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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Jewels's Avatar
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    How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

    How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height:

    It seems that how to tell when a RF (rear-facing) seat is outgrown is a fairly common question. It can be really hard to tell when a RF seat is outgrown, and a common misconception is looking from the front of the carseat to see if it is outgrown. The seat will pretty much always look outgrown from the front before it is truly outgrown because you need to look from the side.

    This picture shows the correct way to measure. A line is drawn perpendicular to the shell/back of the carseat over the top of the child's head (#1). Then a second line is drawn out from the top of the shell parallel to the first line (#2).

    Now measure the distance between the two lines. When there is *less than one inch*, the rearfacing restraint is outgrown by height.





    This picture shows a common misconception with how people measure to check for the one inch rule. The line is drawn parallel to the ground from the top of the shell. You can see how this would appear to show the seat is outgrown, however it is incorrect to measure this way and this child still has room to grow in this seat.




    The best place to measure how much room is left in the seat is when the seat is installed in the vehicle. They're usually more upright in the house and the more upright they are the more shell there will be above the child's head making your measurements not acurate.

    *Disclaimer* This 1" rule works for all infant seats. Some convertibles allow you to have the head even with the top of the shell, refer to your manual.


    **The pictures used in this article are used with permission by An Aurora.
    Last edited by Jeanum; 07-04-2009 at 06:06 AM. Reason: fixed image links to display photos on behalf of OP

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Great article!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt and starting to drive in a few months!
    DS2 /05, ParkwaySG

    DS3 /12, Peg PVC
    DD1 /15, Britax B-Safe

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic Mama!'s Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Very cool.

    Our scenera doesnt say anything about head height, so I was wondering.
    DD-11, adult belt/ nbb
    DS-9, Vivo
    DD-2.5 ~24#, 33", RF in RA 55

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy Brilliantmama's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    what about seats with an adjustable headrest, like the BLVD?
    Bridget, mama to Abigail 04/15/04 30lb 38in (FF Princess Radian)
    Georgianna 08/22/07 ~27lb 31in (RF Shannon BLVD)
    Maple Kate's coming in October (Strawberry Coccoro)


  6. #5
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Jewels,

    What a GREAT post this is! This will be SO helpful to MANY people!

    I wish I could give you rep MANY times for this one!


    Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me. ~Carl Sandburg
    Learning to cope with the unexpected...

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewels View Post
    *Disclaimer* This 1" rule works for all infant seats. Some convertibles allow you to have the head even with the top of the shell, refer to your manual.
    My manual actually says nothing about height limits for RF.
    DS - 9 Riding in a Oobr, Turbobooster & RSTV
    DD - Infant Riding in a Graco CC 40


  8. #7
    CPS Technician Jewels's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

    Quote Originally Posted by brightredmtn View Post
    My manual actually says nothing about height limits for RF.
    I know the Britax MA allows the head to be even with the top of the shell. If you can't find it in the manual then I would call the company that makes your carseat and ask them.

  9. #8
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewels View Post
    I know the Britax MA allows the head to be even with the top of the shell. If you can't find it in the manual then I would call the company that makes your carseat and ask them.
    Just to clarify, the new 2008 Britax manuals now state that the child must have an inch of shell above the top of the head to RF in their convertibles. As far as I know, this is retroactive.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    very cool, thanks for sharing. I will have to measure dd when she wakes up from her nap

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy rosey2007's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Thank you for making that clear.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician NannyMom's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Maybe this is a silly question... but.... If DD's head is sitting against the back of the carseat, and I take a ruler and put it against the seat, and measure from the top of her head to the top of the seat.... that'll give the same measurement as in the first picture, right?
    Mama to Sofi: 7.1 yrs, 46Lbs (47"), Boostered in a Turbo, Vivo, Monterey, Cybex; harnessed in Nautilus
    Nanny to BabyD, 21 months in a RXT, Classic Marathon, Boulevard 70

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Quote Originally Posted by NannyMom View Post
    Maybe this is a silly question... but.... If DD's head is sitting against the back of the carseat, and I take a ruler and put it against the seat, and measure from the top of her head to the top of the seat.... that'll give the same measurement as in the first picture, right?
    As long as it's a ruler (not a cloth tape measure), and you make sure that you are measuring perpindicular to the shell. You want to avoid a tape measure because many shells round over at the edge, which would give a much higher measurement than what the child actually has.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member tjham's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewels View Post
    How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height:

    It seems that how to tell when a RF (rear-facing) seat is outgrown is a fairly common question. It can be really hard to tell when a RF seat is outgrown, and a common misconception is looking from the front of the carseat to see if it is outgrown. The seat will pretty much always look outgrown from the front before it is truly outgrown because you need to look from the side.

    This picture shows the correct way to measure. A line is drawn perpendicular to the shell/back of the carseat over the top of the child's head (#1). Then a second line is drawn out from the top of the shell parallel to the first line (#2).

    Now measure the distance between the two lines. When there is *less than one inch*, the rearfacing restraint is outgrown by height.





    This picture shows a common misconception with how people measure to check for the one inch rule. The line is drawn parallel to the ground from the top of the shell. You can see how this would appear to show the seat is outgrown, however it is incorrect to measure this way and this child still has room to grow in this seat.



    The best place to measure how much room is left in the seat is when the seat is installed in the vehicle. They're usually more upright in the house and the more upright they are the more shell there will be above the child's head making your measurements not acurate.

    *Disclaimer* This 1" rule works for all infant seats. Some convertibles allow you to have the head even with the top of the shell, refer to your manual.


    **The pictures used in this article are used with permission by An Aurora.
    Are there pictures like this is show when a seat is outgrown FF? (lines drawn to show top of ears in relation to top of shell?)

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Britax has them in there new manuals (minus the adorable model of course).

    Page 6-7 of the new marathon manual, right in the initial warning sections.
    http://www.britaxusa.com/uploads/pro...-guides/10.pdf
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  16. #15
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer mom to my 7 View Post
    Britax has them in there new manuals (minus the adorable model of course).

    Page 6-7 of the new marathon manual, right in the initial warning sections.
    http://www.britaxusa.com/uploads/pro...-guides/10.pdf
    Wow, really - on the reclined shoulder level?? I didn't imagine it like that at all. But then again, the recline they are showing is pretty exaggerated, isn't it? So when you look at a kid in their seat you just look straight on and the little bit of recline doesn't "show up" when you are looking like it does in the picture.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  17. #16
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Wow, really - on the reclined shoulder level?? I didn't imagine it like that at all. But then again, the recline they are showing is pretty exaggerated, isn't it? So when you look at a kid in their seat you just look straight on and the little bit of recline doesn't "show up" when you are looking like it does in the picture.
    Right, pretty much I think their reclined level is if the seat is installed in recline level, which you cannot do over 33-35 pounds (not sure if the new manuals make a difference, the older 33 pound rf seats had a 33 pound recline limit when ff). As we know, if you can get a more upright install with a ff britax, the child gets more room
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliantmama View Post
    what about seats with an adjustable headrest, like the BLVD?
    There was no answer posted to this question and I think it's a good one - I was wondering the same thing the other day.

  19. #18
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Britax indicates there must be 1 inch of shell above the top of the rear facing child's head for determining if the Blvd. has been outgrown by height rear facing. There was a discussion of this in the online CEU chat held here with a rep. from Britax last year, and the Britax chat transcript is also posted here at or near the top of the Articles forum.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 14, 65" 5 steps
    DD2 Age 11, 61" 5 steps

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

  20. #19
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    So, 1" of shell and not headrest, yes?
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  21. #20
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

    Yes, shell.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 14, 65" 5 steps
    DD2 Age 11, 61" 5 steps

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

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