View Full Version : Toddler seat help for a friend

Windy City Heather
05-22-2003, 10:33 AM
A friend of mine approached me to do some research on booster seats, knowing how good I am at researching baby products. Of course I said yes but I don't know anything about booster seats and I really don't have the time to look into it. So, I could really use your help to insure the safety of her toddler. Her son is 21 months old, 27 lbs and 31 inches long. She currently has an evenflo and a century in her cars but she does not know what the models are. She said her son is starting to look uncomfortable in the seats and she is wants to think about moving him up to a booster. She will need two car seats and really only wants to spend about $100.00 for each. Any help or advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


05-22-2003, 01:46 PM
I'm not the best authority on booster seats (we haven't crossed that bridge yet), but your friend's son is WAY too small and too young yet for a booster. Ideally he should be at least four years old and 40 pounds before then. Too far before then, and his skeletal structure is not developed enough to take the stresses a three-point "adult" belt would inflict on his body in a crash, plus he's small enough there's a much higher chance that he would slip out from under the belt and go flying, under the right g-forces. Plus, at this age, he's more liable to slip out from under the adult-style belts on his own, just because he can, and he doesn't understand how important they are.

What she probably needs is a combo seat - one that harnesses to (usually) 40 pounds, and then the harness comes off and you have a booster that goes to 60 or so pounds. Combo seats are generally wider and more open than convertible seats, and have higher harness slots, so he won't be so "scrunched" in them.

I suggest referring your friend to http://www.carseatdata.org/combo.html for a discussion on what features make a difference and how much the common models cost. The Fields also publish a booster seat report which is available on this site for a small fee, which covers combo seats as well as plain boosters.

You'll be a good friend if you can discourage her from putting him into a booster this early.

Hope that helps,


05-22-2003, 02:10 PM
As I have not crossed that bridge yet either (my daughter is 9 month old) I used the incorrect terminology. Combo seats are what I have started looking at for her. I have already told her that she needs one with a five poing harness. I recommeded the Husky but she did not want to spend that much money.

I have been on Toby's website before but did not see that forum before. I will have to go look at it.


05-22-2003, 02:55 PM
My apologies, then - I really have met quite a lot of folks who figure that kids can go into booster seats at that age (or before!!) I'm a bit excitable on the topic after attending at an accident where one kid was in a booster he wasn't ready for, and the other was in an adult belt she REALLY wasn't ready for. Everyone came out okay, no permanent injuries, but there was a memorable amount of blood and shrieking, and I'm still a tad twitchy.

I hope the link to the combo page is helpful then - a friend of mine just bought the Evenflo Comet and is very happy with it, although we're in Canada, so our range of choice is smaller :'( and I don't know how it compares in the big picture! I also paid for a copy of the Fields' combo-booster report and found it highly informative, although I don't know how many seats have been issued/altered since its last update.

Happy researching,