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 in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    This forum was extremely helpful to me before, so I'm asking for your help again!

    We will be traveling with our daughter next month to the UK (on B.A.) and later to Israel (also B.A.). She will be 4.8 yrs, has just (finally!) tipped the scale at 30 Lbs and is about 39" tall. She's the leanest thing ever -- skinny, long limbs, no waist, short torso.

    We've used the Scenera on the plane (and in cars at our destinations) the last several trips, but both my husband and I are ready to throw it (and each other) into the trash if we ever have to install it again, esp. in UK where the seatbelts don't lock. Also, the last time we flew B.A. (when DD was just 4) I convinced them to let us put her in the Scenera on board, but it was a huge headache and I don't want to go through that again, since they technically don't allow kids over 3 in carseats.

    My current thought is: CARES on the plane, and a Ridesafer Vest for driving (usually to/from airport, the occasional taxi, and a couple of long-ish drives to visit relatives). But since my DD is so skinny, I'm worried that both the CARES and the RideSafer might be borderline for her in terms of size. She fits the min. weight and height for both products, and she is mature enough to sit properly and not try to wriggle out or unbuckle anything, but I'm worried she'll be swimming in these things, and they just won't be safe. There's also the question of sleeping in the CARES on the plane (it's a night flight), which seems uncomfortable.

    Another option is a Diono, but we probably won't be able to use it on the plane (thanks, B.A.) and since it's massively heavy (although folding) I'm wondering if it makes sense to buy one just for a few drives. We do this trip every year, though, so I could buy a seat (here? in the UK?) to leave at my sister's in UK permanently. But it would still have to go back and forth on the flights to Israel.

    I've looked at some high-back-boosters (only for car, not for plane obviously -- so that would still be a CARES) with a min. weight of 30 (e.g. Harmony), but I'm nervous about not having her harnessed, even though she meets weight and age/maturity requirements here too.

    I'd appreciate any advice, experience with tiny children in the harness or vest, and any options I haven't considered. Cost is not much of a concern, within reason.

    Thanks everyone,
    Jessica

  2. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads
    Join Date
    April, 2001
    Posts
    Many
     
     

  3. #2
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    This is a tough situation. The CARES doesn't tighten the lap belt, and my skinny-built child didn't fit a plane belt on her flight at 7 1/2 years and 52 lbs! Hopefully since BA requires checking car seats their belts fit smaller, but still... However since you really won't have an option, if you want the extra support for her while flying, a CARES might be helpful in that regard (to keep her up while sleeping, etc.) (My daughter slept pretty well in it with the seat reclined a bit. Certainly better than a lap-only belt.)

    She's at the bottom range for the vest, and in my experience they don't fit slim built children that small all that well.

    With a booster, you'd still have to get it there.

    It's just a tough situation. I think if you'll literally only be taking cabs most of the time, I'd probably actually go with a backless booster rated from 30 lbs. that has a shoulder belt adjuster. My reasoning is that you would be sitting right next to her, you would be able to carry it on with you so there is no risk of it getting lost or damaged, which unfortunately is a risk when checking a seat of any type, and you could have a more "permanent" seat for her with your sister, bought in the UK, and the shoulder belt adjuster should make sure that the belt is at least in contact with her body- if the vest doesn't fit the extra space would be more of a problem.

    In future will you always have to fly BA? If you fly other airlines that are more amenable to car seats sometimes, my deliberations might change. Maybe. Maybe not in this case, but for the future...
    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!

  4. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    Thanks for your advice. Since originally posting, we've done a lot of research and basically decided to go with the CARES for the flight (esp. since we already own it). So now it's about figuring out which is the safest option for a carseat that is somewhat portable.

    It sounds like the RSTV won't be great for her size, and my husband is really dubious of its safety claims, so I think that option is out. It seems like our main options are a Diono (folds but massively heavy; may have to gate check); our current Scenera or something similar (light but doesn't fold; will definitely have to gate check; headache to install in cars without LATCH and we hate the harness system); a folding booster like the Harmony (super portable; can carry on plane).

    Of these options, which is the best purely in terms of safety? Is a 5-point harness inherently safer than a belt-positioning seat, for a child of her age/weight/height? Israel is notorious for bad drivers and a sky-high accident rate, and we will have to do some driving there, so I don't want to compromise on safety.

    I also just saw that the old Go Hybrid is now available in a new version from IMMI. I hate that it's pleather (not good in sticky Middle Eastern heat), but whatever... Do you think that would be a good option? It needs a tether anchor, which most cars/taxis we use should have, and if we absolutely have to we could use it with the seat-belt.

    Thanks again.

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    It's difficult to install with a lap/shoulder belt, but if you can guarantee access to top anchors, it's a good compromise for portability. Do be aware that converting to booster mode isn't quick and easy. It requires a screwdriver.

    I think there's plenty of evidence that a child her age is safer in a harness than booster overall to call it a general rule. In an individual crash with an individual child there are a lot of variables, and making sure it gets there safe and can be used properly comes into play here too.

    In this case, IF you are sure you'll have tether anchors I think the Go is the way to, er, go.
    Last edited by ketchupqueen; 11-10-2014 at 11:35 AM.
    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!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853
    I think the GO sounds like a good option too. If you don't like installing the Scenera with a locking clip, be prepared for "as bad or worse" but IMO that will be made up by its portability. You definitely don't want to be stranded in Israel with a lost or broken checked car seat. So something you can bring as a carry-on would be a huge bonus.

    If you want to consider the travel vest any further, the RSTV version 3 is more adjustable than version 2. Most of the time I recommend version 2, but this would likely be an exception. You could contact the distributer with her measurements and get an idea of whether either version can be adjusted small enough to fit her skinny torso.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    Well, I was all set to order the Go, but they say it will only ship in 2-4 weeks, and we leave on Nov. 21, so that's not going to work. Very disappointing. I've searched high and low for an old model of the discontinued Go Hybrid, but there don't seem to be any left.

    I will call the RSTV manufacturer, as you recommend. Assuming the version 3 can give her a good fit, do you think that will be as safe as a harnessed seat, all other things being equal? (I know there are a lot of variables here).

    Thanks.

  8. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessadam View Post
    Well, I was all set to order the Go, but they say it will only ship in 2-4 weeks, and we leave on Nov. 21, so that's not going to work. Very disappointing. I've searched high and low for an old model of the discontinued Go Hybrid, but there don't seem to be any left.

    I will call the RSTV manufacturer, as you recommend. Assuming the version 3 can give her a good fit, do you think that will be as safe as a harnessed seat, all other things being equal? (I know there are a lot of variables here).

    Thanks.
    You could check Swap to see if any are available, I think I saw one there recently?
    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!

  9. #8
    IMMI
    Guest

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessadam View Post
    Well, I was all set to order the Go, but they say it will only ship in 2-4 weeks, and we leave on Nov. 21, so that's not going to work. Very disappointing. I've searched high and low for an old model of the discontinued Go Hybrid, but there don't seem to be any left.

    I will call the RSTV manufacturer, as you recommend. Assuming the version 3 can give her a good fit, do you think that will be as safe as a harnessed seat, all other things being equal? (I know there are a lot of variables here).

    Thanks.
    Hey Jessadam -- I'm an employee that helped launch the IMMI GO website. We put "2-4 weeks" on the website in case we ran out of inventory, but we are actually shipping same day/next-day as long as you order before 2pm. If you put your order in today, you'd probably receive your IMMI GO seat by Friday or Monday

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,853

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    That brings up another question... do most cars in the UK have top tethers? I don't know the answer to that. But the GO does require top tethers.

    The RSTV *if it fits well* should be safe for your child. "as safe" as a harnessed car seat? Hard to say for sure since we don't have comparative data. But the company says it passes the same tests that a harnessed car seat does. The risk of course is that it might not fit the child well and you're getting close enough to your trip that may not give you much time to send it back and switch gears. I don't think I'd take the risk without contacting the distributor and asking a lot of questions about fit and the child's measurements.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  11. #10
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,419

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    She can have her sister get a seat in the UK, though, and only need a seat in Israel...
    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!

  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    11

    Re: CARES + Ridesafer Vest for small 4-yr-old?

    Update: My husband and I each had a long conversation with the two great guys at SafeRide4Kids (Jeff and Gregg) about the RSTV. They gave us lots of information and specifically helped us understand how the vest would work with a child of our daughter's size/weight/age. We both felt reassured after talking with them, and so we've decided to go ahead with the vest (version 2 -- I don't think it's likely we'll run into a car without shoulder/lap belt, but we learned that it's safest to use the tether either way, so we'll try and do that whenever it's feasible, like in a rental car or family/friends' cars). I just ordered the vest, so can't report yet on the fit, but I will do so when it arrives.

    Thanks to the IMMI rep for the info on shipping times. We'll definitely consider it for future travel.

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy newyorkDOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    619
    You do realize the RSTV is not legal in Europe right? Usually this is not a concern of mine but given that it's totally foreign looking, it's more likely to raise questions than an American seat IYKWIM.

    Not all European cars have TT. They all have 3-point belts now though.
    Mom to Caterina born January 12, 2009 and FF in a TWE and Julian born September 6, 2012 and RF in a Varioguard

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •