I’ve been noticing over the past, oh, year or so that a lot of online advocates have been telling parents to measure their kids’ torsos to get an idea of which seats would be appropriate for them. “Sit ‘em up against a wall and measure from the floor to their shoulders.” This is a relatively new way of thinking in this field. We’ve always been concerned about harness slot height and have always recommended that parents look at car seats with high top harness slots, among other features.
I’ll admit I’ve been a bit skeptical about the accuracy of this method of measurement. After all, how a child measures against a wall is really quite different vs. how a child measures when they’re sitting in a car seat because the car seat can take on different angles in a vehicle depending on the angle of the vehicle seat and the angle at which the car seat is installed.
I measured my 42″ 4.5 yr old dd today to see how accurate it really is. She measured 14.75″ from floor to shoulder. I sat her in a Touriva in the house and she still had about .5″ to go before reaching the middle of the top harness slots (the Touriva has 15″ top harness slots). Yep, she’s got mom’s short torso and will have fun shopping for jeans that fit later in life :).
So, I guess the method does work, assuming we’re giving out good measurements on seats.