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Old 08.01.2012, 10:00
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Toddler car seat

Am I right in thinking that there is no age limit before which you mustn't put your child on a booster seat? We have a Romer King Plus (Group I) and my 25 month old has grown out of it I know my son is on the large size for his age, but they advertise it as being suitable for up to 4 years and if I plot him on the percentile charts for a 3 year old, he's below the 50 mark.

Husband has bought a booster seat type (Group II, Maxi-Cosi Rodi air protect). Now, I think he's too young (I accept not too small, he fits the height and weight restrictions) to be on a booster seat restrained by just the seat belt rather than a harness. My husband tells me I'm being paranoid. My parents tell me (they're in the UK) that it's illegal to have a child under the age of 3 not in a harness restraint. I've read the tcs brochure and can't see any mention of age of child, it just says they must be in a suitable seat. I don't like that when he wiggles, the seatbelt loosens, that when he slides forwards I can't get him back and he doesn't understand/know how to push himself back into the seat properly. We're going to be driving through France to the UK in the summer and would like to know if there's a way I can force my husband to accept he needs to be in a proper 5 point harness seat!
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Old 08.01.2012, 10:40
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Re: Toddler car seat

In my opinion, if his size means that the belt comes across his shoulder at the right level (which is governed by the clips on the headrest of your seat, the Rodi) then

a) he should not be able to loosen the belt
and
b) he has a 3-point securing

Also, how heavy/tall is your child? The Romer King should fit the kid still, is should handle to around 16-18kg.

All-in-all, you have two things to think about:
a) If you're happy as a parent with the restraint. What will happen in a crash or roll to your child in that seat?
b) If you're stopped and the child appears properly restrained, I would not expect a cop to ask the age of the child as long as the seat appears to fit the size of the child correctly.

I would put my nearly-2-year-old in the Rodi if that helps. I know the headrest would be at the right hight for him and that the clip on the headrest stops play in the seatbelt for the child. Having said that, I have a Maxi-Cosi Tobi in each car for him and even though he's big for his age he fits perfectly in the seat and finds it very comfortable.

Do note that these next-stage seats also do not offer such a comfortable sleeping option for the child - my boy sleeps well in the Tobi but had head-roll in the stage 2 seat which made me get another Tobi.

HTH
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Old 08.01.2012, 10:58
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Re: Toddler car seat

I had the same seat than you and used it for my son until he was 4. Now we're using the next Romer for age 4+. It is a real seat where he's restrained with the seat belt. It protects him on the sides and the back.

I don't trust simple booster seats, as it's been proven that in a lateral accident they don't protect the child at all.

I'm surprised that at 25 mo your child doesn't fit in his seat anymore. What do you mean by 'does'nt fit'? It's too tight? I think it doesn't matter if his head is above the seat-level.

The TCS has great info online about carseats and what is meant by fitting
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Old 08.01.2012, 11:07
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Re: Toddler car seat

You need to open the document link below and scroll down about halfway for the information in English. As children vary in size with age, there are overlapping situations. You don't state the weight of your child, so definitive advice is precarious.

Swiss office for accident prevention: www.bfu.ch

http://www.bfu.ch/PDFLib/1360_42.pdf

This is according to both Swiss & European laws.
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Old 08.01.2012, 11:27
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Re: Toddler car seat

He is 16.6kg. He doesn't fit in the King Plus because of his body length. There's an extra cushion/head support which is now at the maximum height and his back is too long to fit from the base of the seat to where base of this cushion (and therefore the shoulder straps) is. I tried him in the Maxi-Cosi Group I Priori when we were in the shop and he would still fit in it. Annoyingly, we have some friends who would let us have theirs, but my husband says that we don't need it.

We've already found out about the sleeping. We drove home on New Year's Day (at 2am in the morning if that's day, so he should have been exhausted) and he didn't sleep in the seat for the last half hour, just screamed.

Thanks for the links. I was hoping to find that they state a child under age X must be in a harness restraint... I suppose I should just be grateful he's not in the car very often.
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Old 08.01.2012, 11:34
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Re: Toddler car seat

As he weighs 16.6 Kg he can use either a Group I or a Group II with the full harness, as supplied.

The information states: » Only switch to the next size when the child’s head is higher than the top of the seat.

To me that is quite clear.
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Old 08.01.2012, 11:45
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Re: Toddler car seat

Hi!

Had the same issue as you with the Romer Duo Plus.

My daughter used it from 1 to 2 and that was it... Very long upper body (by the way, the rule is that the head can go over but max at eye level otherwise not protection with impact)

We chose to get a Recaro Young sport next, which grows with the child and is a group 1-2-3. She is now 3.5 and still using the harness bit as there are several pieces you can take out to make space. I suspect when she is about 4 we will start using seat belt.

Have got for her a booster for city trips which is fine, but would never have her in one for long trips, both for security and comfort.

If it is of any comfort, even having gone through this, I am still very happy we have the Romer seat because my daughter went into it young (about 10 months) since she had outgrown the Maxi Cosi and would not have put her so young in a 1-2-3 seat, I was happy to have the group 1 seat.

As for your hubby... Not sure what to suggest, as with all parenting things, you guys must decide

Cheers,
K
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Old 08.01.2012, 12:04
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Re: Toddler car seat

Wow, my son is 5.5 and weighs only 16 kg! Your son must be very tall indeed!
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Old 08.01.2012, 12:17
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Re: Toddler car seat

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Am I right in thinking that there is no age limit before which you mustn't put your child on a booster seat? We have a Romer King Plus (Group I) and my 25 month old has grown out of it I know my son is on the large size for his age, but they advertise it as being suitable for up to 4 years and if I plot him on the percentile charts for a 3 year old, he's below the 50 mark.

Husband has bought a booster seat type (Group II, Maxi-Cosi Rodi air protect). Now, I think he's too young (I accept not too small, he fits the height and weight restrictions) to be on a booster seat restrained by just the seat belt rather than a harness. My husband tells me I'm being paranoid. My parents tell me (they're in the UK) that it's illegal to have a child under the age of 3 not in a harness restraint. I've read the tcs brochure and can't see any mention of age of child, it just says they must be in a suitable seat. I don't like that when he wiggles, the seatbelt loosens, that when he slides forwards I can't get him back and he doesn't understand/know how to push himself back into the seat properly. We're going to be driving through France to the UK in the summer and would like to know if there's a way I can force my husband to accept he needs to be in a proper 5 point harness seat!
My little girl's head was over the top of her Römer King seat at around 18 months but it is still safer to use the full-harness seat until their eyes are level with the seat back than put them in a seat belt restrained seat. The bigger kid's seats only have a weight limit (from 15kgs), so my daughter could have used one from age 2

Booster seats are no where near as safe as a full-seat with side and head protection from the force of a side impact.
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Old 10.01.2012, 10:52
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Re: Toddler car seat

My 4-year old has always been very big for his age, and I'm pretty conservative on car seat safety. I'd prefer to keep him in a 5 point harnessed seat as long as I can.
The Recaro Young Sport was definitely on my list of possibles. There's not masses of choice for 5 point harnessed seats, but I'd definitely spend time trying to convince the husband that a 25 month old needs to be in a secure seat. Have a look here for some backup material.
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Old 10.01.2012, 14:23
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Re: Toddler car seat

Are you sure that you can't unthread the straps, remove the extra insert/padding and re-thread the straps at a higher level ? Most baby seats have more than one slot for the should straps.

And similar advice to others, they can use the seat until their eyes are level with the top of the carseat.

Most toddlers don't put on much weight from 2-4 years, so a 16kg 2 year old may well be an 18kg 4 year old.

My godson was in a very nasty car accident when he was 4. The rest of the passengers sustained very serious injuries (it was a tragedy) but he was unscratched because he was in a proper child car seat with a 5 point harness in the centre position of the back seat of the car.

There is no way that a 2 year old is safe in a booster seat. If you have friends that will loan you a better baby seat, then go for it... it should be a 'no-brainer' for your husband, surely he wants his son to be as safe as possible ?
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Old 23.01.2012, 12:55
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Re: Toddler car seat

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Wow, my son is 5.5 and weighs only 16 kg! Your son must be very tall indeed!
or very....now, how does everyone put it.... "sturdy"!

I am certain you can't alter the seat or remove the extra headrest, I've tried and asked them. It's on its largest setting. As far as my husband is concerned, he's convinced that my son prefers it because he has more freedom and as we're not going to have an accident anyway... it's just my British paranoia kicking in apparently.

We were in the mountains at the weekend and I must admit I wasn't at all happy on the snowy roads with him in it. I'm going to suggest that we give the seat to the grandparents for now and either get one or borrow the one our friends are offering us. I'm trying to organise a trip to visit them (and they agree with me) and hope that it will convince him.
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Old 23.01.2012, 13:25
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Re: Toddler car seat

Hi there,

We have 4 kids in ages 8, 8, 4, and 2. As mentioned by previous posters there is quite some overlap, but we have always been very careful with our kids, and have put them in the safest child seats that we could find.

Now, from your first post, I understand you actually have 2 questions:
  1. Which seat is suitable?
  2. How to convince your husband?
For a 2 year old (your kid seems to weight 16 kg, ours were much lighter), we always used a 5-point harnass child seat with side protection. Accepts kids up to 36kg, costs a bit more, but also protects much better on impact. We have something like this (not the same):


Some versions have the conventional 3-point belt going through the child seat and fixating it through the back. The seat is therefore always fixated in the car, and you would put your child in the seat and fixate him with the 5-point belt yourself. The majority of children will not be able to open the closure themselves, which is safe.

Our 4-year old just "outgrew" the above depicted seat, and is now in a seat like this (not the same as we have, just an example:


As you can see, the normal 3-point belt goes over the legs under the hooks of the seat raiser, and the upper part of the belt is guided similarly from under the side-head-protector diagonally downwards to under the same hook of the seat-raiser, preventing any damage to the neck.

The main reason why our 4y/o "outgrew" the previous seat is that she is now old enough to understand that she should keep the belt ON while driving, and she is able to disconnect it herself. Therefore, the 5-point belt chair is overkill for her, and she does not want to sit in it anymore.

Hope this helps with question 1.

Now the second question is much more difficult. I feel that the argument "we will not have an accident" is trumped by any traffic statistics, but obviously your husband has a different opinion. There needs to be only one alcoholic driving into your car, and the story is over.

Rather than fight, I would just go out, buy the child-seat you want (aka 5-point harnass), replace the seat-raiser with the safe child-seat, and be done with it.

I do NOT believe it is "paranoid" to have appropriate child seats for your kids. I believe it is money well spent, and I feel that all parents should want to invest in the right safety equipment for their kids.
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