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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Nov 2006
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    One more booster question...

    So if my DD is almost 6 but only weighs 38 lbs..she techincally isnt big enough for a booster? I thought the law was 3 or 30 lbs. Am I incorrect? If so, please advise me! Her torso is 15 inches - she is 44 inches tall...so I am very limited to what will work her, correct?

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member
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    Oct 2003
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    You need to make sure that any booster you buy specifies that it can be used with a 38 pound child. Also, the seat belt needs to fit properly when she is sitting in the booster. With a thin child you especially want to make sure the shoulder belt is actually touching her body around the collarbone area. Think of the 5-point test for seat belt only use. She should pass all those when using a booster for it to be an appropriate choice. Knees should bend at least slightly at the edge of the booster. Otherwise slouching (which leads to submarining) can be an issue as there is no crotch strap.

    Ability to sit still and proper fit are, IMO, the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to get a booster.

    Note that NHTSA's recommended child seat use suggests use of a 5-point harness to approximately 40 pounds.

    Julie D.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    THe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents too keep kids harnessed for as long as they fit the manufacturer's limits & their recommended minimum age (based on crash data) to graduate into booster is the 4 years AND 40 pounds.

    Carseat manufacturers base much of their rules on marketing strategy, not safety -- except those particular that fall under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards laws....

    State laws rarely reflect safest practice & this is unfortunately most especially true about Child Passenger Safety. If your state law is 3 years + 30# then you wouldn't get a ticket puting kiddo in a booster, but if kiddo can't use the booster correctly then you're increasing the risk of severe/fatal injury.
    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}

  5. #4
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    Some boosters are rated to 30 pounds. Check yours to see what it is in high back mode. The Turboboosters (is that what she's in?) is 30-100 pounds high back and 40-100 low back.

    I think it's ok to have some seats rated to 30 pounds, but IMO they're for kids like my daughter and yours who are petite. Piper just today crested 30 pounds (only three more until she MUST forward face!! AHHHHHHH) and who is already four years three months. She's a safety nut and would do just fine in a booster, I'm sure. No way in heck am I putting her in one when she's still RFing in the first place, but I could go out today and get a Turbobooster and plunk her in it and it would be fine. Does she meet the minimum weight and age requirements that we recommend? Nope. But she won't be 40 pounds until she's six or so (I was six when I hit 40, and like your daughter will be), and by then she may be too tall in the torso for many convertibles. Certainly she would be for the 40# convertibles. So for her a booster rated less than 40 pounds is fine.

    However, I do plan on keeping Piper in a harnessed seat until she's too tall, and then depending on how old she is I may move her from her Wizard to a Regent, rather than to a booster (though we'd likely get one Regent then a booster for my husband's car, and a travel booster).

    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

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