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Psychomom 06-16-2006 04:37 PM

Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
How do you handle your older child riding in someone else's car, especially when the other driver doesn't make their own children sit in boosters? My oldest is extremely tiny; she will be 9 years old in August and she doesn't even weigh 45 pounds yet. She is in a high back belt positioning booster. I will admit that when she rides with her friends, I typically do not make her take her booster seat with her. Shame on me, I know. But tomorrow she is going on a field trip with her Girl Scout Troop to Springfield, MO, two hours away. I told her troop leader just to make sure Alisa had a spot in the van with a shoulder belt because she would need to sit in her booster. Well, Alisa is FREAKING out. It is never an option for her not to sit in her booster while dh or I are driving, and we feel that we need to be even stricter when others are driving her around (not that around town is any less dangerous, but especially when we are talking about a two hour trip on an interstate with speed limits of 75 mph.) Her friends all know she sits in a booster because they've ridden with us before, so I don't think it's a matter of embarrassment, although I guess it could be. I've told her that we're not doing this to torture her, we're doing this because we love her so much, but it's falling on deaf ears. Well, this won't be an option for tomorrow; either she sits in the booster or she sits at home, but how do you handle it?

And a spin-off my own post: how do you handle it when you drive other kids around that should be in boosters, but aren't? In my opinion, I'd say with the exception of 2-3 kids, all of Alisa's friends should be in a booster.

Quisalas 06-16-2006 09:04 PM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
My MIL, who I have (at best) a strained relationship with, is very lax about putting the kids in carseats. While she always uses the infant carseat with Katrina, she almost never belts it in tight enough. She has had my 2 year old (and even before he turned two) in just a seatbelt, and AT THE TIME he got out of the seatbelt and was standing up in the car(!!!!) but she still does it. It ticks me off to no end, but because of how she is and how DH is, I've promised my husband not to scream at her. I would love to, though, and everytime it happens I gripe at him about it and ask him to yell at her, which of course he never does. She even had a friend's 8-month old in a front-facing combo seat once, and I was just AGHAST. That one I did say something about, and she just said "Oh, he's safe enough, I'll drive careful." GRRRR! :banghead:

If her friends know about the booster, then I would definitely insist on it. I can definitely understand her embarassment, but she should definitely know by now that her safety is what's most important, and it's your job to make the rules to keep her safe. I wouldn't force other people to use a booster (like I would with a harnessed seat or an infant carseat) because it's not the legal requirement here, but I'd probably mention it that she should be in a booster because she's so tiny and a regular seat belt is not the safest option for her. (by the way... my 2 year old is already 41 pounds. :eek: I'm technically out of the safe limit for his 5 point harness seat, but we can't get a better carseat right now and he's safer in that than in a booster because he doesn't respect the seatbelts yet)

I have a spare booster seat, I'd put it in my car if I knew I was driving anyone younger than 5 somewhere, which hasn't happened yet.

Dsunny1 06-16-2006 09:17 PM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
My 7 1/2 yo is in a Recaro young sport using it as the booster. She and I talk frequently about car safety (I'm a car seat tech, so she is well aware). She worries at times about others, and I make any child riding in my car that doesn't fit the seat belt correctly have a booster. I pick up extra low back boosters to have handy if i need it. DO you have a low back booster? If there is a headrest behind her in the van, the low back would keep the seatbelt where it needed to be and her head would be protected by the headrest. I have shown Elysia crash tests with what a child looks like in a seatbelt vs. a booster. As a tech I have a picture montage we received in class that shows a 7 and 9 yo's belly after a crash where they had internal injuries from the belt. She has seen that and we talked about how a booster can prevent those injuries. The other day she thought a girl in her class was making fun of her for having a booster and initally was upset about it, but then she approached her and told the girl she was safer in a booster, it was comfortable and she liked it....So, she stood up for herself.
Sometimes the local cps tech's or safekids coordinators can get higher weight seats for cheaper prices, I know how expensive they can be. The cheapest one I know of right now at the store is the Cosco apex, it costs between 100-120. I understand that is steap still if money is tight. I wish I lived near you, so I could lend you a seat until you get yours. What seat is he in right now? Do your seatbelts lock in your vehicle? Let me know if I can help.

Quisalas 06-16-2006 10:02 PM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
(sorry for the semi-hijack!)

I'd have to go outside and check to be sure, but I think it's an Century seat, one from Walmart, that's just your basic 5-point harness.I have it very securely belted (I get all the way onto the carseat and kneel on it - all 250 pounds of me - and press it into the car's seat to belt it, DH can't even put the seat in because he doesn't fit in the back seat on the carseat) and I keep him snugly belted into the harness. It has a 40 pound limit, and Trent was 38 pounds at his 2 year visit, so I'm lucky he's only just recently gotten that pound over 40. (a month ago he was 39lb 8oz) We were going to buy Britax carseats for him and the baby with our tax refund, but nearly all of it went to paying the hospital bills from Katrina's birth. I've looked at the Cosco apex, but if I'm going to get an expensive carseat, I'd really like to do it right and get the Husky, because Trent is so big. DH just got a raise last month, and we should start to feel the effects of it soon, and he knows I seriously want to get the Britax. High on my list is also something that will let Katrina rear-face for much longer, as she's 18lb 11oz as of yesterday and only 8 months old. Probably another britax, the wizard(I think) is one I've been eyeing because we have a small car and 3 kids, so it can't take up all the space in the world.

DH and I talked about using our high-back booster versus the harness seat he's technically too big for, and we both agree the harnessed seat was the safer option, because if he gets out of the seatbelt altogether (which he can do, but *usually* won't try in the booster) then he's at the most risk ever.

teachermama 06-16-2006 10:29 PM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
Oh the FUN as they get older and more vocal about their opinions!!:laugh: My daughter is only 3, but here in CA it is the law that children be 6 or 60 pounds in order to be out of the carseat. There is even new legislation attempting to change that law to an even higher age and weight limit.
From attending a lecture with a local CHP officer I learned that anyone regardless of age is at risk in an accident if they are under 5ft tall or weigh less than 120 pounds. Airbags and safety device systems on cars are designed for adults. By those standards my own mother is at risk.:laugh: But it did make me realize that my daughter and son and future children will be in some sort of child seat until they meet the requirements. Like you though I'm not sure what will happen once she is in school and riding with other parents. At this point when she goes with someone else (usually once or twice a week) in their car I make sure to buckle the car seat in and check it to be sure it is properly secure. I figure that's the least I can do before sending her off.

One more respect to the riding with other people issue. It is also the law in CA that children ride in the back seat of a vehicle (up to age 12) and at the very least I will make sure that when she gets older, carseat or not, she is to obey this rule or not be allowed to go with that person any longer.

mommy2zander 06-17-2006 05:36 AM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
I don't yet have a child old enough to ride in a booster, but when I "haul" friends' children, I always have them in a carseat/booster! & while I may have made an exception previously with a child over 4 in an emergency, I wouldn't anymore, due to North Dakota law (we live in MN, but on the border of ND) stating that all children under 8 must be in boosters! I keep a couple back-less boosters in the rear of my van for these times & they are very low cost at $15-$20 (& are safe as long as the vehicle seat has a head rest!)

As for your daughter's special trip, I totally agree with you!! Embarrasment is nothing compared to the danger she could be in without her booster! I agree with the pp that talking up the safety is a great idea! You might want to be careful though depending on her personality, so she doesn't end up scared of the car & car accidents! Some of that stuff can be graphic, seeing trains here in town still reminds me of the huge pictures they showed us in driver's ed of vehicles hit by trains (although I wouldn't dream of going near flashing train gate rails either!)

I hope your daughter chooses to take her booster & enjoy her trip!! Are there no laws in your state about children riding in boosters? I'm surprised she is the only one! I have been seeing a lot more families with their children riding safely, even older children in boosters, in our area these days!! Must be ND's new stricter laws...

Dsunny1 06-17-2006 06:16 AM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
I did forget to add, my daughter must ride in a booster with everyone she rides with. I won't let her go if she doesn't have her booster with her.
Crystal, the Husky is a much better option. It sounds like you have it all figured out. I hope his raise comes through soon. Let me or race's mom know if you have any questions.

rliszkowski 06-17-2006 07:30 AM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
My older kids (6 and 9) take their boosters if they travel in a car without a booster. My parents and sister both have enough boosters in their cars so we don't have to transfer seats when they go with them. Booster seats are relatively cheap, so it was easy for them to outfit their vehicles.

If I have kids in the car who should be in a booster, they sit in one of my son's boosters. This doesn't happen very often because my car is at capacity with just my kids. So I have to be missing one in order to take another child.

I would get 1-2 of those backless gracos for your daughter's friends, depending on how many you are normally transporting. I honestly think it is more comfortable for them, plus they can see better:)

Psychomom 06-17-2006 07:31 AM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...

Originally Posted by mommy2zander
Are there no laws in your state about children riding in boosters? I'm surprised she is the only one!

The state law is either 6 years old and 60 pounds or 6 years old or 60 pounds--I can't ever remember which. But regardless of whether she meets those requirements or not, she is not big enough for a regular seatbelt, and neither are most of her friends. Her pediatrician has told me that he believes most children need to be in some sort of a booster until they are 12 years old. We plan on leaving Alisa in one until she can fit a seatbelt properly (dh jokes that she will be the only 16 year old in high school driving while sitting in a booster! :laugh: )

Dsunny1 06-17-2006 12:15 PM

Re: Those with older kids in carseats/boosters...
We have a 4 or 40 law here in michigan and it really sucks. In fact, in Michigan by law, if you are breastfeeding, your child does not need a car seat!!! It kills me how stupid that law is. I can't wait till there is a change and I can start calling the police when I see children over 4 unrestrained...

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