5 I bought him a Frontier and didn't regret it for a minute.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

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  11. #6
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Hi,

    Thanks for the help. We had taken the back of his Graco booster seat. So, I guess that my first step is to put the back on again. Although, he could slip the should belt off when the back was on. I will look into getting the Evenflo car seat, the other one is beyond our budget right now.

    This begs the question of what do I do when he outgrows this car seat and still will not keep the shoulder belt on?

    Thanks

  12. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    If that is the case (you may be surprised how time can help) he would need a harness, possibly a special needs seat or vest, still.

    With the back as a reminder, he may do better; you may find that a weighted blanket in his lap can provide soothing sensory input as well.
    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!

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  14. #8
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    If that is the case (you may be surprised how time can help) he would need a harness, possibly a special needs seat or vest, still.

    With the back as a reminder, he may do better; you may find that a weighted blanket in his lap can provide soothing sensory input as well.
    My husband put the back on the Graco booster seat and had our son sit in it. He immediately slipped his arm out. So what is a better bet here, getting a new larger car seat with a three point harness or jumping ahead to a special needs seat or vest? If the latter, do you have a link?

    ETA - what is the opinion on this vest? http://www.especialneeds.com/ez-on-a...car-seats.html

  15. #9
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Have you looked into what, if any, insurance coverage you have for special needs seats? Are there programs that help families acquire special needs seats? Sorry, I'm in Canada and have zero experience with SN seats so I'm not being very helpful, I'm sure .
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

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  17. #10
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    It's usually best to max out conventional seats first and in this case, as there is one within your budget that will work, I'd get him in a five-point harness immediately rather than wait the months it takes to get a SN seat approved by insurance.
    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!

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  19. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupqueen View Post
    It's usually best to max out conventional seats first and in this case, as there is one within your budget that will work, I'd get him in a five-point harness immediately rather than wait the months it takes to get a SN seat approved by insurance.
    I am not sure if I can get the Evenflo SureRide in Canada.

  20. #12
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by evereg View Post
    I am not sure if I can get the Evenflo SureRide in Canada.
    You are correct, the SureRide is not out in Canada yet. Could you measure your sons torso? Sit him against the wall, cross-legged, and measure from the floor to the top of his shoulder. With that measurement we should hopefully be able to help you find a seat that will work for a while.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

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  22. #13
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    And also, what is your budget?

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

  23. #14
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by featherhead View Post
    You are correct, the SureRide is not out in Canada yet. Could you measure your sons torso? Sit him against the wall, cross-legged, and measure from the floor to the top of his shoulder. With that measurement we should hopefully be able to help you find a seat that will work for a while.
    He is about 14 3/4. I would budget between $100.00 to $150.00 if we need to be a new seat.

    We just took a drive and my son took the strap off a couple of times. We stopped the car both times and told him to put it back on and he kept it for the rest of the drive. So, perhaps the back on the boaster helps.

    We have an 2006 Saturn Vue. I sat in the backseat today and I had to resist the urge to take the shoulder belt off. It is very comfortable. Would a different booster seat make the difference? We have this model:
    http://www.graco.net/e/item.asp?code=18833&s=0390DJA

  24. #15
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    I don't know if a different booster seat would help. If you put him back in a harnessed seat for a year or two maybe he will be ready then to sit properly in a booster.

    Are you close to a ToysRUs? This seat is on sale right now, but is out of stock online. It would definitely be one to check out.
    http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index....ductId=3867996

    If not, you could try this one. But I wonder if he would be bothered that there are no harness pads by the neck.
    http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index....uctId=19761136

    Either of those seats should fit him for quite some time. They accommodate a torso height of up to 17.5-18 inches and have a weight limit of 65 lbs.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by featherhead View Post
    I don't know if a different booster seat would help. If you put him back in a harnessed seat for a year or two maybe he will be ready then to sit properly in a booster.

    Are you close to a ToysRUs? This seat is on sale right now, but is out of stock online. It would definitely be one to check out.
    http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index....ductId=3867996

    If not, you could try this one. But I wonder if he would be bothered that there are no harness pads by the neck.
    http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index....uctId=19761136

    Either of those seats should fit him for quite some time. They accommodate a torso height of up to 17.5-18 inches and have a weight limit of 65 lbs.
    Thanks, but if this is a sensory issue (which I think that it is) we will not be any further ahead in a year. Isn't there anything to address both safety & sensory?

  27. #17
    CPS Technician featherhead's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by evereg View Post
    Thanks, but if this is a sensory issue (which I think that it is) we will not be any further ahead in a year. Isn't there anything to address both safety & sensory?
    If you want something more long term, then I would do whatever you could to get a FrontierCT. It has the highest harness height of all seats. Though still a 65 lb weight limit. The FrontierXT would also be great, and since it is discontinued for the new model, it should be on sale if you find one.

    But honestly, if his torso height is just under 15 inches, he should have possibly 2-3 years in those other two seats I posted.

    By age 7 he may be more able to deal with the sensory issues. And if not, then it would be time to look into a special needs restraint.

    Heather ~ CRST ~ mom to...
    S ~ Harmony nbb, K ~ Parkway SG
    M ~ Radian XTSL, S ~ Fllo
    T ~ June 4, 2016 ~ Boulevard G4.1

  28. #18
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Especially since, as I understand it, there are no SN restraints currently approved in Canada. Hopefully a few years would buy time for that to be dealt with.
    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!

  29. #19
    CPS Technician Chely7425's Avatar
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    I agree with feather and kq, I would do everything i could to get a frontier. We just shelled out a ridiculous amount for a seat for my SPD kid


    Rachel, mom to an army of Ts

  30. #20
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    Re: Keeping the shoulder on

    Quote Originally Posted by Chely7425 View Post
    I agree with feather and kq, I would do everything i could to get a frontier. We just shelled out a ridiculous amount for a seat for my SPD kid
    How old is your SPD kid?

    Money is an issue here. We are also paying for speech, OT and my son just went on a gluten free diet. What about used car seats?

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