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Old 08-11-2010, 08:51 AM   #1
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Carseat question???

How long does a toddler have to stay in a toddler seat? Anyone know)

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Old 08-11-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: Carseat question???

What do you mean by "toddler seat?"
A child should be in a 5pt harness for as long as physically possible. 5pt harness is ALWAYS the safer option, regardless of age. When switching from a bucket to convertible, you should find one that allows to the highest weight/height limit.. that way they can remain RFing in a 5pt harness for as long as possible.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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Re: Carseat question???

if you mean by toddler seat, a convertible carseat then they can stay until the limits of the seat. Ours goes to 65 lbs. I think that's around 7 or 8 years old
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:15 AM   #4
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Re: Carseat question???

I agree, definitely past age 5. Most kids cannot pass the 5-step test for a booster seat before age 5, and many not even that soon. Harnessing is so much safer than a sealbelt+booster (race car drivers even use 4pt harnesses).

The 5-Step Test
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

#5 is where most children are not ready by age 4 or 40lbs or 30lbs if you're in a 30lb state. I am often even reminding my 10yo to sit up properly
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Re: Carseat question???

The bare minimum for a child in my state (California) to transition from a convertible car seat to a booster is being 40 lbs. But as PPs have said, there really is more to consider than weight when making that decision. There are plenty of kids who are 40 lbs and not yet ready to make the switch. My particular convertible car seat will handle a child who weighs 65 lbs. assuming they have not outgrown the seat in height. With my genetics DD will likely outgrow the height long before the weight of her seat (I wasn't even 40 lbs. until I was 7 years old!), but I will be keeping her in it until she outgrows it.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: Carseat question???

As everyone else has said, "Have to" & "Need to" are two different things. Too many kids go into boosters far too early for their maturity level. But the 5 step test that Raelynn posted is excellent for deciding in a 5 or 6 year old.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: Carseat question???

I know people who have 3 or 4 year olds sitting without a carseat or booster and are perfectly fine. Then my niece is 5 and still sits in a booster. You are the parents and whatever you are comfortable with is fine. I personally can't see having a 6 year old rear facing.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Carseat question???

Quote:
Originally Posted by njuhan View Post
I know people who have 3 or 4 year olds sitting without a carseat or booster and are perfectly fine. Then my niece is 5 and still sits in a booster. You are the parents and whatever you are comfortable with is fine. I personally can't see having a 6 year old rear facing.
We aren't discussing rear-facing, the OP was asking about how long to keep their child harnessed FFing before moving to a booster.

I can guarantee that a 3 or 4 yo sitting without a booster and just using an ADULT seatbelt, will not be "perfectly fine" in a collision.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:49 PM   #9
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Re: Carseat question???

What state are you in? It varies state to state. Where I live, in PA, by law children must stay harnessed until they are 4 years old. (DS hit 40 lbs at 3 years old, so we got a higher weight harness seat. He just transitioned to a booster about a month ago or so at 5 years and 2 months old.)
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: Carseat question???

I agree with most PPs. Our convertible with 5 point harness goes to 65. He will be in it until he surpasses the height and/or weight limits.
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