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When to take booster away?

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#1 EssentialBludger

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

DD is 8 and still in a hiliner. She has been begging me to sit without it for awhile now. She is the last of her friends still in a booster, which logically I know is a stupid reason to take it away, but at what point do you take social aspects into consideration?

She's not particularly tall, and probably never will be (about 125cm and 22kg). At the rate she would probably still fit at 12! But I can imagine some major teasing going on by then.. It's already started now. She's not a confident child and doesn't have the guts to just shrug it off.

She actually passes the 5 step test apart from the "knees bent at edge of seat" bit. And I don't see that happening anytime in the future.

So WWYD?! I'm a BIG believer in safety first, but at what point do you remove it if it's not likely to be "safe" when they're heading into the tween years?

#2 liveworkplay

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

We have the rule you have to be 140cm (or very close to) to stop the booster, which is the minimum height for most adult seat belts. In our house that works well as I have very tall children. So DD1 was ouot of her booster at just over 8, DD2 is only just about to turn 7 and is 137cm, so I don't know if she will even last until 8. DD3 is still in a 5 pt harness.

Whilst my girls never got teased, they did get the odd comment. We had a few talks about how it is much safer to sit in the booster and if other people do not want to be as safe as possible in the car, then that is their choice but for us, they sit in the booster until 140cm.

#3 Bluenomi

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:41 AM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 20/02/2013, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have the rule you have to be 140cm (or very close to) to stop the booster, which is the minimum height for most adult seat belts. In our house that works well as I have very tall children. So DD1 was ouot of her booster at just over 8, DD2 is only just about to turn 7 and is 137cm, so I don't know if she will even last until 8. DD3 is still in a 5 pt harness.

Whilst my girls never got teased, they did get the odd comment. We had a few talks about how it is much safer to sit in the booster and if other people do not want to be as safe as possible in the car, then that is their choice but for us, they sit in the booster until 140cm.

Yikes, I know adults who aren't that tall and I wasn't anywhere close to that until 13 at least and I'm smack on average height for a woman.

#4 EssentialBludger

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

I would *like* to have a 140cm rule, but what if she's a teenager before she gets there? Realistically, do you make them sit in a booster until then?

#5 Mumsyto2

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

My eldest is still in the Hi-Liner at 9yo and I can't see them coming out of it until they grow too tall for it. They are on the tall side for age and would be able to go without as they meet the test to sit on a seat normally but as we have it and we think it's safest that's where they will sit until they outgrow it.  As they are 20kg weight and width is not an issue. It's not a popular thing for a 9yo esp when friends ease them about it but we make ours suck it up - we have told them there is no set age for them to come out of it. The irony is they are only a head shorter than me in terms of height (shortish mum, tallish kid). If they travel in someone else's car we don't make them use it obviously.

#6 liveworkplay

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 20/02/2013, 12:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yikes, I know adults who aren't that tall and I wasn't anywhere close to that until 13 at least and I'm smack on average height for a woman.

140cm is the average height of a 10.5 year old. Adults under 147cm can be defined as dwarfism. Sure, not many people follow the normal curve fro growth, but I think 140cm is realistic for most people. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years we see the laws changed for boosters up to an older age. 10 was bandied about when the laws were being reviewed but the powers that be thought that the general public would not take to that age too well.

EB I really don't know having never been in that predicament. Personally I would keep her in one until at least 10 and then review it.

Edited by liveworkplay, 20 February 2013 - 11:57 AM.

#7 Rolex

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:03 PM

I know what you mean.  DS#2 had started complaining about being in his booster since about mid-way through last year.  He just turned 10 on the weekend, and is around 133cm tall.

Without the booster, the seatbelt was still too close to his neck for my liking, but thanks to a thread on here, I purchased a seatbelt height adjuster through eBay (came from the UK).  Cost about $33 delivered for memory, and he's been using that since early January.  It makes the seatbelt sit in the right position - he's happy, and I'm happy.

Not sure this helps in your situation with the knees not bending at the edge of the seat though?  But it is a solution to help the seatbelt sit correctly at the top end.

#8 elizabethany

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

I was under 140cm until I was 12.5, then had a huge growth sputh and stopped growing 6 months later at 153cm.  I would have been completely embarrassed to be in a car seat when I started high school.

Then again, I grew up in the bad old days, when bassinets were in the footwell (or the boot) and boosters were made of foam, if you bothered with one at all.

If she passes the step test, I would move her out.  Poor self esteem is just as dangerous as not using the car seat at this point, and has a higher chance of occuring when subjected to continous teasing.

#9 Carmie

Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

My 8.5yo is still in a booster and a few of her friends from dancing are also (so that makes it easier, some are well over the height and weight limits) but at school I'm not sure who many still are. 6mths ago we moved to a half booster, so it still lifts her for the seatbelt to sit correctly but its not so obvious she is still in a form of booster.

Whilst talking to RAA at the time, we were told these may become illegal over the next 12mths so we will just play it by ear atm. Her brothers (5 and 6yo, both the same height and weight as each other) are both still in their hilinears and I don't imagine they will be moved to a half booster, but their seats are in the back of the car, where DD is in the middle and its handy for the odd times we take another adult or need to flip the seat.

All the kids know that I don't care about what others have and I only care what is safe for them. DD was still in her carseat before the laws changed when most of her friends at kindy were in normal seats, she was never bothered and often when we saw her friends getting in the car without a booster she would comment about how they should have a booster like her to be safe.

If its a planned trip in someone elses car and its possible we send her half booster with her still but if she needs to go without it thats ok. Just not my ideal.

DD (8yo) is 125cms, 20.4kgs
DS 1&2  (5&6yo) are 112&113cms and both 18.5kgs. Although DS1 has a longer torso and DS2 longer legs so although they are the same height and weight, fitting the seat properly will be different because of their body make up

Edited by Carmie, 20 February 2013 - 01:12 PM.

#10 kittennic

Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

DS1 is over 8 now and is still in his booster - he's just under 130cm tall, and 24kg - so I'm expecting it'll be at least another year. He does sometimes go without - in unusual circumstances such as suddenly needing a lift home with a friend and they don't have an extra car seat - but I do prefer he uses it most of the time. I'll keep him in it until he's too big in height or weight for it, or if they reach high school. Unless new laws come in for car seats up to around 12 y/o, I think it'd just be too embarrassing to be at high school in a booster seat.

Same for DS2 of course, but he's a bigger build than DS1 so he's likely to be younger comparatively. Mind you, I think I'd have a hard time convincing them to go in a booster seat once they're as tall as me (I'm only 150cm)!

Edited by kittennic, 20 February 2013 - 01:34 PM.

#11 Isolabella

Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I stopped growing initially at 12.5yrs and 148cm. I finally ended up at 150cm at 19yrs. I was always the shortest in my class.

I anticipate DS1 will be 12yrs, his brother 10yrs
When they get out if boosters.

As each car is different, my kids will need to pass the five step test


The 5 step test will tell if your child is big enough for the adult belt.
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?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to make both the shoulder belt and the lap belt fit right for the best crash protection.Your child will be more comfortable, too!
5 Step Test

#12 mokeydoke

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

I take the risk into consideration, and so on longer car trips or in the city, all of my kids are in boosters (the oldest is 8.5). Around town (we live in a small town) only the youngest goes in the booster.

#13 dae-gu

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

My oldest is nearly 9, about 134cm and 34kg. He now rides on a cushion booster instead of his dedicated booster - keeps us both happy.

#14 lucky 2

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:28 PM

Dd is 8 yrs and about 133cm or taller, she is in the booster but luckily she still likes it, she can see out and is comfortable. She still doesn't mind if she is different, I can only hope it lasts.
None of her peers are in boosters, most of my friends and acquaintances get them out of one at 7 years irrespective of height or weight and are not interested in alternative views.

#15 ~ky~

Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:16 AM

Would it help to tell her that Bella only just stopped sitting on a booster when she was nearly 11yo? And Daniel was 9yo?

It's really hard ... she is so tiny and really still needs the protection/safety of the well placed seatbelt afforded by the booster but the social aspect has to come into play as well. i don't envy you this decision.

Would you consider getting her a booster cushion, maybe so that it isn't obvious to her classmates that she is sitting on a booster? It would get her up a bit higher for better seatbelt placement and yet be "stealthy" at the same time?

eta ... tell her also, that Bella was about the same height as her and a bit lighter at her age and she has grown a heap since then! She's now only 7cm shorter than me and over 40kg at nearly 12yo  ohmy.gif

Edited by ~ky~, 21 February 2013 - 01:19 AM.

#16 zande

Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:21 PM

My DD only came out of her booster just before 9 I think and she had hit 148cm tall, so too tall for the booster, athough fit in it on weight. We were fortunate that she had never asked not to go in it, she just accepted it, and none of her friends (to my knowledge) said anything to her. She would say occasionally that "so and so doesn't have a booster, she even sits in the front" and I would just say "well so and so's mum is an idiot" LOL or words to that effect! My DD is at least a head tall than all of her friends so they should all still be in boosters. I hate that boosters are promoted to 7 years old, when in fact not may 7 year olds would be ready to come out of them. If I had my way, DD would still be in a booster but I couldn't find one that fit her.

DD2 who is 6 and 128cm tall will be staying in hers until she's too big for hers too!

#17 Bob-the-skull

Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

my DS1 is short and light so at 8.5 he is still in his booster majority of the time, i am not sure of his height but he is quite short and only about 21kg. There are times where he sits without one, usually in an emergency pick ups where his seat is in my car and his dad only has the one spare booster which obviously the 5 yr old sits in.

he occasionally mentions that he doesn't want his booster but we just remind him that if we have an accident then the booster will keep him safer, and because of the occasional time he does go without a booster he knows it is more comfortable with it.

He does pass most of the tests in his dads car but not in mine because of different seat types.

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