Minimum Child weight for booster
Most seat-belt positioning boosters require the child to be at least 30 pounds. Many states say 4 years old and 40 pounds is the minimum.
Maturity is by far the most important thing, though. The child isn't ready to be in a seat-belt only booster until he can be trusted to sit up with his back straight and his bottom back ALL the time - if he moves around, the seat belt will not stay in a proper, safe place.
A seat with a 5 point harness is infinitely safer - in an accident, a child in a seat-belt positioning booster can be thrown forward and around the safety wings of a high back booster or, with a low back booster, be thrown into the sides/seats of the car - both substantially increase the risk of head injury. They can also slip down under the seat belt (called submarining), which can cause major internal injuries.
If you are determined to make the move to a seat-belt positioning seat, though, here's my thoughts on the two we've tried. The Graco Turbobooster is very popular with our friends, is inexpensive, easy to use, etc. Personally, we prefer the Compass B-510. It is more expensive, but it seems a LOT sturdier and has a bigger, nicer headrest/side wings with EPS foam for side-impact protection. The arm rests also flip up, to make it easier for the kid to get in and out and to do the seat belt. It comes in lots of great patterns, too...my oldest son adored his camo print booster and rode in it with no fuss until after he turned 9. He says it is WAY more cushioned and comfortable than the turboboosters.
If I can talk you into staying in a harnessed seat =) .... Most of the less expensive 5 point boosters only harness to 40 pounds, but Graco recently put out the Nautilus, which harnesses to 65 pounds and then converts to a belt positioning booster, so you can get years of use out of it. It's considerably less expensive than most of the other higher harness weight seats (i.e. Britax Regent, Sunshine Kids Radian) - we actually own all three of those varieties, and I like the Nautilus just as much as the Regent and MORE than the Radian.
Another less expensive higher harness weight seat is the Apex 65, but it requires the seat of the CAR to be at least as tall as the child's ears...when the child's ears reach the car's seat back, it's outgrown, because it's headrest isn't reinforced like the others are. Unless you have really tall seat backs, it won't last you nearly as long as the others. It also is supposed to turn into a belt-positioning booster, but I've heard from numerous people that it's really no good as a belt positioning only seat.
Dec 03, 2008 |
Baby & Toddler Car Seats