It's that love for you and other children that I have felt very strong in the following area and I needed to write to you and to others about this issue. Recently, we've been looking for a new carseat for you for your Nanny's car. We bought one with a maximum weight limit of 40 pounds and a maximum height of 40 inches. I had no idea just how quickly you'd be at 40 pounds or 40 inches!!! You're not even 2.5 yet and here we are looking to get another one as you're going to be hitting those limits before we know it!!!
In doing this research, I have come across so many many car seats and a few in particular really bother me. I know people will say, well we did such and such and such without having an issue as a child. I am one of the first people who will admit that I do/did too! However, your safety, and the safety of other children are top priority and I just want us all to stay safe.
There are carseats out there that are booster/5 point harness seats. This is the type of seat I have been looking at since you are now completely forward facing and not yet ready to only be in a booster. What got me concerned, is that some of those seats say that the 5 point harness is only good to 40 pounds! The booster is good up to 110 pounds. Let me tell you, as your mom and knowing you are so close to the 40 pound mark, I just cannot imagine putting you in a booster seat at this point!!! Then, as I was researching, someone posted this link on their personal page. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk_5JdKlTRE. I knew before watching it that it might cause some serious emotions, well, it did. I warn you and any others that are thinking of watching this video that I cried. I cried so much for that baby and her family.
We need to be informed. Be your own researcher. Find what is the safest solution for your children. That poor mama did what she thought was okay. Her baby was 3 and 40 pounds so she used it as a booster. It might be great for an older child, but not for younger ones. No child should be without a 5-point harness (boostered or otherwise) so young and so small. To me, that seat is misleading. Now, I will admit there are children who weigh less and the 5 point harness will last a lot longer on them with a seat such as that. But for you, I would not place you in that seat!
There is a ton of information at http://www.carseat.org/. Here is some information on how a booster seat should be used: http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.pdf. Here is also a link to how to choose a carseat http://www.carseat.org/Resources/650.pdf. Here is what they suggest: (the following information and graphic was taken directly from http://www.carseat.org/.)
Choosing the Safest Way for Your Child to Ride
Choose a safety seat, booster, car bed, or harness system appropriate for your child's age, size and development. Try before you buy! Make sure it can be firmly installed in all of your vehicles.
How parents and professionals can make sure children are as safe as possible
1) Keep children rear facing until at least age two, longer if possible (check maximum weight of seat). It’s five times safer than forward facing! Convertible seats fit up to 30-45 lbs. rear facing.
2) Use a seat with a harness as long as possible (40-90 lbs). Check maximum weight of seat.
3) Use a booster until the child can pass the 5-Step Test (usually at age 10-12; results vary by vehicle). Riding in a booster is almost twice as safe as wearing just a safety belt.
4) Have children ride in the back until they start learning to drive. For children, the back seat is almost twice as safe as the front.