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When is a child old/big enough to go from a carseat to a booster seat?

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Asked by Mandy211 at 9:50 AM on Apr. 4, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • Our state law states that my 4 year old should still be in a child seat with shoulder straps. However it doesn't take into account that she is extremely tall for her age. (She's in the 108th% for her age) The straps started cutting into her shoulders when she was 3 1/2 and we had a fight everytime we went anywhere. "Mommy it hurts!" I made a mothers choice and moved her into a booster seat. Since then no more problems and she sits quitely in her seat with no more trying to climb out. I figure if I'm pulled over for some reason that they won't even question her age due to size.

    Answer by baconbits at 10:48 AM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • check with your state laws, every state is different.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:54 AM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • When the shoulder straps on the carseat are below the shoulder of the child when seated. The shoulder strap of a child's seat should be at or slightly above the shoulder.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:06 AM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • im with baconbits. i moved my DD over to a booster seat at around 3.5 cause the shoulder straps in her car seat were hurting her. they need to do away with the age requirements and make them height/weight requirements first, then suggest an age. but then my state doesnt care much about what kinda seat they're in, so long as they are in a seat.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:17 AM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • Both of my kids moved out of a 5-point harness into a high backed booster seat at 3. They were (still are) big for their ages and just did NOT fit in the harness anymore. I would have to have them suck in their tummies and squish them into the seat just to get all the belts together, and that was with the belts fully extended and using the provided extensions as well.

    My 9 year old is almost 5 feet tall and wears size 12 clothes and the same size shoe I do. My 6 year old is almost 4 feet tall and is just getting into size 7/8 clothing. A lot of it is WAY too big in the waist for her though.

    My kids have always met the height/weight requirements before the age guidelines.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:24 PM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • Here, it's four years old or forty pounds, whichever comes first. But my pediatrician recommends keeping kids in car sets as long as possible, till the top of the head reaches the top of the padded car seat shell, because they're safer in seats with back support than they are in boosters. Check with your state laws and your doctor.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:32 PM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • The car seat i have can be a booster seat if i just take the straps out and buckle her. So the head support is still there and raises up pretty high. I just think she is getting big for the carseat straps.

    Comment by Mandy211 (original poster) at 5:01 PM on Apr. 4, 2013

  • A child should remain in a 5 point harness until they are at least 4 years old, AND over 40 lbs, AND mature enough to ride properly in a booster every trip for the whole trip (sitting straight, no leaning, no reaching for things, no unbuckling,etc), which usually does not happen until around age 5 or 6. There are a number of car seats available to keep taller and/or heavier children harnessed until they are mature enough to safely booster, with height limits around 52-58 inches and weight limits around 65-90lbs.

    Answer by sallymoon at 10:28 PM on Apr. 7, 2013

  • 4 years old & 40 lbs - at least that's how it is in Canada. Many people are opting to do a 5-point harness for longer though, so many carseats go up to 65 lbs for the 5-pt. If they reach 40 lbs before 4 years old, they have to wait until they are 4.

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 7:03 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

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