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Old 02-15-2013, 05:04 AM   #10
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

Originally Posted by c&w's mama View Post
this is the first time I've ever heard boosters might be a good idea... I've always been told 5pt harness is better. Since the seats look safer, I believed it. My state has kids in some type of seat virtually forever. I was told a booster was like sitting on a phone book. I'd like to learn more about this because I need another seat.
Nope. There is no evidence that there is a safety difference between a high back booster seat and a forward facing harnessed seat, with one large proviso - the child has to be mature enough to sit properly in the seat with a booster, vs the harness which doesn't really give the child a choice. Most neuro-typical kids are capable of this at around 5 or 6. This is why many of us booster train - start using the booster only for short trips at first, harnessing for long trips until we see that the child can manage short trips. Sweden, the gold standard for child seat safety, has many children skipping right over the FF harness stage, going straight from RF in a harness to a booster seat at age 4-5.

And as stated above, a booster has several more safety features than a phone book, including belt guides to make sure that the seatbelt hits the child properly, and false hips to help absorb crash energies instead of an immature pelvis. A highback booster also has some side impact protection as well.
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