Radian, Frontier, or something else for a tiny 9 year old

U

Unregistered

Guest
I'm looking for a carseat for a 9 year old with a medical condition that impacts growth. He's 44 inches and 38 lbs, so about the size of a 4 or 5 year old. He's proportional, so he doesn't have the issue of a child with dwarfism who have longer torsos than most kids their height. He has issues with fatigue, so a carseat that is safe and comfortable for sleep would be great. He currently rides in a harnessed booster that is expiring, and is looking for a new harnessed seat.

The radian and frontier have both been suggested, and I'm trying to figure out the differences. I know the frontier has a higher height limit as a harnessed seat, but I can't really imagine that he'll outgrow it by height. It seems as though, if he gets to the point where he's too tall for the harness on a radian he'll be close to adulthood.

Thoughts?
 
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wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Hi there.

Is his skeletal age that of a nine year old? If so, I'd use a booster seat. A high back booster would be fine.

The Diono will be outgrown by shoulder height long before the Frontier. The 17.5" top harness height would probably get you within three or four inches, whereas the Frontier would get you probably ten or more.

But likely he doesn't need either, and you could go to a booster, unless his medical condition impacts his skeleton, and not just his size. If it's just his size, pick up a booster that starts below 40 pounds, and you're done. :)

Wendy
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
I'm not his parent, he's the child of a friend and his parents have asked for a carseat for a gift. They feel pretty strongly that they want him in a harness, they feel it's safer when he sleeps.

I googled his underlying condition and skeletal age, and it looks like it can be delayed. He also has osteoporosis.

As far as outgrowing the radian, you think he'd outgrow it by 48 or 49 inches? That should be enough for him to use a booster for sure right?
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Why not get a combination seat for him, then, rather than a convertible? Something like the Graco Tranzitions/Wayz, Harmony Defender, Chicco MyFit, Graco Nautilus? Something that has a usable booster built in? Rather than a Radian, which doesn't have a usable booster built in (he won't be heavy enough). They're cheaper than the Radian, too, and are usually easier to install as well. They also have higher top slots than the Radian, but not as high as the Frontier.

But if he does have skeletal issues, the Frontier may work better, or if his fatigue is so great he'll just slump in half, I'd go with the Frontier. It gives him more time to deal with it and either learn to cope/change meds/learn something in PT, etc. OR, in two pounds and one inch, he'll be booster ready, and if so, he can switch to the booster mode at any time. But it gives him the option of either for a very long time.

Wendy
 

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