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What age did you send your child places with other's via car?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 mum2jp

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:16 PM

Thank you for all the replies. Updated post below.

Edited by mum2jp, 16 July 2019 - 09:39 AM.


#2 123tree

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:23 PM

I think it depends. For me I kept my kids in boosters longer than legal. Mostly motivated by the fact that I have an older car without the safety features I would prefer.

I let my kids go booster free if they either aren’t going on the freeway (so only travelling at 50km) or if we have my nephew and then I can’t fit three seats across so one goes in the normal belt.

Could you put that perspective on it.  Is the car newish or is it an open road.

To be honest though if you just told the other parent that you would feel more comfortable with a booster not sure it would be a big deal. Just chuck it in an off they go.

#3 justbreath

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:27 PM

Yes I would let him go. At his size I would probably be ok with him going in the car without a booster (we also use one, same age but physically smaller).

In regards to your questions. My kids have been in and out of other peoples cars since they were 9mths old but they were always friends or family with similar attitudes to car seats.

#4 Fi Fy Fo Fum

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:30 PM

TBH I wouldn't think twice about letting my 8 yo dd go. She is in a booster in my car but none of her friends are. I would be ok with a short drive for this sort of event. Having fun with friends is really.important to me and her though.

#5 elly35

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:32 PM

I have let my 7 year old go a couple of times w/out a booster but I was nervous.
I agree with above, will he be going in a "safer" car and on freeways? I also think it is fine to say that you will send his booster and just say you want him to stay in it a bit longer.

#6 chicken_bits

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:32 PM

This is an interesting question!

My eldest is a year younger than your DS and we have been car pooling with school friends since they were in prep. I wouldn't even think twice about sending him in a booster seat. I'd rather my kid be embarrassed and explain to them my sound reasoning behind it (safety is more important). It's either a booster seat or he doesn't go.

To me, things like car seats and helmets are non negotiables.

#7 lozoodle

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:32 PM

8 or 9, but mine were all out of carseats before they went.

#8 Pocket...

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:45 PM

My seven year old goes with others. And I have others come with me. I send the booster if it'll fit well in the car.

I often have a car full. My 4yo in her full car seat, friends 5year old in my DS's booster as she also fits it. One 7yo goes in the middle seat, another booster won't fit, and the other 7yo in the front seat.

It's not ideal and I don't like to do it too often but as occasional thing in ok with it.

My 4yo also goes with others but only in a full car seat as she is too small for a booster.

#9 LucyGoose

Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:52 PM

He is a good size to be travelling without a booster on occasion.
My DDs are smaller aged 8 and 9.5 and I allow them in cars without boosters for occasional trips with friends,  even though they use them in our car.
Until recently I would just send our folding booster along on outings with friends and they just sat in it!  We just explained it as different parents have different rules.  For instance some parents are stricter on food or tv use than we are.



#10 seayork2002

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:06 PM

If it was me I would  have no issue with him going at all

#11 Dianalynch

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:12 PM

I’d be nervous too op, my dd9 is tall and in a booster, we’re going with the recommendation as well.

Maybe offer to take him, you could make something up like how you’re out just prior so it’s easier for you to drop him off than go back home again, and after you’ve got to go to grandmas or wherever so it makes sense to pick him up?

#12 blimkybill

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:14 PM

If it were me I would send him without the booster.
For you, either that, or send the booster seat too, embarrassment or not.
I would not cancel the outing or drive him myself. I feel like that would be a counter productive over protectiveness. He has a lot to gain from being able to take part in new experiences away from his parents.

#13 Silver Girl

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:15 PM

My DS was a similar age, height and size when he started going in others’ cars. He is still in a booster in our car but goes without when with friends and family.

I understand your hesitation completely. I was pretty anxious watching his friend’s Mum driving away from me with my firstborn on board, even though she is a very responsible person and seemed like a safe driver.

Even seeing him in the car with my Mum driving made me nervous. I had to remind myself that she has never had a serious accident, and that the chances of a collision happening are very remote. I have reluctantly learned to manage the risk and let go.

On still using boosters, I’ve given DS permission to ‘blame’ me for this type of thing in discussion with his friends, as in, “my Mum makes me use it.”

#14 waawa17

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:27 PM

You might want to double-check the law in your state. My understanding of most laws is that a child 7-16 should use either a booster seat or adult seatbealt, whichever is more suitable, and that under 145cm and unable to pass the 5-step test means that an adult seatbelt is unsuitable.  A child too small for an adult seatbelt can still technically attract an infringement for not properly wearing the belt (because they are unable to), as well as it being unsafe. I wouldn't hesitate to send the booster seat. It's always possible it will get another parent to reconsider their too-early transition, you never know!

Edited by waawa17, 15 July 2019 - 10:28 PM.


#15 KwaziiCat

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:30 PM

I was in pretty much the same scenario a couple of months ago.  DS who was close to 8 at the time was still in a booster (but tall for his age so legally he didn't/doesn't require one).  Although very anxious about it I let him go and everything was fine.

#16 BornToLove

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:37 PM

I struggle with this as well. DD is 9 and still uses a booster, though I suspect she will outgrow it with the next growth spurt. I am pretty sure she’s the last of her friends who uses one, I know some friends regularly sit in the front seat which is a whole other post.

I find with this age, DD and her friends want to get together away from home (and neighbourhood park) so requests like driving my child places has started to become more common.

Anyways, we have been starting to allow one off trips like this without the booster. Before DD goes in anyone else’s car, we do talk about good behaviour and rules like sitting properly, not horsing around and doing things that would distract the driver. I also trust the other parents who are doing the driving, most have modern cars (less than 5 years old) with safety features which also helps.

#17 bakesgirls

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:39 PM

For me personally this would be a non event. I’d let my child go and be pleased they were going somewhere fun with a friend (and cheering to have one less kid to worry about).

ETA- to answer your question, my kids have been in other peoples cars since they were babies. I’d just put their car seat into whatever car they needed to go in until they were/are old enough to travel without one.

Edited by bakesgirls, 15 July 2019 - 11:10 PM.


#18 Kreme

Posted 15 July 2019 - 10:53 PM

My kids went places with others from the age of 4 when we would share birthday party duties with close friends. At that age they legally had to have boosters so it wasn’t an issue.

Once my kids were over the legal age for boosters I was happy for them to occasionally travel with other parents without one. It was mostly short, local trips. We had boosters in our car until they were around 9 as we drive 30 mins to school.

#19 Manicmum

Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:05 AM

It would depend on how well I knew he driver and I would put them in a booster.

#20 waawa17

Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:13 AM

View PostFresh Start, on 15 July 2019 - 11:46 PM, said:

VicRoads website says they must be in either a booster or the adult seat belt. It then explains that a booster is safest and recommended if under 145cm. It doesn’t say you can’t use an adult seatbelt if the child is under 145cm.

As far as I recall child restraint laws were standardised across the country a few years ago so all states would recommend a booster under 145cm but not require it.

I know I'm nitpicking here, but I am pretty nitpicky about car safety. Seatbelt laws don't just require that a seatbelt be latched, they require that a seatbelt be "properly adjusted and fastened ". There's no way to do that with a person who's too small for the belt - that's the point I'm making. There's no doubt that it's less safe to be in a belt than a booster at that size, but I'm also saying that it's illegal by the letter of the law too when the child is too small.

Edited by waawa17, 16 July 2019 - 12:16 AM.


#21 just roses

Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:15 AM

I have said no to an outing two hours away because I didn’t know the parents/car at all.

I do get nervous about my kids travelling in other people’s cars. I usually just go by instinct and try not to be too overprotective.

When it comes to boosters, (my 12yo is out but 9yo still in) I have always encouraged my kids to blame me. They can sigh and and say ‘ugh, my mum’s obsessed with car safety’ or - as it was in DS’s case ‘I get carsick if I’m not in a booster’. I felt it helped to prepare them for the inevitable teasing or incredulous questions (which even came from kids as young as 5 and 6 who were already out of boosters and, in some cases, already in the front seat. Grr). My kids always understood it was safer - and were happy to sit in the booster - but of course they were a bit embarrassed at times too.

#22 Fossy

Posted 16 July 2019 - 01:26 AM

From 6/7 my kids went with others out of pure necessity, going to sports,Parties etc.  We regularly take other kids too, and all kids are in harnesses or booster seats.  My eldest is 9 and still in a harnessed seat.  It’s a regular occurrence outside school to see people swapping car seats.  
You know what is safe for your son, drive him yourself or put a seat in the other family’s car, I’m sure they wouldn’t even think twice if you asked to do it.  8 is too young for an adult seatbelt, you know that, so use that knowledge and keep your kid safe.


#23 Semantics

Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:14 AM

If it doesn't feel right then don't do it.  I always go with my gut instincts as a parent, no matter what logic or others might opine. Drive him to the centre yourself, there's no point having him go off with the other family and you spending the next few hours with a sinking feeling in your tummy.  Yes there is a balance between being over-protective and restrictive but at the end of the day you are talking about the safety of your most precious resource so go with what feels right for you x

#24 mum2jp

Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:49 AM

Thanks everyone. I have sourced a throwin booster (as our harnessed one is bulky). Probably not something i would use as an all the time one but I feel its a good compromise for trips like this and feel better than sending him with no booster at all.

I am still a little nervous and yes will probably feel a bit uneasy on the day but I don't want my own anxiety to deny him experiences. I am excited for him as its a big step to be going on his own, he has never really had friends close enough to do this with.

Thanks again




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