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Ktgrok

s/o booster seat question

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My 9 year old and 6 year old are both in Graco Nautilus seats. 6 yr old is in the harness, 9 year old uses it as a high back booster. We've considered switching the 9 year old to the backless booster option (it comes apart) but not sure as to the safety, guidelines, etc for that?

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I have a 9yo here and I was a CPST.  In a crash, the high back of the booster often provides protection against hitting the side window and keeping the shoulder belt better in place. It really is safer. However, my 9yo got to a point where, with the booster, he is seated appropriately with the shoulder belt.  Also his particular seat, the Chicco Kidfit, didn't keep the shoulder belt in place as well as it should.  It slipped out of the guard often.  We did switch him to just the booster cushion recently after keeping that in mind (he has a few inches to go before losing the booster altogether) and the need to buckle himself.  The recessed seat buckles in my car made it hard to do that with the back on. 

My personal rec is to keep the back on as long as you can, but when you can't, use the provided shoulder strap guide in its place.  Make sure there is enough head protection - your manual should state that it needs to be used in a seat with a head rest that comes up to the top of the child's ears.  And if you are traveling for long periods where a kid will be tired or falling asleep, keep the back on.

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Does the 9yo fall asleep in the car?  Hobbes was in a high-back booster until he was 11 - he was a late developer, so he didn't have the height to do without a booster, and he used to fall asleep.  The high back stopped him from sliding out from the seat belt.

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