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Booster seat/seat belt q


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18 replies to this topic

#1 *LucyE*

Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

5.5yr DD is currently 19kgs and in the 5pt belt set up of the Maxi Rider. She is in the middle position with generally, a HiLiner and Meridian on either side.

I have trailed her in a HiLiner but the angled shape of the seat belt clip and the tight fit makes it very difficult to do up.

Is there another seat option that would be narrower?  

I know those extension clips are not usually recommended because they are another potential failure point but is there any statistical evidence to show they are unsafe?

#2 ednaboo

Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:36 AM

The other option would be the Infa Vario (and equivalent) booster.  It is a similar width to the hiliner.  TBH I also have 3 across and I find it easier to buckle up the child who rides in the Hiliner vis the one in the Infa.  Have you tried putting the Meridian in the centre position?  Then have both boosters in the outboard spots?  This is how we do it, as no other cobination will fit.  Also, if needed you can pull the booster out in order to buckle up the seatbelt, then slide the booster back in to position.  We have to do this with the Infa, but not the Hiliner.

QUOTE
I know those extension clips are not usually recommended because they are another potential failure point but is there any statistical evidence to show they are unsafe?

Not that I know of.  AFAIK they have not been studied at all for use with children and therein lies the problem  Another issue with extenders is that they are all 30cm long.  I worked out that in my car, this would mean the new buckle would lie right on my childs lap, which did not seem safe at all.

Your other option is to change your Meridian for a more slimline seat such as a Compaq.  That would buy back some space.

Edited by ednaboo, 04 June 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#3 MnCzMa

Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:36 PM

can she not stay in the MR in the inbuilt harness?  they are fine up to 22kg as long as height isn't an issue.



#4 IsolaBella

Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:46 PM

QUOTE
Not that I know of. AFAIK they have not been studied at all for use with children and therein lies the problem Another issue with extenders is that they are all 30cm long. I worked out that in my car, this would mean the new buckle would lie right on my childs lap, which did not seem safe at all.


As Endaboo said, the seats are not tested with seatbelt extenders and most seatbelt extenders change the seatbelt geometry by reducing the triangular configuration of the seatbelt. Instead of coming across the hip (which is bony) up to the chest (which is also bony) the sash part of the belt will be coming across the soft abdomen which can cause internal injury.



#5 *LucyE*

Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:50 PM

I thought they were tested with 22kg dummies not they are safe for a 22kg child.  Clothing weight gets added so I haven't kept my kids in the 5pt seat belt past 20kgs to be on the safe side.

I knew the extender probably wasn't going to be a good idea.

I'd prefer not to move the Meridian to the center because DS2 is the wriggliest to load and clip in.

I might play with different combinations and use the third row. Was just hoping for an easy solution where I didn't have to help strap DD into the car during the school pick up craziness.

#6 IsolaBella

Posted 04 June 2012 - 07:56 PM

The 22kg test dummy has winter weight clothing ADDED to them.

The lowest weight dummies have summer weight clothing added to them.

The new 'no weight limit' height marked 2010 standard seats are tested with the same test dummies. The rationale is that 97% of children under 4yrs are under 22kgs.

So I would use to 21-22kgs if my child still fit heightwise in a 5pt harness seat.

The '20kgs' suggestion was SnS back in 2006 when people were asking about higher harnessed seats.

ETA: The PP about the bony hip comes from personal knowledge.... I was in an interesting accident (hit by someone doing 70kms and spun 360 in the middle of an intersection). I went to the Dr to double check I was OK. He put pressure on my hips (that hurt) but I had no pain on my abdomen (I was only 3.5m post c/s). Dr was amazed. He said I was the first person I had seen post accident who had been wearing seatbelt correctly (ie. low across hips etc). So I know from experience how important it is to keep a seatbelt low across the hips and having the sash come across hips and across the middle of the chest. By doing so I did not have any injuries which are common when seatbelt is worn incorrectly.


Edited by lsolaBella, 04 June 2012 - 08:00 PM.


#7 Henderan

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

I have just successfully fitted two maxi cosi seats and an old style (narrow) Safe n Sound Compaq into my VW Passat wagon (done by Baby on Board).  Very happy we got this to work, however the issue is when the eldest moves into a booster becuase currently there is literally not a milimetre between each seat and therefore we wont be able to physically get our hand down beside the seat to buckle in the booster.

Rather than using a seatbelt extender, has anyone tried bluckling up the booster first (leaving it buckled in) and then getting the child to "slide" in each time?

Thoughts welcome.

#8 Henderan

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

Hi ednaboo,

Could you please elaborate by what you mean below?

"Also, if needed you can pull the booster out in order to buckle up the seatbelt, then slide the booster back in to position."

From what i understand, you slide out the booster, buckle up the belt and then slide the booster back in position.  Does this mean that you have to slide the child in after the seatbelt has already been buckled in?  Can this be done easily?  If so, perhaps you have found the solution for people with 3 car seats across the 2nd row of "average" sized cars....  We have fitted 3 car seats across out VW Passat, but are concerned by the day we need to upsize to a booster.

#9 PreachersWife

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

QUOTE (Henderan @ 05/01/2013, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have just successfully fitted two maxi cosi seats and an old style (narrow) Safe n Sound Compaq into my VW Passat wagon (done by Baby on Board).  Very happy we got this to work, however the issue is when the eldest moves into a booster becuase currently there is literally not a milimetre between each seat and therefore we wont be able to physically get our hand down beside the seat to buckle in the booster.

Rather than using a seatbelt extender, has anyone tried bluckling up the booster first (leaving it buckled in) and then getting the child to "slide" in each time?

Thoughts welcome.


I did this for six months when my eldest needed to sit in the centre seat when DD2 was in the capsule (no way could I lift that heavy thing over another seat!)

It worked pretty well and if she got in first, she was usually all set by the time I strapped DS in and plonked the capsule in the base. And she loved being the the middle! We just left the seatbelt very loose very time she got out of the car.

Now she's on the passenger side, and I think that Ednaboo means that your child sits in the seat, you slide the whole thing a few centimeters to the edge of the seat, clip the buckle in and then slide the whole shebang back again. DH does this, as his bigger hand struggles to fit between the two seats.

Hope that helps.

#10 ednaboo

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

Hi henderan.  Preachers wife was correct; I mean
QUOTE
Now she's on the passenger side, and I think that Ednaboo means that your child sits in the seat, you slide the whole thing a few centimeters to the edge of the seat, clip the buckle in and then slide the whole shebang back again. DH does this, as his bigger hand struggles to fit between the two seats.


Ds does this himself with his Infa booster.  We don't need to do it for DD who is in a Hiliner as this booster makes it easier to access the seatbelt.

I know of people who do it the way you mentioned, but that will only work on cars that don't have ALR seatbelts.  ALR seatbelts lock when pulled to maximum length (to allow for child restraint installation).

ETA: I think you will manage when it is time to use a booster.  I drive a Subaru Liberty which is similar in size to the Passat.  In fact a Passat was the only other car on our shortlist at the time.

Edited by ednaboo, 07 January 2013 - 03:51 PM.


#11 Henderan

Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

Thanks for the feedback ednaboo and PreachersWife... Couple of further queries for you ednaboo.

1. We have a 2010 Passat which I assume has ALR seatbelts.  I (naively) thought previously that you simple grab the seatbelt, run it across the booster and click it in.  Becuase it is retractible, it will hold firm in a crash but is flexible to loosen and therefore get in/out.  Are you saying that when installing the booster, it somehow needs to be fixed so that it is at maximum "reach" and cannot move?  How is it fixed?

2.  If it needs to be fixed, but then my wife has to loosen it each time to jiggle the car seat out a bit to access the buckle, then isn't this an enormous hassle to do each time?  You guys seem to think it is fine, but sounds prohibitive to me...

3.  The Baby on Board guys tell me that there is narrow booster soon to be released call the [R Type] or similar. ANyone heard of it?  The key for me will be having no armrests and narrow at the base so that i can easily click in.

4.  Do you mind me asking whether your 3 seats across the Liberty ahve been professionally installed?  If they are and you have fitted 2 boosters plus a [???] carseat, then i think i am safe, beucase i understand the Passat to be no more narrow than the Liberty.

Appreciate the help in this ridiculously frustrating subject.



#12 IsolaBella

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

Britax new booster is type F

http://www.britax.com.au/car-seats/safe-n-...-seat/encore-10



#13 ednaboo

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Henderan: alr seatbelts (ie locking) are only for use when installing a child restraint. So you should not lock the seatbelt when using a booster.  You use the seatbelt as normal when using a booster.   What I meant in my pp was that you couldn't leave a seatbelt buckled in so the child would just slide in and out,  as I imagine this would result in the seatbelt locking when they extend the seatbelt.   Hope that makes sense!

The new class of booster should be ideal as it does not have arm rests which do make it harder to buckle up a seatbelt. Strangely,  the Encore appears to be much heavier than other boosters (9.5kg apparently but I'm wondering if that is a mistake? )

My seats have not been professionally installed. But I am confident they are well installed!  I have a SnS Compaq deluxe in the centre forward facing, previously Rear facing and the two boosters at the sides.  I can also fit 3 Compaq's . I can't fit a booster in the centre but I think that's a Subaru thing.

#14 Henderan

Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for the replies ednaboo and isolabella.  Unfortunately, I am not quite 100% understanding the (1) installation of the booster and (2) the likelihood of us being able to use one in the Passat.

Don't understand what you mean by saying "ALR are only for use when installing a child restraint".  The Passat has ALR belts right?  If you use the seatbelt as normal when using a booster, then when buckled in, the child would be able to grab the belt and pull gently on it to loosen wouldn't they?  I am not quite understanding the "lockability" of the belt that has been referred to.

If the seatbelt is used as normal when using a booster, then why don't you just leave it buckled in the whole time and then manually loosen the belt each time to allow the child to get in, let go of the belt and watch it retract to a nice snug position?  No-one seems to do this and people are always talking about scraping knuckles etc, so i feel that i am missing something becuase it seems plainly obvious to me!!

Apologies for the further questions....

#15 ednaboo

Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

You might find it easiest to catch my drift if you sit in a seat with ALR, buckle yourself in, then lock the belt.  The belt locks when you extend it fully.  Let the seatbelt retract as far as it can and you will be locked in - you can't extend the belt again, unless you unbuckle the latch and let it retract completely to disengage the ALR.  This is ideal for securing an infant-type restraint as it holds it down tightly.  (Cars that don't have this feature usually need an add on item called a locking clip to install the restraint properly.)

A child sitting in a booster is unlikely to activate the ALR with normal use, even if they lean forward to grab something.  What I meant back in that original post was that if you leave the seatbelt buckled in around a booster and get the child to climb under, they will probably activate the ALR by fully extending the seatbelt, thus locking themselves in the belt.  Then they won't be able to get out again until you unbuckle the seatbelt and retract it fully to disengage ALR.  This would defeat the whole purpose of doing it in the first place!  The only person I know who does this does not have ALR belts.

Have a look at this page Seatbelt Types for more info on belt types.

I am pretty confident that if you can fit 3 restraints in, you will be able to make a booster work when the time comes.

#16 g_uzica

Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

QUOTE (ednaboo @ 10/01/2013, 10:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Henderan: alr seatbelts (ie locking) are only for use when installing a child restraint. So you should not lock the seatbelt when using a booster.  You use the seatbelt as normal when using a booster.


When we had our booster professionally installed (we always get each seat professional installed the first time so we're not second guessing ourselves when reinstalling them), the guy actually showed me the ALR lock and suggested we use it with the booster.  I guess the reasoning was that the child couldn't play with the seat belt and stretch it while driving.

So my question is are there any issues with using the ALR with the booster?

#17 ednaboo

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

g_uzica: The manual for my car states you should only use the ALR for installing a restraint (ie: not a booster).  It is a question worth asking of a booster manufacturer though.

#18 IsolaBella

Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:59 PM

unsure.gif At booster professionally installed. Place on seat, connect anchor point.

Like Ednaboo I would contact manufacturer for more. Personally I find that if I inadvertently activate the ALR on seatbelts while in them it seems to start to suffocate me and continues to get tighter. I would not do that to my kids.

#19 Henderan

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Thanks for all your advice.  I think I am clear on this now.






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