Thursday, August 13, 2009

the great carseat debate


There are many great things about your kids growing up, getting older and taller. You move from cribs to toddler beds to twin beds. You stop needing strollers, electric swings, and high chairs. As your kids leave infancy, you get rid of exersaucers, walkers, rear-facing and forward-facing carseats.

But even though my kids are now 5, 7, and 10, we still have not gotten rid of our vehicle booster seats--for any of them.

This may sound crazy, but let me explain why, and first say, that my kids would have it no other way. I am not forcing them to sit in booster seats in the car, it is not a struggle to get them buckled in, they do not fight it. They like the booster seats.

1--because it helps them sit up higher so they have a better view. My kids are on the smallish side, so the extra 5 inches really helps them be able to see better out the windows.

2--because it helps the seatbelts fit better. I can certainly attest that when you're short, that shoulder strap sometimes has a habit of cutting straight across your neck or cheek. Oomphing them up those several inches helps the seatbelts fit better across their chest where they are supposed to.

3--and along those lines, because the seatbelts are fitting better, they are doing their job much better. Having been in two serious car accidents, I can testify to the importance of wearing your seatbelt and wearing it correctly. With the kids in the heightened position, the seatbelts snug across their chest and laps, they are much less likely to get thrown or hurt in a wreck. It's just safer this way.

By Arizona law, none of my kids need to be in carseats any more, and I'm sure there are many of you out there that ditched yours as soon as your children crossed that legal limit--heaven knows it makes your vehicle look cooler without them, but let's face it. I drive a minivan. Coolness has never been my concern. ;) And if they happen to carpool with a friend and travel in someone else's car, I don't force over the booster, unless they want it (or unless it's a long drive). So it's not manditory by any means.

But I'll let them sit in their boosters until they decide they are ready to go carseat-less and I have no qualms about that whatsoever.

What are your thoughts on the issue?




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15 comments:

Mark and Jessica said...

My oldest was in a booster until he was 9, I think. My second oldest - a bit more on the independant side begged to be out by the time he was 7 but stayed in until he was 8. Although he really needed it because of his size. My third oldest was out at 7 and my youngest is still using one at age 6. I like the seats for the reasons you stated, but didn't really push once they reached the age of choice.

BrieP said...

I took a car seat class and the rule for safety they have is 80lbs and 8 years old. But they told us that your child should be 80 pounds and is 4ft 9 inches tall. Before the seat belts will fit right. I will have my girls in a carseat until they are 8, safety first when it comes to cars. The safer the better.

leaner said...

Rhayn is 8 and still in hers (shes only 53 pounds but fairly tall). I think she likes having the cup holders, and being able to see out. She is tall enough, I think and if we are in other peoples' cars I don't force it.

A good friend of mine let her kids be out when her son was 4 (but the size of a 6 yr old) and her kids look at Rhayn with disgust sometimes, telling me that their mom says the car seat is going to hurt them. I doubt that she said that.

Its all about safety for me.

tif-do said...

I agree. It's about safety! And clearly being in a booster seat is safer.

Christine #2 said...

Joey and Abby are out, for obvious reasons. Sophie will be in her's forever. But I'm okay with that.

Teri said...

I somewhat agree...... Carter is still in a booster and he hates it, but we make him have it... Hain has seen too much and wants them to be safe..He was certified in car seat safety and ever since he has been a stickler on making sure the kids are safe.... which is great!! some parents dont even make their kids buckle safely and I think it is so stupid! No driver EVER knows what another driver is going to do....AT least with your kids safely seated and buckled you know you are protecting them as much as your power allows!!

Ami said...

I didn't realize car seat laws were by state until I read your article. I was surprised how different each state is especially AZ and UT.

jinxi~ aka angi said...

We do the sameeee thing for the sameeee reasons! Great post!

wittygal said...

I feel like knowing a little about the history of your family and vehicles that booster seats are a VERY good idea. Just kidding! Of course you never can be to careful, right?

Lorie said...

Everything I haver read says they really should stay in Boosters until their legs are long enough where their knees bend at the end of the seat when their back is to the back of the seat (does that make sense?)

My kids both have boosters that we use.

But I am the same as you. If they are in someone else's car (carpool) I don't make them take them.

Anonymous said...

I don't put my kids in a booster seat, mainly because the bungee cords snap when I accelerate too quickly on my motorcycle. I've lost more kids that way.......

B

Anonymous said...

BTW I see we've broken the 100 day mark for New Moon.......

b

ElisseStuart.wordpress.com said...

In CA the requirement is 8 years/80pounds. Sam did not have a seat like your sons, rather a full booster, shaped a bit like an airplane seat. He liked his, he could see out the windows better. I drive a van as well, so coolness has never been my priority. Keeping my sons safe was. We gave up the booster when he was 8 and was in 2nd grade. He didn't weigh 80 pounds, but he was tall enough for the belts to fit correctly. As a parent you have to do what you feel is safe.
ES

marisa said...

We're a law enforcement family so the seats stay until Dad says so!

Amanda said...

We gave up the boosters a few years ago for Ally & Emily. I still wanted them (for the seat belt reason, I totaly agree with you) but the girls insisted they were "too old" for them. I wish they'd make boosters without the arm rests, give them the boost without the car seat look. I'm looking forward to when Luke will use one. One click with the seat belt is so much easier than the 3 point harness every time you get in & out of the car!