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  1. #1
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    Question Graco Platinum CarGo Youth Booster Seat 8689

    I now have this car seat and just read a review yesterday regarding a potential problem with it used as a booster in that it has the closed style seat belt guide. Is this still an issue with those made September 05? The last review for this was in 04.

    I have quite some time to worry as my daughter is only 22 lbs and 31 inches and will be in the harness for quite some time with this model, but wanted to be prepared!

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Is your car older than 1996? Does the vehicle manual say the belts can be locked at the retractor? If so, then chances are you probably won't need to use the belt guides (assuming kiddo is tall enough for the booster once she outgrows the harness by weight) because you can just lock the belt at the retractor as a reminder for her to sit still properly.

    However, as a booster, this seat poses another problem - there is no side impact protection. Although such accidents are relatively rare they pose a much higher risk of serious/fatal injury for rear passengers, unless you have side curtain air bags....

    IMO, the Ultra/Platinum CarGo is an awesome spare seat (we share ours with my cousin), but I prefer the primary seat to harness past 40 pounds & the booster to have deep head wings with EPS foam (also, your kiddo still fits the rear facing limits on almost all convertible seats & RF is definitely sooooo much safer) - let us know if you'd like to hear about such options
    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}

  4. #3
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    Exclamation Reasons for concern regarding all seats considered...

    Papooses:
    Thank you for your reply. I am really nervous about any of the car seats since I we do not even own a car to keep it installed in.

    I will look further into the locking retractor situation. We wanted a safe, easy to install car seat for when we occasionally borrow my parent's car, take a taxi, or rent a car. Usually less than once per week. This also makes it hard to get a safey seat inspection. I have scheduled one and will use my parent's Honda Civic, but it is two weeks away. The officer promised to show me various methods for securing her in the many types of vehicles that she will end up in. I will also ask him about the locking retractor since I have never seen this used and cannot find adequate photos.

    Many taxi's did not have sufficient room between the back of the front seat and the Britax Companion to fit. So, we were concerned about their other models since they seemed to take up even more front to rear space.

    With this Graco model, we cannot even see her little face from the sides with the wings and it says it has EPS foam liner (models since 01-19-04). Should we still be concerned with side impact? Of course, we will try the center position first on each car to try to avoid the side impact problem. My parent's Civic has a split rear seat with only a lap belt in the middle and no tether anchor, so she will have to go in the outer seats in their car. Most taxis do not seem to have center tether anchors and only have lap belts in the center position even though they do not have a split seat so she will be in outer seats in these as well.

    Does anyone know which rental cars we should consider for center rear seat installation using both the shoulder restraint and tether?

    I understand that rear facing is safer, but to have to constantly install and remove a rear facing car seat seemed to increase the chance that the seat would be incorrectly installed. It was a judgment call on which way she would consistently be restrained properly.
    Last edited by badolinsky; 10-25-2005 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Clarification

  5. #4
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    Is your daughter at least one year old?

    First, I will mention that rear-facing convertibles can be installed more upright than infant seats, so they often don't take up any more front-to-back room. You also could install them in the middle with the lap belt. So if you just bought the CarGo, you could return it and try a convertible.

    Second, I'm not sure if I understood your post correctly, but your daughter is using it with the harness, right? Because she is too little to use it as a booster with just the seat belt. She would need to be at least 30 pounds and 35 inches just to meet the seat's requirements, and it would be better to leave her that way until the maximum 43 inches or 40 pounds.

    Of course, if you're daughter is over a year and you're sure you want her forward-facing, the CarGo is a fine harnessed seat. I'm not sure how heavy it is, but my very plain Ultra CarGo is nice and light, so I think it would be easy to move around. You can install it with a lap belt only IF you are using it with the harness, although you always get better protection with the tether. (You CANNOT use it as a booster with just a lap belt.)

    I think your daughter will stay harnessed in the CarGo for a long time (even a tall girl will last in height to age 4 as long as she is average weight), but I'm guessing once she is too big for the harness you will want a different booster seat. She will probably still need to use the belt guides at that point and threading the shoulder belt through them is not that easy. It wouldn't be that bad if you could leave it in a car all the time, but rethreading it every time you use the seat would get old fast. So if you like the CarGo as a forward-facing seat, that's fine, but I wouldn't count on using it as a booster later. (It is safe to use if you keep an eye on the tightness of the seat belt.)

    I can see how it would be easier to leave her forward-facing. It is important to be able to install it correctly every time. The hard part with the variety of seat belts you will be seeing is identifying which ones lock and how. Here's a good link for that:
    http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/lockincss.aspx

    It's great you're so concerned about your daughter's safety. I'm sure you will feel more confident after you see a tech.

    Julie

  6. #5
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    Julie:

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, she is 13 1/2 months old. If they take up less front-to-back room, what happens to a child's legs? Our daughter's height comes mostly from her long leggedness.

    I really feel uncomfortable with only a lap belt. I won't sit there myself.

    She is harnessed only. I was just thinking ahead and had just read another users comments regarding later use as a booster alone.

    The Platinum weighs 15 pounds, the Britax models 25. Since none of these fit in anything like a Snap n'go, carrying it around, plus her, a diaper bag, and usually a stroller was just a little daunting for my 5'4" frame to fathom. (With her height already she certainly does not take after me!)

    I saw the site you referred to and understand the different types of retractors, but was lost on latchplates. I could use photos. Most cars have a button which made it hard sometimes to install and lock in the base on the Britax Companion as it was right where the locking clips closed.

    You are right, I will be much more comfortable after seeing the tech. We have used him for the last two car seats, but have not seen him since we sold our own car last year.

    I hate seeing parents with children in cars restrained improperly or not at all. Unfortunately, it happens all too often. It has been refreshing knowing there are so many others who are so concerned about their own kids and willing to be so supportive. My friends and family think I am paranoid. I tell them better paranoid than dead..

  7. #6
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    A 'lap belt only' for YOU would not be safe as there is nothing to restrict your upper body from flying forward. A car seat installed with a lap belt only is different. The car seat can be tightened very securely and then the harness keeps the child safe from forward movement. The shoulder harness can add extra stability in the event you do not have a tether anchor, but still a lap only belt for a car seat is very safe. If you are riding in a taxi, the car seat can go in the lap belt only position in the center, safest, while you can sit outboard next to her with the shoulder harness.
    C.
    ps my 4 yr old (but only 36") rides rf and LOVES it . She folds her legs and is cozy. Many kids like sitting that way. My 7 yr old wishes she could rf and says so quite often!!

  8. #7
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    About the belt guides on that booster... actually, nearly everyone , even cps techs, misunderstand what the issue is. Those clips CLAMP the belt in place on the seat, they are NOT like the 'too small' guides on the Cosco seats that were warned about (where a kid leans forward and allows the seatbelt to get loose, then it gets stuck and won't retract. A clamped shoulderbelt is great on a booster... I just went out with a nearly 5 yo in an old Century Next Step last week, and that belt stayed RIGHT where we put it in the clamps. Anyway, you have like 4+ years before you have to worry about it, and you'll probably want a much nicer booster by then, anyway (there are some pretty sweet ones out there now, imagine what there will be in 4 years?)



    And for installing your seat, yes, the lapbelt is perfect to install a seat. Lap/shoulderbelts in cars prior to 1996 usually require a locking clip, but lap/shoulderbelts newer than that don't...
    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

  9. #8
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    Julie:
    Thank you so much for the clarification! I feel better about our choice now.

    How do you find a chart that tells you approximate age when you need to move kids the next seat up? This is our third car seat already! (Graco SnugRide, Britax Companion, Graco Platinum) She is at the top of the height chart, but the low end of the weight chart. This has made it really hard to find seats that actually tighten up on her the way they should and fit into the parameters.

    I wish I had found this site from the very beginning. It would have made it easier to buy one seat that she could have been using all along.

    PS. Used our seat for the first time last night in my mother's Honda Civic (2001) and it installed extremely easily and could not be budged. It also unhooked quickly and easily tonight when we came home.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Always follow the manuals - it will always state the weight & height requirements for graduating to new seat types & a couple state age requirements as well ... although 5 is generally a fine age for booster use, some 5 year olds just don't have the maturity yet to sit still properly & would be better off in a bigger harness seat - then again, there are some 3 year olds who sit still properly for the entire length of every trip & so long as they fit the weight/height requirements then a booster is an OK choice ... harness is still safer, though - race car drivers use them, right?

    My daughter is also continually about 90% height, but only 5% weight ... the CarGo is 1 of our spare seats, but her primary seat is the Wizard/Boulevard as it let her stay RF longer & has higher harnessing ability - we're soon handing those down to a new baby in the family & she'll be using her big sister's Husky as her primary seat as it has the highest harness ability with EPS foam

    P.S. I'm feeling a cold/sinus infection coming on - hope I'm not coming off in a moddy way
    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}

  11. #10
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    Papooses:
    Thanks for giving me a ballpark age range. I like now knowing that I have a long time to research her next car seat. This last one came up way too quickly.

    PS You did not sound moody!

  12. #11
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    You can look at growth charts and compare to the maximums recommended to get an approximate idea of when they will outgrow a seat. If your daughter is leggy, she could get more use out of a seat than that. Here's a link to the CDC growth charts in case you don't have any handy.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/...ts.htm#Set%201
    Also (Carseat Data website closed - link broken) has a section that includes measurements to the top slot of the seat and can be useful when deciding which seats to look at.

    Julie

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badolinsky
    Papooses:
    Thanks for giving me a ballpark age range. I like now knowing that I have a long time to research her next car seat. This last one came up way too quickly.

    PS You did not sound moody!
    I know what you mean & thanks - glad you figured out I meant "moody" instead of "moddy"
    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}

  14. #13
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    Julie:
    Thanks for the age/weight charts. I knew her pediatrician had them. Never thought to look for them on-line, duh!
    Papooses:
    Thanks for all your advice.

    Big hugs to all the rest of you who have helped. I appreciate all the support and advice in keeping our little one safe!

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