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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy CaseyRN's Avatar
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    Booster use in middle school

    DD is 11 and only 4’4.....5%tile. At this rate she will be in a booster in HS if I wait til she grows 5 inches. She rides in an incognito and is fine with it but I am wondering when everyone else felt comfortable going without. I realize safety says to 5 step but would you really make your kid ride in a booster into HS? She is 5th percentile in both weight and height. I made her take her incognito when she rode with a group of friends recently and she was a bit embarrassed being the only one in a seat and having to bring one with her.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    My dd was always on the tall side, but very skinny. I just asked her and she stopped using a booster at age 12, which is about when I remember her stopping, so that would be after her 1st year of middle school. She fit in the back seats of small cars, but in our SUV and minivans, her thigh bones weren't long enough to fit on the larger seats.

    Just before puberty, girls do hit a growth spurt, so there's that. My dd's now 15.5 and only in the past year has started to fill out. I would play it by ear about making her take the Incognito on carpools. Perhaps she can sit in the 3rd row if the other vehicle has one or the plus one seat if it's a Honda or Toyota with such a seat.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    There is not an age at which I'd feel comfortable with poor belt fit. If I were small enough to need an Incognito to get a good fit, I'd use one and I'm in my 40s.

    It's entirely plausible that my youngest child is going to end up in an Incognito in high school. She's pretty small.
    Mom to 2 adults and 2 little kids.
    Tall 8 year old in Incognito; Petite 3 year old RF in CA65

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    You may be surprised. My youngest DD was tiny...like 35 lbs when she started K and always one of the shortest in her class. She shot up between 5th and 6th grade though (grew close to 4" that year!) and 5 stepped pretty consistently not long into 6th grade.
    Mom to DS-21 driving a 2011 Honda CR-Z, DS-18 driving a 2010 Toyota Prius, DD-15, and DD-13 riding in a 2018 Mazda CX-9 & 2017 Toyota Yaris iA

  6. #5
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    If you look at a growth chart, girls are almost always within 1" of their adult height by age 14. So unless you expect that she's going to be super short as an adult, then she'll probably get a growth spurt pretty soon.

    This age is SO HARD though. My 11 year old gets embarrassed all the time by the silliest things. I try to ask if her friends are actually teasing her, and if not, then I try to convince her that no one else really notices or cares. (It doesn't work that well though, haha!)

    I agree that riding in the third row when possible is a good idea because those seats tend to be smaller and she might 5-step much sooner compared to other seating positions.
    Cutie #1 (11 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (9 years) riding in a Recaro Probooster

    Cutie #3 (6 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (4 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (1 year) riding in a Nuna Rava

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic zeo2ski's Avatar
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    Overall height doesn't really matter, it's belt fit that matters, and I'd wait til she properly 5 steps regardless of age. An incognito is well, incognito anyway, really not noticeable.

    11.5 yo DS is not small--100 lbs and 61" but still needs a booster in our suburbans due to poor lap belt geometry, he has an incognito there, and we now have a 15 pass. van as our main vehicle which he needs a high back booster for due to lack of head rests, he's in a cow moo frontier there.
    Cathy
    B-- 6.5y harnessed cowmoo FR85;
    Sl--5y RF RXT;
    H-- 2.5 RF RNXT;M--7mos CCOA--1 mos KF30 and R 1.5 RXT

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy molly&elle's Avatar
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    My daughter is 12yrs 9 months and she uses the incognito. She knows she has to use it, we talk about belt fit etc. she is tiny -not even 75 pounds. She doesn’t fit at all in the odyssey well without a booster. Even with the incognito she can’t sit in the plus one seat-the belt goes right across her neck!

    This year I let her not booster with friends but it’s honestly so rare-like 2x this year. So I let if go -although I admit I hate it!
    dd1 12yrs incognito
    dd2 over 9yrs boostered Recaro Prosport

  9. #8
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    Re: Booster use in middle school

    My 11 year old is tiny 6th percentile for height. 52", 68# now. She was harnessed in a Frontier until 2 weeks ago. It's just easier in our vehicle. She will only be 5 foot tall when she is fully grown. I suspect she will always need some sort of booster to make the seat belt fit correctly. She should also be 95-100# when she's fully grown. Our school systems kind of screwy our middle school is from 3rd grade to 6th grade. She really doesn't ride with anyone else and if she does she just tells them she'd rather not die.

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