Preschoolers and carseats
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Preschoolers and carseats
We are looking for a new car seat for our almost 4 year old. We are torn between the
Britax Husky (a 5 point restraint system) that goes up to 80 pounds AND the
booster seat (britax bodyguard) which uses the cars own restraint system (the seat
belts). I have heard that a 5 point system is the safest - is this true even for kids 4
and up? Our main priority is SAFETY. I know the husky is huge and cumbersome but
we are happy to get it if it is safer than the booster. Also the Britax bodyguard
boasts side impact protection - does that override the safety features of the 5 point
Husky??? Any advice is much appreciated.
When I recently investigated this issue I decided on a different
option. I looked at the Britax Marathon and the Britax
Boulevard. They are smaller than the Husky and you can take them
on an airplane, yet they have the safer 5-pt harness and work up
to 60 pounds. I thought my 3 1/2 yr old was not yet mature
enough for a booster. When he outgrows this seat he will be
older and a booster should be fine. I thought about the Husky
because he could use it longer, but decided against it because
of size and portability on an airplane.
We bought the Britax Boulevard because it has side impact
protection and you can adjust the harness height using a dial so
my oldest and youngest could more easily use the same seat
without uninstalling and reinstalling the seat. The Boulevard is
very new and is currently exclusive at Babies R Us. It is an
updated version of the Wizard.
The Britax Marathon you can get lots of places online for about
$200. It doesn't have side impact protection or the harness
dial, but otherwise is pretty similar and just as safe.
You can find info on each at Amazon.com. I researched the seats
on the Baby Bargains website message boards as well.
Mom of 2
The Husky is great. It is really big and initially I thought it
was too huge even for our mini-van. But, now that I've used it
for a year, I have to say that it is fantastic! It's so safe
too. Our second car has a booster (not Britax) and it is always
causing us problems. I'm planning to get a Husky when my second
kid outgrows his Roundabout so soon we'll be a two-Husky family!
I would talk to Nishawn, the owner of Rockridge Kids, regarding
this question. He is incredibly knowledgeable about carseats and
attends trainings regularly about the new types and installation.
We had the same dilemma a few years ago and opted for the husky.
We reasoned that any booster was only as safe as our car's
seatbelts, and since we have a 1991 Toyota, we figured it was
safer to go with the 5-point harness. For traveling we have a
lighter and cheaper Graco - any rental car we get will be newer
and safer than the car we have.
Hope this helps
Got two lounge chairs in the back seat
You should call Britax directly and ask them the questions.
Both seats ultimately use the seatbelts as the primary restraint
system- the car seat is belted to the car with the seatbelt
versus the booster which uses the seatbelt over the child. Five-
point harnesses are superior for small children to make sure
they don't slip out of the car seat in an accident- but the
restraints can break- they're not the life saving device in an
accident- the belt is. As your child gets bigger, the
likelihood of your child slipping out of her seat is slim. The
booster seat is superior for head support and reduces injury in
an accident. After talking with Britax, we ultimately decided
on the booster seat, which is equally safe as the Husky if
installed properly, because it was far more convenient for us.
Because we move between vehicles, we didn't think we could
install the Husky securely every time whereas we definitely can
do that with the booster.
Mom of three in car seats
My son is less than two inches away from outgrowing his Britex
Roundabout (38 inches tall, 34 pounds) and I need to get a
replacement. I am interested in a real carseat, rather than a
booster seat. I believe the Britex Husky is probably too big for
my car.Does anyone have a good recommendation?
I checked the website and most of the postings were two or more
years old, so I'm hoping this information will be of use to
Need some help
We just went through this. My son outgrew his Roundabout and
we replaced it with a Graco Platinum CarGo, about $100 at Toys
R Us. It uses a harness up to 40 lbs, and then is a regular
booster after that. It has a easy-to-use front harness
adjustor, non-twisty straps, EPS foam, and cupholders (that my
son has filled with rocks and toy dinosaurs). It will keep him
in harness for another year or more, which I am happy about.
We've been using it for a couple weeks and I am quite pleased.
Cosco Summit. I highly recommend saving time and spending about
$10 more and purchasing at Rockridge Kids instead of one of the
big discount stores. They install, take the time to explain all
of its benefits, and are just generally the best kids store in
town. Ask for Christian.
Not affiliated with RR Kids, but love it just the same!
Surprisingly - the Husky fits fine in our Honda Civic 2dr coupe,
where the Marathon was a little tight (as in feet over the front
seat). It sits lower in the car, and aside from the fact that it
does occupy more width than the roundabout, my child loves it and
finds it very comfy and should last until middle school. ;-)
As far as I know, it is still true that the only 5-point harness
carseats that can be used for a child over 40 pounds are the
Britax Marathon, Britax Wizard and Britax Husky.
If the Husky won't fit in your car, the Marathon or Wizard (good
to 65 lbs) may; they're narrower. There are combination seats
(used with a harness for toddlers under 40 pounds and without
the harness as a booster seat for kids over 40 pounds) that have
higher HEIGHT limits than the Roundabout and comparable
convertible seats, so one of those might allow you to keep your
child in a harness longer since he's closer to the height than
to the weight limit, but it won't last as long as one of the
Also, do take a good look at whether your child is as close to
outgrowing his current seat as you think. The stated height
limit of 40'' or 41'' is a general guideline, but some children
can safely use a Roundabout after reaching that height because
their length is in their legs. If the top of the child's
shoulders are not above the top slot for the shoulder straps and
the top of the child's ears are not above the top of the back of
the carseat, he still fits.
Happy with the Husky
My almost 3-1/2 year old preschooler has always been an active
kid. Because he recently hit 40 lbs, we switched him from his
car seat to a booster seat in the car. Unfortunately, the seat
only fits safely on the sides of the backseat, not in the middle,
which is where our car seat used to be. For his 3 year old
personality--exploratory and constant willfulness--he is
constantly trying to play with the buttons and other things on
the door. Luckily our car has childlocks, but I worry he will
physically pull up the lock button and try to open the door
sometime. Also, he's moving around so much--forward, to the
side, wherever he can. It's very nervewracking to me, and
although I am very firm with him when he does these things, he
doesn't consistently listen to me and behave accordingly.
I'm sure there are other parents of squiggly willful children who
have experienced similar things. Any advice for how to handle
this potential safety issue? Thanks in advance.
I would take the issue to a qualified car seat safety expert.
Just because your old car seat is not rated for chldren over
40 pounds does not mean it is not safe. You need to do the
safest thing you can for your child, regardless of what the
government has regulated. When my almost five year old
gets too wiggly in her booster, I threaten to put her back in
the car seat and I would really do it if the threat didn't work.
Also, Britax makes a car seat approved for bigger kids which
goes in the middle seat and has a five point harness.
I think 3 year old boys are too fidgety for a shoulder harness,
no matter how big they are. My son was just as big but wasn't
trustworthy to sit safely without a 5-point harness until he
was almost 4. It's just not worth risking his safety. Get a
booster with a 5-point harness until he's older and can use the
seat belt properly!
-- A mom that would rather be safe than sorry!
this page was last updated: Oct 12, 2006
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