Question 45-50lbs ought to be the minimum weight limit

Bebe

New member
I have a question, a complex complicated question.
Why do car seat companies make convertible car/harness-booster car seats with high max weight limits but then make booster seats with really low minimum weight limits? Don't they care about their consumers being able to make a car seat last as long as possible, rather than "graduating" their kids prematurely? Example Graco and Evenflo and Cosco all have 30pounds as their minimum weight limit for boosters, but they make plenty of harness-to-boosters with max limits of 50-80 pounds. It seems like their only priority is money making at the expense of children's safety, a lot of people in this country suck at parenting, and furthermore plenty of parents have zero car seat common sense, and I've seen too many 2-4 yr olds in boosters just bc of that minimum weight limit. Every kid is different in how they grow, dimensions and weight alike. So some babies hit 30pounds before 2 and I've seen a few in boosters before 2yrs of age, THAT SCARES ME. and others may not hit 30 until they're 4yrs old. Every child grows differently. I'm glad though that Britax and Recaro don't do backless, Clek should join the bandwagon and recall Ozzie/Ollie.

My questions are:
Are the leading brands putting 30lbs as the minimum weight limit to just make a faster profit, at the expense of children's safety?
Is there a bill trying at all to get approve by congress to up the minimum weight limit to 40lbs in the USA (that's the rule for Canada, we should do the same)?
Why do car manufactures make so many vehicles with skinny narrow middle seats that aren't usable but still have seat belts anyways?
In an ideal nation, would you CPST's agree that 40 or 45 or 50lbs should be the minimum weight limit? Which one, why?
And why does Graco keep on pushing out all-in-one seats even though realistically most children outgrow the whole seat before they reach booster mode, causing the parent to spend money on a new high back/backless booster? Or is that the point, the intentional design flaw helps Graco make more profit that way?
Why isn't there a mandated law REQUIRING children to remain REAR FACING THRU AGE 2 or 3? Why can't we be like Sweden?

I have a lot on my mind about car seat safety, even though I'm childless and don't have any specific kid to worry about. I have a Pinterest board full of BobbyMac and GerryGuard and Century and Tomy car seats, and other brands that are defunct and sweet wicked styles that are unsafe by today's standards. Ever since I started babysitting 15yrs ago around age 10 I've always been attracted/appealed to car seats, I gravitate toward the styles and features and designs, it's magnetic. And then I found this blog forum a few months ago and I've been hooked even more.
 
ADS

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
As the mother to a child who WAS booster ready at 7 and was NOT consistently 40 lbs, and as a CPST who has seen research showing that 30 lbs sufficiently loads a properly positioned belt enough for it to function properly in a crash... No, I would not agree with higher minimum weights.

In fact, higher minimum weights would cause problems for skinny tall kids without improving safety for young heavy kids.

I'm in favor of minimums of five years of age on seats with under 40 lb limits, sure (and 4 years on seats with higher limits- no more 3 or no age limit boosters.) But kids come in all shapes and sizes and a 30 lb 5 to 7 year old who sits properly is very safe in a booster.

There are seats that fit in skinny center seats. Many people who buy those cars, though, never transport back seat passengers.

Three in one seats sell. That's why they are made. Kudos to Graco and other companies who make seats that are actually safe in all three modes. :) even if they don't always last long.

Many states already have laws requiring proper use. This is actually ideal because it allows the law to keep up with rapid changes without having to make new legislation all the time. It's up to manufacturers to set minimums.

I have a Tomy seat in my car. Discontinued doesn't necessarily mean unsafe. :) they just weren't turning a profit any more...
As the field evolves, new seats come out, New features. That's why there are expiration dates... :)
 

mping

New member
My 7 yo is 36lbs. He's booster ready, just small. At this rate, he may be 9 before he's 40lbs. And high weight limits, imo, are mostly unrealistic. My 9 yo outgrew her Frontier 80 at age 7 and about 52lbs due to height. She would have had to be 28lbs heavier to outgrow it by weight! I'm glad it has a high weight limit to accommodate chunkier kids but most will never even come close.
 

tarynsmum

Senior Community Member
Another parent and former CPST who has small, booster appropriate children. DD started booster training and riding at 5.5 when she was 36lbs. She is 9 now and just hitting 50lbs. DS is 6 and 37lbs. He gains approximately a pound a year. He could have a growth spurt which would be really exciting, but in reality he rides in a booster in DH's truck regularly and in my van for shorter trips. It would be really difficult for a car pool situation for my 1st grader to *need* a harnessed seat when he developmentally ready to ride in a booster.

There is a large range of normal when it comes to sizes in this age group. DS has friends that look like Giants next to him. At 41" and 37lbs, he's not the smallest 6yo I've ever seen by far. It's good for manufacturers to give options for these kids, just like it's important for there to be HWH for younger, heavier children.

Eta: my daughter outgrew the Radian RXT by height at 43lbs and 7 years old. She never fit in the booster mode even if it was a decent fitting option. To say that I would have been required to purchase a new seat for her at that point is not appropriate. DS has about an inch, maybe less before it's outgrown.
 

bubbaray

New member
Backless boosters are just as safe as high back boosters.

I'm in Canada and lots of people use boosters here when their children are under 40lbs. I wish that we had some 30 lb booster seats as an option for parents of lighter children.
 
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griffinej5

New member
The issue is with the age limit, as mentioned, not necessarily the weigh. I have a 4 year old niece. She was I believe 34 lbs at 4. She's still rf, and will probably stay that way for a while longer. Depending on her rate of growth, she may not hit 40lbs till she's closer to 6. My 20 month old niece is maybe just a bit over 20 lbs. She also probably won't hit 40lbs till closer to 6 at least. 50lbs for them could be 8-9 years old as someone else mentioned . If they're at the age of carpooling with friends, they might be far better off in a booster that is less likely to get misused by another parent, or that they can be taught to buckle themselves. They're not going to be able to properly install a harnessed seat in a friends car.
 

bnsnyde

New member
My son was 50 lbs at age 3...:)

Our problem is the harness height as he's 99% for height. Finally found the Sure Ride and it's good and tall for him. He just turned 4.
 

Cnidaria

New member
I'm glad though that Britax and Recaro don't do backless, Clek should join the bandwagon and recall Ozzie/Ollie.

Backless boosters are absolutely necessary in the marketplace. There are very, very few children who could go directly from a high back booster to 5-stepping. 8, 9, 10, 11 year olds -- basically all of them at the beginning of that range and many 11 year olds, still need some help from a booster for the seatbelt to fit them safely. But there are a whole lot of 10 and 11 year olds that wouldn't fit into any high back booster.

I do agree that it would make sense for manufacturers to put minimum age limits on their boosters.
 

katymyers

Active member
My daughter is turning four this year and only weighs about 25 lbs or so. Following her growth curve she certainly won't be 40 lbs by the time she's booster ready. I'm much more in favor of minimum ages rather than weights.


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Keeyamah

Active member
Another vote for weight limits aren't the answer. My oldest was 40lbs and 40" at 2.5, and currently, at 5yrs7months, is 55lbs and 48". He has been booster training since 4.5 because he occasionally rides with grandparents who don't buckle the crotch strap. Therefore he is safer in a booster he can buckle himself and pull to the proper "snug as a hug" tightness with them. He is also an amazing car rider who just stares out the window watching the scenery. His younger brother, who is 2yrs8month, 34lbs and 38" tall and still RFing in a Diono Radian RXT, likely will not be booster ready at that age, and for that reason I am grateful I have an Evenflo Sureride and a Britax Frontier 85 to keep him harnessed longer (originally purchased for big brother).
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Backless boosters have always been theoretically safer than highbacks (head starts out a few inches farther back, head excursion is the main injury measurement, thus, theoretically safer), and in 2009 they were in fact shown to be the same safety as highbacks (http://carseatblog.com/8243/to-backless-or-not-to-backless-that-is-the-question/), so while there's a gut feeling they aren't as safe, it would be counterproductive to stop selling them (my 65 pound 56.5" 9 year old doesn't fit in a seatbelt, I don't WANT her in a highback pushed forward an extra few inches closer to my seatback, a backless is a great choice).

Don't get discouraged, change takes time. Years ago when I first started out, there was *literally no way* for a lot of kids to make it rearfacing to age 1. Seats maxed out at 20 or 22 pounds and 29 inches for RF. Then we had to sometimes recommend kids illegally use (the twin models to) Canadian harnessed seats top tethered because NO seats went past 40 pounds and a lot of kids are 40 well before they can sit still in a booster (the Chase and Cargo were good to 48 and 47 pounds in Canada with a top tether). Now we have seats that RF to 50 pounds and 49 inches, and most boosters don't actually say you can use them at 1 and 30 (Dorel had a backless with that labeling, among others).

I know I may seem jaded, but you have to go slowly and be happy with the successes while pushing for better stuff (I want to hold Graco over a hot fire for making rear-adjust infant seats with closed belt paths and removable recline blocks, but it's more productive to educate people about why they should just buy the better products :cool:).
 

gigi

New member
I think backless boosters are awesome. I LOVE them. Nearly impossible to misuse. It is so so much safer for a kid to be in a backless than in a harness improperly installed with loose straps or in a high back with the back not on properly and the belt fit wrong.
 

jaemom

New member
Backless boosters are absolutely necessary in the marketplace. There are very, very few children who could go directly from a high back booster to 5-stepping. 8, 9, 10, 11 year olds -- basically all of them at the beginning of that range and many 11 year olds, still need some help from a booster for the seatbelt to fit them safely. But there are a whole lot of 10 and 11 year olds that wouldn't fit into any high back booster.

I do agree that it would make sense for manufacturers to put minimum age limits on their boosters.

This. I have a 9.5 and and almost 11 year old that are too tall for high back boosters yet don't 5 step in many vehicle seats yet. The incognito was a godsend!
 

jacqui276

New member
I think that age limits would be a huge benefit. My DS is newly 3 and 46lbs. I'm in Canada where our booster limit is 40lbs so he could have technically be riding in one a year ago. He was 30lbs by 12 months. I find a lot of people here wait until that magic 40lbs or even just under then regardless of age pop their kid in a booster. A number of years ago before I knew better, I moved DD into a booster at age 3 because she hit 40lbs so outgrew her harnessed seat and met our booster minimums. If there was a big sticker on the box saying that the minimum age was 4 or 5, it would have made me stop and think.

My niece is teeny tiny. She is 7, almost 8, and is barely 40lbs. She rode in her harnessed seat without issue until she hit the weight minimum for a booster. I don't understand why this is an issue for people with tiny 5. 6, 7 year olds but we make do with harnessed seats for toddlers just fine. It would be way more convenient for me to pop my 3 year old in a booster seat when someone else drives him, but instead I install his harnessed seat since it is safer.

My perception is probably skewed because I have giant kids, but I struggle to picture a kid substantially smaller than my DS safely riding in a booster seat. I like that we have a 40lbs minimum here and have a lot of friends who would have kids in boosters much sooner if we dropped it to 30lbs. This is just not non-tech parent opinion though.

I do however appreciate backless boosters as DD still needed a booster seat for awhile once she had outgrown the vast majority of high back boosters prior to 5-stepping.
 

HaileysMommy

New member
I'm echoing what others say. My daughter is almost 6.5 years old and only 35-36lbs and 40". Our circumstance is unique because about 6 months ago she weighed 42lbs. She also hasn't grown in height in over a year. We are currently trying to figure out what's going on with her medically but I am happy our booster goes down to 30lbs because my daughter is tiny and her weight has fluctuated so much but she is perfectly safe in a booster.
 

jaemom

New member
I'm echoing what others say. My daughter is almost 6.5 years old and only 35-36lbs and 40". Our circumstance is unique because about 6 months ago she weighed 42lbs. She also hasn't grown in height in over a year. We are currently trying to figure out what's going on with her medically but I am happy our booster goes down to 30lbs because my daughter is tiny and her weight has fluctuated so much but she is perfectly safe in a booster.

Fyi My son stopped growing for a year and a half between 4.5 and 6 yrs. he lost some weight as well. For him, it turned out that he had sleep apnea and wasn't getting enough sleep to grow. He did have noticeable sleep problems his whole life, so it wasn't a total surprise. But it's something to consider if she has any sleep difficulties. Once he started treatment at age 6.5 he has started growing again.
 

_juune

New member
I hear a minimum height of 125cm for backless boosters has been proposed here in Europe [as they are working on the new carseat standard R129]. Not sure what to make of it; it'll likely indeed prevent 3 year olds from riding in LBB's [as long as parents bother to read labels and manuals] which is great; then again I always thought backless was a decent choice for occasional use where HBB is impractical [i.e. taxi] starting age ~5-6 and up, and my 5.5 year old DD is just ~113cm.
 

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