>Answers to "Mistake Monday" 3/1/10
Every seat is different – always read the manual to YOUR child’s car seat as what applies to one seat may not apply to another. The booster shown in these two pictures was the Graco TurboBooster backless.
- The arm rests are designed to keep the lap belt from riding up into the abdomen. The lap belt is not placed in front of the arm rest, but rather behind the arm rest. (See cartoon from Graco’s manual showing proper routing of the lap belt)
- The small screw that holds in the arm rest (into its higher or lower position) is not being used.
- Yes, there are projectiles (laundry anyone?)
- On this booster (as with most others), the shoulder belt should go under the arm rest that is closest to the seat belt buckle. In the picture, his shoulder belt is over the arm rest closest to the buckle – just like in the misuse cartoon in Graco’s manual.
- The vehicle’s seat back or head rest should come up to at least the top of his ears to reduce his chance for whiplash injuries.
Note: Some people have mentioned that the boy seems quite old for a booster. There is no maximum age for this booster. Without doing the 5-step-test, it is impossible to say if he is ready to ride safely without a booster. He might, however, benefit from a booster that is wider and deeper (so that the booster ends closer to where his knees bend). The Sunshine Kids Monterey, Chicco Key Fit Strada, Britax Frontier 85, and Maxi Cosi Rodi XR are all great boosters for older, taller kids.
- For kids in a forward-facing car seat (with a 5-point harness)
- The top of the child’s ears should be at or below the top of the plastic shell of the car seat
- For kids in a backless booster seat:
- The top of the child’s ears should be at or below the top of the vehicle seatback/head rest
- For kids in a high-back booster:
- If the top of the child’s ears are above the top of the vehicle seatback/head rest, you need to make sure that the booster is designed to provide adequate head protection for the child. Many high-back boosters have relatively flimsy backs – and therefore require the support of the vehicle seatback/head rest to come up to at least the top of the child’s ears. Please read the manual for your booster to know if this applies.
- For adults:
- When adjustable head rests are available, they should be positioned so that they come up at least as high as the top of the ears.