Is Your Child Ready to Ditch the Car Seat? Do the 5-Step Test
Vehicle seats are designed to keep adult-sized people safe during an accident. One of the most important safety features in a car is the seat belt. If your child isn’t properly position in a seat belt, it increases the risk of injury during an accident.
Booster seats come with 5-point harnesses for younger children, and seat belt positioners for older children. Some models have a weight limit up to 120 pounds for long-term use.
5-Step Test for Booster Seats
1. Does your child sit all the way back in the seat, with his/her bottom against the back of the seat and not slumping halfway down the seat?
If your child is sliding forward in the seat to get comfortable, it likely means the shoulder belt isn’t positioned correctly. Also, if the lap belt is positioned higher up on the torso due to the child’s position, it may allow your child to abruptly slide forward under the belt during an accident; rather than being properly restrained.
2. While sitting all the way back, can your child’s knees bend at the edge of the auto seat?
By having bent knees at the edge of the seat, your child will sit more comfortably. If comfortable, your child is less likely to slide forward into an improper position.
3. Does the belt lay across the shoulder between the neck and arm, and cross over the middle of the chest?
Many parents see the shoulder belt rubbing against the side of the neck, instead of across the middle of the collarbone. The correct position is across the middle area between the neck and the shoulder. This ensures that the shoulder strap will do its job in an accident, and hold back your child’s upper torso without causing uncessary harm.
4. Is the lap belt across your child’s hips, just touching the thighs?
Your car has seat belt straps that are designed to cross at the hip/femur joints; which are very strong parts of the body. For your child, that means crossing in a way that the belt is touching the thighs. If the belt is laying across your child’s tummy area, an accident could cause adbominal injury when the selt belt presses into your child’s soft tissue.
5. If all of the above is true, can your child stay in this position for the whole trip?
Just about any child can be a properly positioned statue for three seconds. The true measure is if your child can keep the proper position for the duration of car trips.
If you can say ‘yes’ to all of the above, your child is ready to ditch the booster seat!
If one or more answers is a ‘no’, your child should still be in a vehicle booster seat that ensures the correct position for the seat belt to do its job and protect your most precious cargo.
NOTE! Simply because your state law says it’s legal for the child to ride without a booster seat doesn’t mean your child is best protected without one!
ABOUT CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
- Convertible car seats are the only seat for babies that switch from rear-facing to forward-facing. Unlike infant car seats, a convertible car seat doesn’t have a “base”, and it’s not designed to fit on a stroller.
- Children should face rear in the car until at least 2 years old, if not older. Recent studies consistently show that children are less likely to suffer injury in a car accident if they are facing rear in a properly installed car seat.
- Many parents choose a convertible car seat because this type of seat has easy adjustments to accommodate growth spurts, to comfortably fit a wide range of heights and weights. Also, the right convertible car seat will last for years – from birth to kindergarten!
- All car seats sold in the United States must meet or exceed the safety crash testing requirements put in place by the federal government; from budget buys to luxury car seats. It is
often the case that the more expensive seats use the latest safety technologies that may not be available in the less expensive car seats. Aside from that, a more expensive seat usually has nicer fabric and a variety of convenience features.
Compare Top Infant Seats
Compare Top Convertible Seats
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU BUY A CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT
- Extended-rear facing usage via higher weight & height limits
- Proper fit in your vehicle while still leaving reasonable legroom for the front seat
- Side impact protection
- Adjustable headrest
- No re-thread harness
- Anti-rebound bar or tether when rear-facing
- Premium fabrics that breathe better with thicker padding for comfort
- Removable and/or easily cleaned fabrics
- More rigid body/frame structures
- Approval for aircraft use
Compare Top Infant Seats
Compare Top Convertible Seats
For fall 2014, Britax is introducing is easy-as-pie installation known as ClickTight into its already popular Boulevard and Advocate convertible car seats. This additional feature ensures that all of the safety technology that Britax puts into its convertible seats are matched by a proper installation by parents.
BRITAX ADVOCATE CLICKTIGHT FEATURES
Unparalleled safety, comfort, and convenience make the Advocate ClickTight
the best convertible car seat Britax has ever made. With the ClickTight Installation System everyone can install with confidence. SafeCell Impact Protection surrounds your child in best-in-class safety and Complete Side Impact Protection MAX features external cushions for maximum crash force absorption and a foam head restraint to keep your child’s head and neck secure
- ClickTight Installation System ensures that everyone can install the car seat securely and confidently by just buckling the seat belt.
- SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components that work together to protect your child well beyond the federal safety standards. Including an Impact Absorbing Base, Tether and Harness, an Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame, and Complete Side Impact Protection
- Complete Side Impact Protection MAX provides BRITAX’s highest level of protection: a deep protective shell absorbs crash forces and shields your child from debris, an energy-absorbing headrest keeps your child’s head and neck secure, and external cushions compress to divert energy away from your child and protect adjacent passengers.
- Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator gives an audible “click” to aid you in the proper tightening of your child’s harness.
- Quick-Adjust, 14-Position Harness and 2-Position Buckle allows you to easily move the harness upward and buckle outward for a comfortable, secure fit as your child grows.
- 7-Position Recline with Automatic Level Indicator adjusts for your child’s comfort while ensuring the best installation angle for your vehicle
Britax Advocate ClickTight in Limelight
Britax Boulevard ClickTight in Kaleidoscope
The Jane Nanuq stroller is a unique umbrella stroller due to the sturdiness of its build and some of the features it has that aren’t normally included on this type of stroller.
Jane is based in Spain, where it has designing and making juvenile products since 1932. Jane is known around many countries in the world as many moms’ favorite brand. In 2013 and 2014, it has been introducing its strollers to the market in the USA.
The Nanuq stroller is its entry-level offer in a sturdy umbrella stroller. It’s for parents who want an errand stroller that can handle the weight of older toddlers without sacrificing on comfort and push.
In addition to a great push, the Jane Nanuq also offers features not normally found on compact errand / shopping / travel strollers:
- Durable, water-resistant canopy with SPF 50 properties
- Deep reclining seatback
- Includes rainshield and cupholder
- Adjustable handlebar height for parent’s pushing comfort
- Adjustable legrest for child’s seating comfort
- Plush polyester/cotton fabric with fun patterns
- Retractable kickstand for standing upright when folded
- Unique folding mechanism pivots rear wheels inward for more compact folded size
- Anodized aluminum frame is sturdier than competitors – will last for years and with each new sibling
In September 2014, Orbit Baby will be announcing enhancements to their existing G3 stroller line, as well as introducing any new items for the 2015 model year.
Orbit has seen great success with their premium modular travel system, so we’re excited to see what 2015 Orbit Baby stroller changes or introductions will be coming!