Sunday, November 23, 2008

SeatSnug Makes Booster Car Seats Safer

When Cordy reached three years old, we realized she had outgrown most car seats. At 40" and 40 lbs, she was big enough for a booster seat. I really wasn't convinced she was ready for it, though. While she fit the size requirements, I worried that her tantrums and outbursts would pose a problem when she wasn't strapped into a 5-point harness.

While we bought a larger 5-pt. harness system for our SUV, our smaller sedan simply couldn't fit one of those monstrous seats. We bought a Graco TurboBooster instead, choosing to let Cordy slowly get used to it. But my worry has remained that she could too easily slip out of the seatbelt if something set her off into a meltdown, putting herself in a dangerous situation in a moving car. Thankfully, meltdowns are ver rare these days, and she has started to use her booster seat with few problems.

Mom Central recently offered me the chance to try out SeatSnug, a device that is placed on a seatbelt and keeps the lap portion from loosening during a drive. This not only prevents children from pulling on the seatbelt and loosening it, but it also stabilizes the booster seat, preventing it from shifting, rocking, or tipping from normal driving motions.

I'll start by saying this isn't the easiest device to install. The written directions weren't very clear, but the installation video on the SeatSnug website helped a lot. (Note: they're in the process of revising the written directions to make it clearer, but the video is extremely helpful.) So don't let your husband decide he doesn't need to see the video to install it, OK? Once the SeatSnug is on the seatbelt, it's practically impossible to get it off, so it's best to get it right the first time.

So how well does it work? This device lives up to its claims. Once on and in the locked position, you can't loosen the lap portion of the seatbelt, but the shoulder portion of the belt can still be loosened for comfort and movement. I didn't set the lap portion very tight - just enough to keep her secure. If you need to adjust the lap portion of the seatbelt, there is an "off" button that lets you adjust the belt, or you can leave it in the off position if you remove the booster seat for an adult.

Aside from the installation, we haven't had any problems with the SeatSnug. It makes me feel more secure in my decision to put my daughter in a booster seat, and she has no complaints about the lap belt remaining secure while in the car. I recommend this product, and I think once Mira is old enough for a booster, we'll be buying another one for her.

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