Question Better to discuss booster use w the parents of an 8 yo in your own car or just say it will be used?

soph's mom

New member
Am watching an 8 yo this summer and I will expect her to ride in a booster in my van. I didn't really think too much about it but I do know last year I saw she was in a cosco hbb (the harnessed kind w the harness removed) so I'm assuming she is riding in nothing now. I need to double check but I think once the child reaches 8 yo technically by law they don't have to use a booster in this state.

This child's mom is some type of nurse but I don't think they are big in car seat safety. The child is of South American decent so she is not an overly large child- not tiny but still. We drove their van last year and the dad said we could put our not even 3 yo in that seat. I'm thinking I'm just going to have a lbb (to be less of a shock/baby seat) amp in the van and just act like that's the way it is. Would that offend you as parents? Or better yet do you think it would offend non-car seat obsessed parents? I figure I can take the time to explain 5 stepping to her parents if they question it.

I've always been of the mindset that's how I'd handle other children in my cars but when it actually comes down to it it's a lit rougher. I guess if it's that big of a problem they can take her elsewhere.
 
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MommyShannon

New member
With DD's friends I just already have a lbb sitting there and they don't question it. In my experience, parents who don't follow good practices in their cars won't even ask or look at what is in yours. I wouldn't say anything to them if they don't ask. Just have a lbb there and say that's for her because your car's seatbelts won't fit her right without it. Do you have a seat yet? DD and her friend (who I think normally doesn't use a booster) fight over the pink zebra Harmony Youth booster in our van.
 

tiggercat

New member
I'd probably just put a booster in the seating position the child is assigned and treat it matter of factly.
I drove an extra 13yo and 9yo last week and the 9yo was smaller than my 8yo so I knew he would need a booster. Mom said he doesn't need a booster, he is 9, and I just said I know the belt doesn't fit right on kids his size in my 3rd row and my daughter needs a booster back there too, so if she doesn't mind humouring me... Kid asked if we could put the booster in the trunk, I said no, he buckled up and we were fine :)
 

soph's mom

New member
She's a pretty easy going kid so I don't think she'll object too strongly. I'm sure, like any kid, she will tell her parents though just in normal conversation.

I don't have a booster yet and was going to get a hbb to use down the road as a spare for my daughter or her friends and I chose the amp bc I've heard it's one of the few that plays well with the caravan third row... I wouldn't make the 8 yo ride in it as a hbb tho and she will be sitting in one of the captains chairs.

The harmony ones are cute tho and less of an investment especially considering it's at least a year and a half until my daughter would be ready to try a booster. I'll check out the harmony boosters next week and just go with it. No booster is not an option in my van so hopefully y'all are right and the parents just go with it.
 

MommyShannon

New member
If it comes up with the parents, I'd just play it like everyone knows booster safety. If they say she doesn't need one, say what a horrible fit your van's seatbelts provide. It puts the belt way up on the stomach which is dangerous and you don't know why they built it that way. Maybe it will get them to look at the fit in their car too. I was surprised I didn't have issues with DD's friends besides their fighting over the zebra one, lol.
 

CTPDMom

Ambassador - CPS Technician
With DD's friends I just already have a lbb sitting there and they don't question it. In my experience, parents who don't follow good practices in their cars won't even ask or look at what is in yours. I wouldn't say anything to them if they don't ask. Just have a lbb there and say that's for her because your car's seatbelts won't fit her right without it. Do you have a seat yet? DD and her friend (who I think normally doesn't use a booster) fight over the pink zebra Harmony Youth booster in our van.
Yup, this is what I'd do. Have the LBB there, just act like it's no big deal. If she questions, explain that kids pass the test in some cars and not in others and in your car kids her height don't pass so it's necessary. Likely it won't be an issue. :)
 

canadiangie

New member
I just have a backless booster ready in the seating position the child is to sit in and that's that. All of my backless boosters are fun colours, which I think helps.

When we were in Disneyland last year I went to a Walmart and saw the pink zebra Harmony. I was this close to buying two and stripping the covers (pitching the actual booster part) so my Harmony seats here could have pink zebra. I can't believe how cost friendly your seats are. Like $12? Amazing and so cute. I vote pink zebra Harmony all the way. :)
 

Baylor

New member
I would tell the mother first. It is her child. You just explain that in your car kids ride in appropriate seats. While she may feel okay with her not riding in one in her car in your car you prefer it.
 

soph's mom

New member
If it comes up with the parents, I'd just play it like everyone knows booster safety. If they say she doesn't need one, say what a horrible fit your van's seatbelts provide. It puts the belt way up on the stomach which is dangerous and you don't know why they built it that way. Maybe it will get them to look at the fit in their car too. I was surprised I didn't have issues with DD's friends besides their fighting over the zebra one, lol.
This won't work :p I didn't go into details in the first post but the dad owns a small car dealership and they actually owned my van before we did. I needed a van and while the caravan wasn't my first choice he gave me a deal I couldn't pass up and I knew the history of the van... So while we all know the seats won't fit kids properly she will think she knows the van.

I may bring it up but figure out a way to say it's not really an option. I would feel terrible if something happened to her so it's really not an option. I dunno. I still have til the last week of the month... I'm going to pick up a lbb regardless.

My thought is she may think I'm one of those newer parents that thinks she knows everything since I don't have a booster aged child...
 

Baylor

New member
I babysat a few years back and them mother had her 18 month old in a ff AOE. I just told her that in my car I was going to rearface him. He had low tone was not walking really yet and weighed maybe 20 lbs.

When she asked why, I just said, Since I am responsible for driving someone else's child I want to make sure I am going to be as safe as possible. That since the NHTSA recommends rearfacing until 2 because it it is safer for the child, I was going to follow that recommendation. She was happy that I cared so much. And had no problem with it, I got a seat from a trusted member here :) and that was that.
 

soph's mom

New member
I have an "easy out" I just thought of... They have aired several commercials recently and had at least one local billboard saying that kids need to be in boosters til 4'9"... That will be an easier initial reasoning than the 5 step test but if it's questioned I can go into the 5 step test.
 

soph's mom

New member
Whelp, she doesn't use a booster in her family car anymore but didn't fight me at all using the turbo in low back mode. She was in cosco harnessed boosters w no straps at home tho and apparently was uncomfortable in the hips so that's why she stopped. Considering the rating on those seats it's probably good, maybe she'll ask for a low back booster now from her parents.
 

jacqui276

New member
Glad to hear that it went smoothly!

With DD's friends, I just have a low back booster sitting there ready for them and they generally get in it without question (other than sometimes fighting over who gets which colour).

I was quite impressed, DD's friends' mom gave her a ride home when she was 8 and DH had dropped her off and forgot to leave her booster seat. DD came home and informed me that she rode in a HBB in their van!
 

Brigala

Well-known member
Glad it wasn't an issue. I think that's pretty typical.

I would not approach it with the parents ahead of time. I think it would most likely be viewed as "criticizing" the parents' practice.

If asked, I would just say "I find that the seat belts in my van don't fit kids very well without boosters." I wouldn't go into more detail unless asked.

Or else, "All kids under 4'9" ride in boosters in my car" would be another possible answer. I wouldn't really try to push a "discussion" about it unless they are truly asking for the purpose of learning something (and not for arguing about it).

I think most parents really don't care what you do in your car unless its either (a) less safe than what they do in their car (or they perceive it as less safe), or (b) something is said or done to make them feel like they are being criticized about what they do in their own vehicle. As long as the answer is along the lines of "this is just how we do it in our car" instead of "your daughter really needs to be in a booster all the time, you idiot" then you're likely to be fine.

The only time I've ever had an issue was way back when the booster laws were brand new (like 2002 or so) and NOBODY over the age of 3/4 rode in seats except my kids. I had one kid object strongly to riding in a booster in my car, and I told him fine, I'd call his mom and he could go home instead of coming to my son's birthday party. But his mom never said a word to me that I can recall. If she had, I would have used the "It's the law now and I don't want a ticket" line.
 

henrietta

New member
You know it's safer and better for her and they already are trusting you with their daughter. In this case, I'd put a backless booster in the car and just expect that she will be using it. Also expect that you may need to tell her she will be using it. LOL

If they aren't real up to speed on why she still needs to be in a booster, it may come up and it gives you a chance to politely educate them, "I'm not comfortable transporting your precious daughter with out a booster b/c she does not yet properly fit the seatbelt and would be at risk of all kinds of injuries in a crash, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc."

Good luck!
 

soph's mom

New member
You know it's safer and better for her and they already are trusting you with their daughter. In this case, I'd put a backless booster in the car and just expect that she will be using it. Also expect that you may need to tell her she will be using it. LOL If they aren't real up to speed on why she still needs to be in a booster, it may come up and it gives you a chance to politely educate them, "I'm not comfortable transporting your precious daughter with out a booster b/c she does not yet properly fit the seatbelt and would be at risk of all kinds of injuries in a crash, including head injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc." Good luck!
See my update... Already using it in my car ;-)
 

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