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Discussion Starter #1
It seems to me that the 3rd row seat was designed for smaller creatures and I always have a hard time installing a car or booster seat back there. My 6 year old seems to fit quite snugly and securely without her (legally required) booster seat, so I was wondering if there's a legal case for not using the booster in the 3rd row for kids that are just shy of the legal requirement, especially since the latter was written for kids in regular, grown-up seating. Any comments?
 

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Definitely get her in a booster, the seats may be narrower, but the belt will still sit dangerously across her abdomen than her pelvis.
I thought I could squeek by without using one for my 7 year old, until I watch an E.R. show on TLC with a 6 year old who had major life threatening abdominal injuries. I felt guilty and ran off to the nearest store to get a booster that my big boy wouldn't be embarrased to be seen in (no one can see it)
I think the legal belting requirements are different state to state.

Okay....where's tracy....she is all knowing on this subject. Take her away Miss Tracy...:D
 

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Do I hear someone calling me? :D

Yes, there's a very good chance you still need a booster (beyond the fact that it's required by law). Put your child in the seat and check the 5-step booster test, from http://www.carseat.org:

The 5-Step Test
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car. Kids like boosters because they are more comfortable, too!


The laws of physics trump state law every time.
 

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3d Row Narrow Seat solution for Booster

I, too, debated about whether my 6 y/o needed a booster in the 3d row. Illinois recently enacted a law requiring seats up to age eight, which forced the issue. Upon investigating seats, I found that most won't work in the 40% 3d row split, because the bases are so wide they cover the seat belt attachments, making it impossible for the child to buckle or unbuckle themselves.
I finally settled on the Britax star riser comfy, which had a base which can be adjusted for width. Hopefully this will work until he's eight, and his butt doesn't get so big he needs to widen the seat too much. Biggest problem is cost, but I found the seat on-line for as little as $80.00 versus a retail of $120.00.
 
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