Small 7yo --continue to harness or high back booster?


Well-known member
Long time no see, y'all.

My daughter is 7yo and only about 43.5" and 34lbs. She's been FF in her Radian for a couple years. We do have a Graco HBTB on hand for quick trips in friends' vehicles. She can stay put for short trips. Her Radian will expire next year (harness in 2020). She is unlikely to hit 40lbs in the next year.

At what point is she likely to be safer with a belt rather than a harness? Do we really know? Do I need to weigh submarining vs spine? Is her spine going to be better off moving with her body at some point? Her bone age has varied over the years from 1-3years behind. She hasn't had that tested in a few years. She was only 18mo or so behind last time, which is still considered a variation of normal/typical (for her age at the time). Am I over thinking this?

The harness isn't an issue. She doesn't mind. It's not in the way or causing logistical seating problems. We homeschool, so no car line.

The only thing that has to change in the next year is buying a new restraint of some sort next summer. I don't mind buying another harnessed seat. I just don't know at what point I need to consider switching, given her small stature.



Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Likely she's fine boostering now, assuming her booster accommodates her size (her Radian does not as a booster). You have the screws in the armrests of her Turbo? Most five year olds (her skeletal age) are just fine boostered. I'd booster her without too much worry.



New member
Several boosters now have a 40 lbs minimum, such as the Evenflo Spectrum (great seat, btw). Make sure you check that. Bc of her size, I'd keep her in a high back booster for now for sure. My 5.5 year old daughter is 44 inches tall & 38.5 lbs. She fits great in the Evenflo Big Kid booster & Harmony booster. I love the Harmony for the anti submarining features, but it does not bc backless (unless there's a new version that does). She normally still rides harnessed bc she has them.

The Britax high back boosters are great too, and you can use their SG clip on the lap belt.

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