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  1. #1
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    Should we engage auto-lock device on seatbelt w/ booster?

    My two daughters ride in boosters and we have been hearing mixed answer as to whether we should pull the seat belt all the way out so that the auto-lock feature engages before we buckle them in. My husband says no because it doesn't say to do it that way in the manual. Sister-in-law and a few sites say yes, but I'm not finding any authority on the subject. Can anyone point me to a resource that has the answer? Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Should we engage auto-lock device on seatbelt w/ booster?

    I don't know of any sites, but yes, it's fine to do. How old are the girls, and what vehicle(s) do you drive? Some cars don't have belts that lock at the shoulders.

    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

  4. #3
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    Re: Should we engage auto-lock device on seatbelt w/ booster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    My two daughters ride in boosters and we have been hearing mixed answer as to whether we should pull the seat belt all the way out so that the auto-lock feature engages before we buckle them in. My husband says no because it doesn't say to do it that way in the manual. Sister-in-law and a few sites say yes, but I'm not finding any authority on the subject. Can anyone point me to a resource that has the answer? Thanks!
    You have a choice. There's no need to lock the belts, but it's useful if you want to keep your children from leaning forward or sliding out of position, specially if it's a long trip and they might fall asleep. The children are only protected in the booster seat if they sit properly. That's why we recommend children stay in a harnessed seat until they're mature enough to sit properly the entire ride, every ride.
    DD 5.5yo, 38lbs, 43" - FF in a Radian XT and Frontier85 SICT
    DS 3yo, 33lbs, 38" - RF in Radian XT and Britax MT

  5. #4
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Should we engage auto-lock device on seatbelt w/ booster?

    Perhaps your carseat manual specifies if it's ok?
    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

  6. #5
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Should we engage auto-lock device on seatbelt w/ booster?

    My site does encourage this for those kids who are unable to otherwise remain properly positioned. It's an option. The vehicle manufacturers don't give a definitive answer because the Emergency Locking Retractor will engage regardless & the Switchable/Locking Retractors frequently become accidentally engaged even by adults. It's not a safety risk to do so, it may merely be uncomfortable for the passenger. If a child is apt to lean out, around or forward while in a booster seat, then engaging the shoulder belt lock usually serves as a reminder to help keep them properly positioned. A child must essentially remain as still as a crash test dummy for the booster + seatbelt to offer full protection. I taught my child to always engage the locking shoulder belt because it prevents her from forgetting to sit still (& this is a child who is more educated on vehicle safety than most adults: kids too often simply have short attention spans & get caught in their own minds, forgetting to be "perfectly" still for the entire length of every ride). If you feel like engaging the shoulder belt lock will help keep your kids properly positioned, then go ahead & do it. It does not increase their risk of injury to do so, but does hold the potential to help reduce their risk. Some kids only need to be reminded that if they move lean around (or put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back) then the consequence will be to lock the belt. Some kids hate having it locked, so the mere threat is enough. Some kids prefer to feel more snug as they feel safer. Either option is fine so long as neither the carseat or vehicle manual actually forbids it (none do that I know of)
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

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