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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    school bus question

    I had this in the tech area but didn't get any traffic over there so I wanted to see if anyone here could help me out-

    I dropped my daughter (4 1/2) off at preschool today and was told they were taking an impromptu field trip to the next town to the playground (the one at her school is being re-done). I signed a form and was told to put her car seat in the bus. They have two little mini buses that just have lap belts. So I installed it with the lap belt as tight as I could but it was still so wobbly and there was no place to hitch the top tether. Is this safe? this is my first experience with my kids on buses so I have no idea! I know buses are generally safer than cars but this didn't seem safe to me really- I kept thinking her face would smash into the seat in front of her with no top tether to catch her car seat? what's the best approach in this situation?

    thank you
    M- 10/2006
    H- 3/2008
    Sharing these seats:
    envy and hanna recaro probooster, gabe nauti, hollyhock TB, sporty blue TF

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    Jan 2011
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    Personally I would drive my child on any trip that they would take in those tiny busses unless they had good carseat installation... You are right - big school busses and tour type busses don't need belts because of compartmentalization... Tiny busses are like huge vans :0)

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Re: school bus question

    thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I am at work when she is at preschool so I can't drive her or I would. Maybe there will just be an option for her to stay at school next time. we go on enough adventures together so I don't think she's missing much if I say no more field trips!
    M- 10/2006
    H- 3/2008
    Sharing these seats:
    envy and hanna recaro probooster, gabe nauti, hollyhock TB, sporty blue TF

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic
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    Apr 2011
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    I'm kind of surprised they sprang that on you that morning. What if someone without the authority to sign the permission slip had dropped her off?

  6. #5
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Worcester county, MA
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    Re: school bus question

    You install seats on buses the same way you do in a car. You want less than an inch of movement at the belt path when you check with one hand.

    If it's one of the short school buses, they are very safe. The seatbacks are padded and are meant to be hit by a person.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    958
    If I had no other choice and she had to travel in this vehicle... If the lap belts locked and their were more seats than passengers, I likely would have tethered it to a locked seatbelt behind her. Or if she still fit her seat RF, you could have installed it that way.

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: school bus question

    the seatbelts are just lap belts so they don't really lock I guess and definatly couldn't get it tight enough for no wiggling- there was like 3 inches of movement going on there- I just had never dealt with buses before and had/have no idea what the safe car seat protocol is for buses of that nature. Also they really caught me off guard, I was already late for work and still had my son to drop of at his in home daycare, I was sick about it all day worrying I had put her in an unsafe situation. Her car seat is a graco nautilus so no rfing option there.
    M- 10/2006
    H- 3/2008
    Sharing these seats:
    envy and hanna recaro probooster, gabe nauti, hollyhock TB, sporty blue TF

  9. #8
    CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    958

    Re: school bus question

    The seatbelt didn't lock? Like in any manner (at the retractor or latchplate)? I'm just a little confused how you managed to install the seat at all. If the seatbelts did not lock and there was no BSC available (not sure if they are permitted on buses), I would have made other arrangements.

    I looked into "small buses" for DS1's class trip last October. He was 4y10m and just 35 lbs. After much back and forth with my CRST-Instructor and someone at Transport Canada, it was thought that while buses do provided sufficient compartmentalization in a collision, it may not be enough for a child under 40 lbs (legal booster weight in Canada). I chose to drive him myself. If I could not, I would have declined to permit him to attend.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Apr 2009
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    Re: school bus question

    Sorry, I didn't mean to say the don't lock- they are your standard lap belt so the click together and can be cinched to tighten them but I just couldn't them tight enough so that there was an inch or less of movement.
    another concern I had was what about when my daughter starts using a booster seat and rides on one of these buses? isn't a lap belt really dangerous with lap belts?
    M- 10/2006
    H- 3/2008
    Sharing these seats:
    envy and hanna recaro probooster, gabe nauti, hollyhock TB, sporty blue TF

  11. #10
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Worcester county, MA
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    10,169

    Re: school bus question

    Right, never ever ever ever put a child in a booster with a lap only belt. Never. Got it? Bad news.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: school bus question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    Right, never ever ever ever put a child in a booster with a lap only belt. Never. Got it? Bad news.
    Def. won't do that- although a majority of the seats on this bus were boosters- my daughter was the minority
    M- 10/2006
    H- 3/2008
    Sharing these seats:
    envy and hanna recaro probooster, gabe nauti, hollyhock TB, sporty blue TF

  13. #12
    Member
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
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    97

    Re: school bus question

    My son rides on the little school bus every day to go to special need preschool. It is one of the little buses. All the 3 year old have to be in carseats and they are installed correctly with no movement so it can be done. I have not done it though so I dont know who tough it is. the 4 year old do not have to be in carseats so I am sure that Brayden will be one of the only ones in a carseat this year. Last year and this year he was in a E-Z on harness as he is to tall for the carseats they had and they refused to buy him something else. I had to fight just to get the harness I did
    Tayler 2-21-04 sitting in a graco lowback booster
    Brayden 8-7-07 sitting in a Frontier 85 harnessed
    Xander 11-11-12- sitting in a Onboard air 35 and a True Fit C680

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