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  1. #1
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    3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    My 3 y/o goes on school trips often (in NY), and while they started in a shuttle bus with fixed carseats, now they've switched to a full-size school bus. So far they've told me that
    1) They want children 4 and up in a booster
    2) They can't put fullsize car seats because they fall forward

    I have no idea what to do, I want to go and buy him a booster just for these trips, but I'm not even sure he's big enough, or what to buy. He has a Recaro Como in our car so he's going to be in that for quite a while. We also have a BoostAPak for when we travel, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't work in a school bus.

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  3. #2
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    1) They want children 4 and up in a booster
    2) They can't put fullsize car seats because they fall forward
    Just to clarify: are there lap-shoulder belts on these buses? Boosters generally aren't used with lap only belts.
    Kathleen, CPST and mom to a pair of Cs.

  4. #3
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    They are giving my 3-year-old a harness.

    Because I asked...Otherwise I think it was just a seatbelt.
    Seatbelt and 59" (9 YO)
    Harmony Youth (8 YO)/Clek Olli (6YO)
    Harmony Dreamtime (5 YO)
    Clek Fllo (3 YO, RF)/Graco 40 (15 months)
    + 2 Recaro Performance boosters in spare car

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    Children generally should not ride in boosters on school buses. If there's no shoulder belt, then they cannot ride in a booster. If there is a shoulder belt, then the child should 5-step and be safe in it. Using a booster in an already-confined space can be dangerous.

    A 3 year old should be in a harnessed seat, according to NHTSA.

    I have no idea what they mean by "can't put fullsize car seats because they fall forward." Car seats install on school buses just fine.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  6. #5
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    My 3 y/o goes on school trips often (in NY), and while they started in a shuttle bus with fixed carseats, now they've switched to a full-size school bus. So far they've told me that
    1) They want children 4 and up in a booster
    but what do they want 3 year olds in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    We also have a BoostAPak for when we travel, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't work in a school bus.
    FYI: According to the Boostapak website, this product is not for use with 3 year olds. Honestly, I have a 3 year old and cannot imagine her sitting properly in any booster OR fitting properly since she is not 40 pounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    A 3 year old should be in a harnessed seat, according to NHTSA.
    Since this may come up for us soon, I was wondering, what is the youngest age a child can ride the school bus safely (the traditional type without any belts)? Thanks!

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    FYI, NY school buses are not exempt from the child restraint harness law. So, if the child is under 4 and under 40 pounds, they must be in a harness on the school bus. All NY state school buses have seat belts, but I think they are mostly lap belt only. You can install a regular child restraint just fine with a lap belt. You might want them to look at the star restraints. http://www.safeguardseat.com/industr...aints/star.php
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

  8. #7
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer mom to my 7 View Post
    FYI, NY school buses are not exempt from the child restraint harness law. So, if the child is under 4 and under 40 pounds, they must be in a harness on the school bus. http://www.safeguardseat.com/industr...aints/star.php
    Jennifer, this sent me on an unsuccesful web chase. I can't figure out what would be required in NY for a child over 4 and under 40 lbs on a bus with lap belts. Do you happen to know? The law says "Children ages 4, 5, 6, and 7 must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint system, one for which the child meets the height and weight recommendations of the child restraint manufacturer." But for under 40 lbs I'm not sure if the bus's belts count as appropriate.
    Kathleen, CPST and mom to a pair of Cs.

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member Jennifer mom to my 7's Avatar
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    For the bus, I think the lap belt is appropriate, they just need to be harnessed if under 4 and 40 (if 3 years old, and over 40 pounds, then seat or lap belt is also okay). I have had this discussion in other forms over the past couple of years with Kecia. She has a blog post about it, too.

    http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/broch/c-1.htm

    overview:

    SEAT BELTS ON SCHOOL BUSES

    New York State law requires that large school buses manufactured after July 1, 1987, be equipped with seat belts, and that schools make them accessible to each vehicle occupant. Every school bus driver is required to wear a seat belt, and children under the age of four must ride in properly installed, federally-certified child safety seats. Each school district sets its own policy for seat belt use by the other passengers.

    Actual law reading:

    http://www.safeny.ny.gov/seat-vt.htm

    11. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision four of this section, no person shall operate a school bus unless all passengers under the age of four are restrained in a specially designed detachable or removable seat as required by subdivision one of this section, or another restraining device approved by the commissioner.



    13. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision four of this section, no person shall operate a school bus for which there are no applicable federal school bus safety standards unless all occupants are restrained by a safety belt approved by the commissioner or, regarding occupants age four or older but under age seven, are restrained pursuant to subdivision one or two of this section.

    I take 13 to mean, that if it is a minivan type "school bus" the children need to be restrained according to state law, so under 8 in a booster, under 4 and 40 harnessed.

    Edit, again. IF the child is over 4, they can be restrained by the seatbelt, or just in the bus seat, even if under 40 pounds. IF the child is 3, but over 40 pounds, same thing. I am pretty sure it is NOT required that the child use the seatbelt if of proper age or weight, it just has to be available, kwim?
    Whatever Wendy said

    "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." -Unknown

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  11. #9
    CPST/Firefighter Judi's Avatar
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    Re: 3-year-old in school bus... what restraint?

    I bet they fall forward due to incorrect install.

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