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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Splash's Avatar
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    Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    I'm trying to decide if I am out of my mind even considering a booster.
    My dad doesn't watch Charlie too often, but sometimes he does and it is a huge help to us. Once upon a time the deal was that he would take Eunice's car (his MIL, 2005 Buick LeSabre with three full LATCH hookups in the back), but that has kind of fallen by the wayside and he wants to take his truck. I have in the past mentioned trading cars with him, and he's lukewarm. He likes his truck. And Charlie likes his truck. And since he is doing us a favor, it's not fair for me to gripe at him. And it's occasional, really. We're talking one ride a month, if that. Mostly down to the marina, which is ~5ish miles.

    So I can put a Boulevard center, super duper perfect install. That cramps my dad, though. He says he can manage, but it's super cramped and limiting the driver's movement isn't a good thing. Last time I tried to put one outboard, I couldn't do it due to non removable headrest. Never tried reclining the seat though, oops. So I might be able to do that. I thought about putting a Radian in there center, and he should have more movement, I hope, and it would install super. It would also put him farther from the airbag.

    The manual (2007-8 F-150) says that a child in the center *should* be out of reach of both airbags, but of course that's not a definite. The passenger side won't go off as there will be no passenger. I might be able to scrunch it over to the side a little more to give my dad a bit more shoulder room and get him further from the airbag, I don't know. I might be able to recline the seat and install it outboard. I was able to put the GN outboard pretty tight.

    But with a carseat there, the compression is going to add enough weight (plus car seat weight, plus child weight), that that airbag on the side is gonna go off. I know it will. I can get him pretty far back, and tether it, but it's still gonna go off.

    However, if I get a booster, there will be no compression and likely not enough weight, and the airbag will stay off.

    The only booster I was considering if the PWSG. With the crotch buckle and a locked shoulder belt, I don't doubt he would be snug and contained. My dad could use a booster correctly. Charlie I am positive would sit correctly. He's 42 pounds, will be 4 years old by the time I got the thing (8-11 is his birthday), and 41 inches tall.

    So, which would you choose? Why?
    I'm glad you're a safe driver. I'm eating cereal and applying mascara using my rear view mirror while playing bejeweled on my iPhone. And I'm driving right behind you. 
    You're only as safe as the most dangerous driver on the road. Buckle accordingly.  

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  3. #2
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    Harness. Those sensors are unreliable at best, and I would not put a young boostered child in front of an airbag short of an emergency.


    Incidentally, I've put Bean the First in the front seat of a sensor-activated airbag vehicle in both a Wizard and a Nautilus with supposedly a 40 lb cut off for the sensor. With the seat there they were pushing 60 pounds and the airbag still went to 'off'.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician lynsgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    I would harness and if you can do it on the passenger side, I'd probably do that. The sensors in my van have shown the airbag off with a tightly installed MA+45ish lb child. They also show the airbag being off with my 70-75lb 12yo ds (he has had to ride in the front a couple of times recently). Definitely I wouldn't put a less-than-4yo child in a booster, even if it kept the airbag off. I'd much rather see a harnessed seat installed there (still doubt the airbag would go off).
    Last edited by lynsgirl; 07-22-2009 at 01:07 PM.
    Amy Expired (need to recert!) CPST & Mom to 8 great kids, 3 in a seatbelt, 5 in seats

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    Well I was able to get the headrest off (required a key, both hands, and my forehead) and get it installed outboard very solid. I still had to recline the seat a bit, and the MA seemed super reclined, but I'm sure it wasn't. On install (seatbelt and tether, with moderate-heavy seat compression) the airbag sensor was still showing off. Add a 42 pound kid to the mix, I don't know.
    So now that I at least know I can get it outboard, I'll put the BV outboard for as long as he fits (only used the MA because that was what was in my car and I hadn't planned on going over). His head is probably 30ish inches from the airbag, and rollover risk is higher but the truck sits up so high I'm not hugely concerned about side impacts.

    Of course, once I did all of this, my dad told me he had backed into a parked car on a dead end street... comforting.
    I'm glad you're a safe driver. I'm eating cereal and applying mascara using my rear view mirror while playing bejeweled on my iPhone. And I'm driving right behind you. 
    You're only as safe as the most dangerous driver on the road. Buckle accordingly.  

  6. #5
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    Switching the retractor will turn the airbag off on some cars.
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

  7. #6
    CPS Technician April's Avatar
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    My most preferred option would be to put a Radian in the front there, since it's smaller/thinner and will keep him that much further back from the dash than the MA/BV.

    But really, you do the best you can with what you have. I suppose we could install a GN in the front seat of DH's pickup 2x/day for Griffin, but we don't, we put him in a backless there with the seat all the way back. Sometimes you can't do whats "ideal", kwim.
    April-CRST
    "Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." ~Oprah Winfrey
    DD1-11 years: seatbelt
    DS1-10 years: seatbelt DD2-7.5 years: lightrider
    DS2-6.5 years: parkway DD3-2.5 years: RF RNXT

  8. #7
    CPS Technician Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Harness+possible airbag, or booster and no airbag?

    Well the airbag sensor stayed off, which is great.
    If it were more common, I'd put a RN there, but for a very occasional ride, the BV will work for now, and a GN after that
    I'm glad you're a safe driver. I'm eating cereal and applying mascara using my rear view mirror while playing bejeweled on my iPhone. And I'm driving right behind you. 
    You're only as safe as the most dangerous driver on the road. Buckle accordingly.  

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