How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown

Jewels

Senior Community Member
How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height:

It seems that how to tell when a RF (rear-facing) seat is outgrown is a fairly common question. It can be really hard to tell when a RF seat is outgrown, and a common misconception is looking from the front of the carseat to see if it is outgrown. The seat will pretty much always look outgrown from the front before it is truly outgrown because you need to look from the side.

This picture shows the correct way to measure. A line is drawn perpendicular to the shell/back of the carseat over the top of the child's head (#1). Then a second line is drawn out from the top of the shell parallel to the first line (#2).

Now measure the distance between the two lines. When there is *less than one inch*, the rearfacing restraint is outgrown by height.





This picture shows a common misconception with how people measure to check for the one inch rule. The line is drawn parallel to the ground from the top of the shell. You can see how this would appear to show the seat is outgrown, however it is incorrect to measure this way and this child still has room to grow in this seat.




The best place to measure how much room is left in the seat is when the seat is installed in the vehicle. They're usually more upright in the house and the more upright they are the more shell there will be above the child's head making your measurements not acurate.

*Disclaimer* This 1" rule works for all infant seats. Some convertibles allow you to have the head even with the top of the shell, refer to your manual.


**The pictures used in this article are used with permission by An Aurora.
 
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Jewels

Senior Community Member
Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

My manual actually says nothing about height limits for RF.
I know the Britax MA allows the head to be even with the top of the shell. If you can't find it in the manual then I would call the company that makes your carseat and ask them.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

I know the Britax MA allows the head to be even with the top of the shell. If you can't find it in the manual then I would call the company that makes your carseat and ask them.
Just to clarify, the new 2008 Britax manuals now state that the child must have an inch of shell above the top of the head to RF in their convertibles. As far as I know, this is retroactive.
 

NannyMom

New member
Maybe this is a silly question... but.... If DD's head is sitting against the back of the carseat, and I take a ruler and put it against the seat, and measure from the top of her head to the top of the seat.... that'll give the same measurement as in the first picture, right?
 

Pixels

New member
Maybe this is a silly question... but.... If DD's head is sitting against the back of the carseat, and I take a ruler and put it against the seat, and measure from the top of her head to the top of the seat.... that'll give the same measurement as in the first picture, right?
As long as it's a ruler (not a cloth tape measure), and you make sure that you are measuring perpindicular to the shell. You want to avoid a tape measure because many shells round over at the edge, which would give a much higher measurement than what the child actually has.
 

tjham

New member
Re: How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height

How to tell if your RF seat is outgrown by height:

It seems that how to tell when a RF (rear-facing) seat is outgrown is a fairly common question. It can be really hard to tell when a RF seat is outgrown, and a common misconception is looking from the front of the carseat to see if it is outgrown. The seat will pretty much always look outgrown from the front before it is truly outgrown because you need to look from the side.

This picture shows the correct way to measure. A line is drawn perpendicular to the shell/back of the carseat over the top of the child's head (#1). Then a second line is drawn out from the top of the shell parallel to the first line (#2).

Now measure the distance between the two lines. When there is *less than one inch*, the rearfacing restraint is outgrown by height.





This picture shows a common misconception with how people measure to check for the one inch rule. The line is drawn parallel to the ground from the top of the shell. You can see how this would appear to show the seat is outgrown, however it is incorrect to measure this way and this child still has room to grow in this seat.



The best place to measure how much room is left in the seat is when the seat is installed in the vehicle. They're usually more upright in the house and the more upright they are the more shell there will be above the child's head making your measurements not acurate.

*Disclaimer* This 1" rule works for all infant seats. Some convertibles allow you to have the head even with the top of the shell, refer to your manual.


**The pictures used in this article are used with permission by An Aurora.
Are there pictures like this is show when a seat is outgrown FF? (lines drawn to show top of ears in relation to top of shell?)
 

mommycat

Well-known member
Britax has them in there new manuals (minus the adorable model of course).

Page 6-7 of the new marathon manual, right in the initial warning sections.
http://www.britaxusa.com/uploads/products/user-guides/10.pdf
Wow, really - on the reclined shoulder level?? I didn't imagine it like that at all. But then again, the recline they are showing is pretty exaggerated, isn't it? So when you look at a kid in their seat you just look straight on and the little bit of recline doesn't "show up" when you are looking like it does in the picture.
 
Wow, really - on the reclined shoulder level?? I didn't imagine it like that at all. But then again, the recline they are showing is pretty exaggerated, isn't it? So when you look at a kid in their seat you just look straight on and the little bit of recline doesn't "show up" when you are looking like it does in the picture.
Right, pretty much I think their reclined level is if the seat is installed in recline level, which you cannot do over 33-35 pounds (not sure if the new manuals make a difference, the older 33 pound rf seats had a 33 pound recline limit when ff). As we know, if you can get a more upright install with a ff britax, the child gets more room:)
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Britax indicates there must be 1 inch of shell above the top of the rear facing child's head for determining if the Blvd. has been outgrown by height rear facing. There was a discussion of this in the online CEU chat held here with a rep. from Britax last year, and the Britax chat transcript is also posted here at or near the top of the Articles forum. :)
 

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