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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy cdncasper's Avatar
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    Rear seat in minivan

    I have both girls in the rear seat of my 99 Caravan and the seat is in the most forward position with the middle bench folded down. 2 questions...

    1. How much room is considered safe between back hatch and back of rear seat?

    2. Is it ok to have the girls in their seats with the middle bench not folded? When not folded they sit with legs crossed touching back of middle bench.

    April
    mommy to K, 5 years, 41.5 lbs, 44 inches, harnessed in a Britax Frontier CT


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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member all together ooky's Avatar
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    Re: Rear seat in minivan

    Is there a reason they aren't using the middle bench? They would be safer, especially in a rear-ender.

    I've always heard that it's best if you have AT LEAST 12 inches (the more, the better) between the third row and the hatch.

    Yes, if the kids are restrained properly it should be fine to have the middle bench not folded.

    Also, since Jenna is only 29lbs she would be much safer rear-facing. The AOE goes to 35lbs RF.
    ~Sonja~

    Gwenllian: Born Feb. 7, 2004
    Eleanor: Born April 1, 2008
    Beatrice: Born Sept. 30, 2012

  4. #3
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Rear seat in minivan

    I wouldn't be any more concerned about rear impacts for passengers in the third row than you would be for side impacts for passengers in an outboard seat. Side impacts are more frequent and deadly, especially to properly restrained passengers.

    Also:

    http://www.suvsafety.info/thirdrow.html


    The concern about the middle row is that if it the third row passengers are too close, it could be something their heads could strike in an impact? That is a risk, but it's impossible to say if it is very small or not. Certainly if the middle row is in use, you should make sure everything is installed tightly, the harness is tight and the top tether is in use.

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Jewels's Avatar
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    Re: Rear seat in minivan

    Quote Originally Posted by all together ooky View Post
    Also, since Jenna is only 29lbs she would be much safer rear-facing. The AOE goes to 35lbs RF.
    She is in Canada. In Canada the newer seats all have a RF limit of 30lbs

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy cdncasper's Avatar
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    Re: Rear seat in minivan

    The reason they are in the rear seat is that is the only place I have tethers for the carseats and since I have adults in the van on a regular basis it is easier for them to be in the middle seats instead of the rear and than I don't have to uninstall the carseats all the time. With the rear bench pushed up all the way too I have more room in the back for the stroller and my bin of stuff and they are farther from the hatch. I rarely have the 2nd row up with them in the van and we most of the time it is when the middle seat is being used with other carseats for quick trips--RF or boosters or 1 FF using the middle seatbelt of the 3rd row as a tether.
    The girls carseats are properly in and tethered and they get harnessed in properly all the time. I am going to be doing my CRST course next weekend so I am very safety consience.

    April
    mommy to K, 5 years, 41.5 lbs, 44 inches, harnessed in a Britax Frontier CT


  7. #6
    Senior Community Member all together ooky's Avatar
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    Re: Rear seat in minivan

    Sorry I didn't notice that you were in Canada. Oops.

    Since the carseats are in tight and tethered then I wouldn't worry about the second row.

    Congratulations on the upcoming CRST course. Good Luck!
    ~Sonja~

    Gwenllian: Born Feb. 7, 2004
    Eleanor: Born April 1, 2008
    Beatrice: Born Sept. 30, 2012

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