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What would you do in this situation?

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#1 Crap Napper

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

I have a 2003 corolla sedan, and three kids, aged 4 (19.5kg) nearly 7 (27kg) and 9 (27kg).

Currently I have nearly 7 yo DD in an Ezy Up behind the driver, 9yo DS in the middle in seatbelt, and 4yo DD behind passenger in infa vario.

Problem is, DS no longer has enough shoulder room between the girls, he is REALLY wedged in.
BUT, he can't yet sit safely in the side position because his legs aren't long enough. We cant fit three boosters across the back either.

The only three "solutions" I can see are a) keep things as they are and ignore the complaints, it's usually only short drives so he won't be dreadfully uncomfortable. Or, b) shift 7yo DD into a half booster when she turns 7, so that she can sit behind the driver still, and DS will get more leg room. Or, c) move 7yo dd into the middle seat (she fits nicely) when she turns 7, and then put DS behind the drivers seat in a booster cushion.

Can anyone else make any other suggestions? I am really torn between doing the best for my kids and making it happen financially. Ideally, we would buy a new car, but that is not possible for probably the next two years.

#2 ednaboo

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

Option C means the younger kids say in a high backed booster so that wins for me.

#3 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

Why can't you move the 4yo into the middle and the 9yo sit on the passenger side? Or have him sit in the front?

#4 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:36 AM

My 8yo sits without a booster and has since she was 7. I'd just have him on the passenger side without a booster.

Edited by Katakacpk, 26 January 2013 - 08:39 AM.

#5 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (kriattica @ 26/01/2013, 09:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why can't you move the 4yo into the middle and the 9yo sit on the passenger side? Or have him sit in the front?

Because the 9yo can't safely sit in the side positions without a booster - his legs aren't long enough to sit with his back at the seat and his knees bent over the edge. He has to slouch to make his knees reach. Aside from the whole airbag and safety thing, I would assume that he would have a similar problem in the front seat with leg length.

Option C means the younger kids say in a high backed booster so that wins for me.

Not really, because DS9 would be in a half booster, DD7 in nothing, and DD4 in a full booster.

argh, this is bending my brain!

#6 ednaboo

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:44 AM

QUOTE (Schnitzelvonkrumb @ 26/01/2013, 09:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because the 9yo can't safely sit in the side positions without a booster - his legs aren't long enough to sit with his back at the seat and his knees bent over the edge. He has to slouch to make his knees reach. Aside from the whole airbag and safety thing, I would assume that he would have a similar problem in the front seat with leg length.

Not really, because DS9 would be in a half booster, DD7 in nothing, and DD4 in a full booster.

argh, this is bending my brain!

Oh I misunderstood - then 9yo goes in the front (on a cushion booster if need be) and the 2 youngest stay in high backed boosters.

#7 Fossy

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

Can you get an untethered booster and put the 9 year old on that in the front? I'd go that option before using a half booster.

#8 2bundles

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

I would also look at buying the narrowest boosters.

#9 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (Ibea @ 26/01/2013, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I remember correctly, the Ezy up is quite wide at the top? can you move to two Varios or another slim booster? to give a wider space at your son's shoulders?

I tried DD in a vario the other day, and unfortunately she only just fits in it when it is expanded to the max, which then gives us nothing over the ezy up.

I have to say, I'm really uncomfortable about putting him in the front seat - I thought that was really not a viable alternative for safety reasons?  unsure.gif

#10 Just Another Cat

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

I would buy a narrower booster.

#11 Boombox

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

OK, at the risk of getting some flak- what is the deal with legs being long enough- i've never heard of this. And why can the 9 yo sit in the middle position, but not the side if it's the leg length that's the problem, is the car seat less deep in the middle position?

#12 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

I'm confused. Why can he sit in the middle without a seat bt not the outside. The seat would be the same depth.

#13 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

FWIW, 7yo is 129.5 cm tall, and 9yo is 135cm tall.

Thanks for thrashing this around with me.

Are the booster cushions really that bad? I mean, I know they don't give side impact protection, and are therefore not acceptable as an alternative to a high backed booster for children under 7, however I am thinking about it purely as an intermediate step between high backed booster and no booster at all, so that they can sit in the side positions with their legs at the appropriate angle.

besides - if DS sits in the front seat, where do I put DH?  huh.gif

#14 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

The leg length thing is probably mainly due to most cars being 2.5 sets across the back, rather than 3 true seats. The seats at the sides are deeper and more bucket like than the bench-like set in the middle, meaning that in the middle he can safely sit with his bum at the back of the seat and his legs bent at a 90 degree angle over the edge of the set, but on the sides due to sinking deeper in the seat, he can't.. This places the lap part of the seat belt across his hips, where as if he had to slouch to make his legs bend over the seat, the lap belt sits across the soft part of his tummy - hence, it is not safe.

Edited by Schnitzelvonkrumb, 26 January 2013 - 09:10 AM.

#15 amaza

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

I thought it was illegal for a child under the age of 12 to sit in the front seat of a car? I also thought it was dangerous from an air bag perspective?

I'd also look at narrower boosters until your 9 year old is tall enough to sit in a seat properly without one.

#16 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:12 AM

QUOTE (GrumpyTurtle @ 26/01/2013, 10:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would buy a narrower booster.

Good idea in theory, but in practice she is 27kgs and 129cm tall. She just doesn't fit in the narrow boosters, and 4 yo DD is in the narrowest one available already.

Edited by Schnitzelvonkrumb, 26 January 2013 - 09:13 AM.

#17 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

The problem with half boosters for older kids is they raise them up, so they then have nothing behind their heads.

(Especially true with bench seats, third rows, and middle seats. Not so much if there is an ajustable car headrest)

I find my now nine year old looks a lot safer on the car seat only, back or front, with no boosters or booster coushins. (Looks unsafe when I try to squish her into a booster!)  And she has for a year or two. She is 30kg and slim and average height.

It's not illegal to use the front seat of the car.

The Victorian road rules allow a child aged 7 years and over to travel in the front seat, however research shows that children under 16 years of aged are at 40% greater risk of injury when travelling in the front seat. (Vic roads)

Edited by Akatara, 26 January 2013 - 09:43 AM.

#18 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Akatara @ 26/01/2013, 10:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The problem with half boosters for older kids is they raise them up, so they then have nothing behind their heads

Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Thanks also for all the suggestions, there just don't seem to be that many people IRL who have truly thought about this sort of stuff.

#19 HIH.GD.Isolabella

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Change the ezy up booster for another Vario.

As PP have sais middle seating position is less deep often in cars and often the middle of the floor in the rear is raised too. PP are also correct in that you should not use a half booster if your child's head ends up being above any headrest.

On the front seat and airbags:


#20 ednaboo

Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE (amaza @ 26/01/2013, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought it was illegal for a child under the age of 12 to sit in the front seat of a car? I also thought it was dangerous from an air bag perspective?

I'd also look at narrower boosters until your 9 year old is tall enough to sit in a seat properly without one.

It's not illegal.

Isn't the EzyUp 45cm wide?  So it's 3cm more than a Vario and the same as a Hiliner?  I wouldn't have thought another Vario would make much difference.

Op, if this is your only car, then it sounds like time to get another.

#21 Crap Napper

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

Yeah, a vario won't do for us - dd really doesn't fit.

A new car - that would be nice, but sadly not a possibility right now. Roll on graduation and a job in two years... I'm sick of being a broke student.

Thanks for all your time and advice, I guess I was hoping there was some wonderful solution to my problem out there, that I wasn't aware of. It seems not, so I'll hang out as we are for another couple of months and then revisit the possibility of DS sitting in the side position.  original.gif

#22 iwanttosleepin

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

Me personally.
i would put the 9 year old in the front seat on a booster.

I already let my 7.5 year old sit in the front on a booster with the airbag turned off in our cars if I need to.

Ie. with my DH when they have the back seats all folded down to fit in the go-kart.  or in my car when I am carrying 4 children.

I use a half booster as I find the fit of the full booster terrible in my car (VW Tiggy) but in my DHs car Mercedes C63 he goes in a full booster.  I do have a EU standard half booster that is not available in Australia though and it make the seatbelt fit really really well.  We also have the easy option of turning off the airbags that I am not sure is so easy in Australia.

#23 *lightning

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

If I couldn't fit the 7 year old in a hi-liner on the side then I would get two cushion boosters for the 7 year old and 9 year old.

#24 iwanttosleepin

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:22 AM

You will probably find 2 cushion boosters too wide with a third seat in the middle.  I can't get a cushion as a third seat in my Tiggy (I use a bubble bum which is a EU standard blow up cushion when i carry a third child in the back.)

#25 ednaboo

Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

The Bubble Bum doesn't meet Aus standards so would be illegal to use in Australia.

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