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  1. #1
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    Question Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    We worked & worked to get 3 seats in the back bench seat of our 2004 Dodge Caravan (2 Sunshine Kids Montereys on the sides and 1 Radian in the middle). This is the only combo of seats we could find that would work, but we had to purchase factory authorized seatbelt extenders (has a male buckle part that fits into the car's exisiting female buckle and then the other end has another female buckle that the male part of the seatbelt can "click" into) so that we could get to the buckles because the car seats have virtually no space between them to put a hand down to buckle the seatbelt.

    My question is in the Monterey user's manual, it has diagrams showing where the seatbelts should rest, etc. and it kind of looks like the female portion of the buckle should not be coming up past the red area of the seat base. Can anyone tell me 1) if this is right? and 2) if yes, why is this unsafe?

    This was the only solution we could find other than buying a new vehicle which we really cannot afford right now but of course I don't want them to be unsafe. The female portion of the buckle is now resting on their hip a little because the extender made it longer (obviously). The extender cannot be adjusted, so it is as long or as short as it can be.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Melissa in VA

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    I'm nearly positive that seat belt extenders are not approved for use with booster seats, though that might vary by manufacturer.

    I worry about the extender making the belt sit wrong, but I've never encountered the situation myself.

    How old are the kids in the boosters, and what are their heights/weight? Who, if anyone, is sitting in the second row?

  4. #3
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    I concur that buckle extenders cannot be used with boosters.

    If you give all the passengers' ages, heights, weights, and current seats, we may be able to help.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  5. #4
    CPST Instructor spokaneCPST's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    I used to have a link explaining that belt extenders are not safe with boosters and why. I'll see if I can locate the link and post back. Please provide more information and we should be able to help you better.
    Renee
    Renee
    CPST-I and Special Needs Trained
    Mom to 22yo seatbelt, 17yo seatbelt, 10yo Parkway, Harmony, or Big Kid, 10yo Parkway, Harmony, or Big Kid

  6. #5
    CPS Technician oxeye's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    Can you just leave the boosters buckled all the time and have the kids slide into the booster under the belts?
    Roxie -- CPST and mommy to:
    DD1 - 11, DD2 - 9, DS - 5

  7. #6
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    As all the other said, you cannot use a belt extender with a booster.

    If you give us ages, heights and weights of your child, we can find a working solution for you. The Monterey is an extremely wide booster and not at all suited to three-across.

  8. #7
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    As others have said you can't use the extenders with the boosters. If you tell us what seats and kids-age,weight, torso height- that would help us with your situation. A narrower booster might work. Or if you have other harnessed kids, putting 3 across in harnesses is usually easier.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  9. #8
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    Question Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    Crap, now I'm really worried. I was under the impression that with the Monterey's 15" footprint, there wasn't anything slimmer than that in the way of a booster. We do also own a Graco TurboBooster and an Evenflo booster (not sure of the style name).

    In the back row I have:
    DS - almost 7 - approx. 55 lbs. - Monterey
    DD - almost 4 - approx. 40 lbs. - Radian
    DS - 5.5 - approx. 50 lbs. - Monterey

    In the middle row captain's chairs, I have DD - 2 - Triumph and new baby on the way that will use a Graco infant carrier.

    PLEASE HELP!!!
    Melissa

  10. #9
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    How about three Radians across the back -- 5yo FF/ 2yo RF/ 4yo FF, 7yo booster captain's chair, and baby bucket in the other captain's chair?
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  11. #10
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    I thought about buying more Radians, but I don't understand how they will fit if the Montereys don't work. According to elitecarseats, the base of the Radian is 17 inches as opposed to just 15 inches on the Monteray. Is it because the Radian is slimmer all the way up to the shoulders and no arm rests? I think even so, 17x3 is 51 which is 1 inch too big for my back seat.

    How in the world will I get to the backseat to buckle my rear-facing 2 yo...I guess I could open the back of the van to do it?

    When will the 2 yo have to turn forward-facing and what will that do to the car seat arrangements?

    This is so stressful.

  12. #11
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    Did you just buy the boosters? Can you return one of them to help pay for a different seat? The radian is the most narrow. Another cheaper option would be the safety1st avenue. It has a nice tall shell, rf to 35# and ff to 40#.
    Stefanie - CPST in Iowa
    mom to dd 11,/00, ds 11/01, ds 3/06, dd 04/07, dd 08/12 (radian rxt) ds 12/13 (evenflo sureride)

  13. #12
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    Re: Car Seatbelt Buckle Resting on Child's Hip OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Crap, now I'm really worried. I was under the impression that with the Monterey's 15" footprint, there wasn't anything slimmer than that in the way of a booster. We do also own a Graco TurboBooster and an Evenflo booster (not sure of the style name).

    In the back row I have:
    DS - almost 7 - approx. 55 lbs. - Monterey
    DD - almost 4 - approx. 40 lbs. - Radian
    DS - 5.5 - approx. 50 lbs. - Monterey

    In the middle row captain's chairs, I have DD - 2 - Triumph and new baby on the way that will use a Graco infant carrier.

    PLEASE HELP!!!
    Melissa

    I would put the four year old and the five year old outboard in Radians in the third row and the two year old rear facing in a third Radian between them

    In the middle row I would put your seven year old in the Monterey and the baby in the bucket. That will make it easy to slide the middle seats forward to access the rear seats for your 'middle kids'.

    If you want to keep your five year old in a booster, the Graco Turbobooster should fit outboard pretty well next to a rear facing Radian.

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