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Booster seats

My youngest turns 8 Friday, and according to state law he'll be able to graduate to using just a seat belt. California has been airing commercials fairly heavily saying this. If I remember right, old law was 8 or 80 lbs. My DS is around 55 lbs, and I'll be keeping him in a seat for the time being until he's grown a bit more. I've always been very cautious with carseats/booster seats. I know many others are not, if the drop off/pick up line at the elementary school is any indication.

Do you feel safety always trumps possible embarrassment? Is there an age where you would go by that more than size? I'm not sure when I'll allow him to ditch the booster, but I know I don't want a 12 year old still restrained by one.

How do you feel about parents who think if a child is embarrassed, law or no law, they can ditch the seat even if they're far below the minimum height/weight requirement?


Asked by Ginger0104 at 11:04 AM on Jun. 13, 2012 in Parenting Debate

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This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • I don't care if kids are embarresed iam all about 5 point harness.It's proven to be the safest.I think laws are placed to give us wisdom and laws are also long years of studies so i wont be one to ditch any safety advide.

    Answer by GivingTreeMommy at 11:10 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • The Law is the Law... IDK care how embarrassing it is... I'm not teaching my kids that they can ignore the rules b/c "it doesn't look good"!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:12 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • I agree, if the law says one thing then that is what you do regardless of embarrassment!

    Answer by kmath at 11:15 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • My son was like this. I actually kept him in the booster seat until he was almost 10. That was the time he really started fighting it and his dad had stopped using it at his place. I had gotten a new car and I decided that we would just transition out of it. He was about 74 lbs at that point.

    I am not concerned about what other parents think. If I were, I wouldn't have lasted this long as the parent of a child with autism.


    Answer by layh41407 at 11:10 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • If safety trumped all you would keep your child in a bubble. You would not let them go to a playgound or swing at home if you have a set. You would not allow them on jungle jgyms or slides or to go swimming.

    You pick your battles and sometimes you suck it up. Here it is 8 AND 80 lbs. You can get a waver if your child is terribly underweight .
    I was 72lbs. soaking wet when I was 23 years old and I guarentee I would not have stayed in a car seat, but then there was no requirement for seatbelts either. I believe in following the law. Check and be sure because the law changes.

    I never allowed my children or grandchldren to break the law for any reason. It is a bad precident to set.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:44 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • I thought it was 8 AND 80, not 8 OR 80.
    My kids are still in seats (my 6 year old in a 5 point, my 9 year old in a booster, both Britax Frontier 85 seats), and they don't care. My kids don't ride with anyone else, so they don't know who has a seat and who doesn't, so it doesn't embarrass them. My oldest will be 10 on the 22nd, and he's very thin, so he's still comfortable and happy in his. My youngest will be 7 on the 29th and we may convert his to a booster one of these days.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:18 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • For me, safety trumps all. Every time my dad comes home I have to fight with him all over again to take the kids' booster seats in his truck. He was born in the early '50's and thinks that laws are for other people, not him. My son is 8.5, 73 pounds, and getting very close to the 4'9" milestone.

    In WA a child has to be 8 years old or 4'9". It used to be 8 and 80 pounds and 4'9", or something like that. I just remember 8 years old, 80 pounds, and 4'9".

    I'm waiting for him to get to 4'9" to get rid of the booster. In my husband's Cobalt he can sit in the seat and the seatbelt goes across his lap and shoulders correctly. In my minivan, it's almost a fit in the back seat, and not even close in the 2nd row bucket seats. For some reason all the backs on the bucket seats lean pretty far back, even when they're up/forward as far as they go.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:28 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • In our state the law to transition to a booster is 4 AND 40. My DD will be 4 and tips the scale at 26 lbs. She won't be going anywhere w/o a 5 point harness. It is also 8 and 80 to transition to seat belt w/o a booster. Both girls are stuck for now. They will have to deal with it. Momma's rules that is the way it goes. My younger child will not be 80 lbs for forever so we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Answer by coala at 11:43 AM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • The laws vary by state. In NJ the law is 8 or 80 pounds. Most kids I see getting in and out of cars at our school are out of boosters by the time they hit 8.

    Honestly, I'm not focused on weight; I'm focused on height. The booster seat is designed to give a child that little bit extra to have the three point restraint fall at the proper points along the shoulder and lap-band. If my child is 8 and yet not yet tall enough to have the seat belt lay properly, my child is not out of the booster. My oldest was in a booster until he was nearly 9. At that point, the natural bend of his knee was at the edge the back seat as it should be and the shoulder belt lay properly across his chest. Prior to that he did use a booster even though he was seemingly the only child in the 3rd grade at school doing it. My DD will be 8 in Sept. At her height and growth curve, that poor kid is going to be in a booster until she's 30 - at least. ;)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:36 PM on Jun. 13, 2012

  • My son is small in stature & didn't graduate from a booster until he was almost 11. I didn't make him take it on carpools. I did make him use it in our vehicle.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 1:24 PM on Jun. 13, 2012