17 month old on school bus?

rverrone11

New member
Dh and I are taking our students on a field trip tomorrow. DD (who is 17 months) is going with us because she goes to school with us anyway. I want to drive separately with DD so she can be in her RFing carseat. I know that it's generally safer for kids to ride on a bus but what about infants? I don't believe there are any kind of harnesses or anything on our bus. So am I right that DD is safer with me in the car?
 
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Gypsy

Senior Community Member
If there are seatbelts, you can install her carseat.

If there is nothing, then you need to drive separately.

School buses are only safe for kids above 50 pounds.
 

rverrone11

New member
If there are seatbelts, you can install her carseat.

If there is nothing, then you need to drive separately.

School buses are only safe for kids above 50 pounds.


Thank you for the reply. I'm not sure if there are seatbelts on the particular bus we are getting. If there are, I have a Britax Roundabout, so that installs pretty easily in most cases. I'm going to try to find out about seatbelts so hopefully I can have a plan in place before tomorrow morning.
 

emandbri

Well-known member
A lot of school buses have one seat behind the driver with a seat belt. It is there so moms with young kids could be school bus drivers and take their kids on their routes. It wouldn't hurt to ask if this bus has one.
 

rverrone11

New member
A lot of school buses have one seat behind the driver with a seat belt. It is there so moms with young kids could be school bus drivers and take their kids on their routes. It wouldn't hurt to ask if this bus has one.

That is great to know, and I guess it makes sense. I'll give our bus mechanic a call this afternoon.
 

rverrone11

New member
Just curious as to wether your bus had a seatbelt or not? Thanks!

It did have a seatbelt, and everything worked out well. The Roundabout fit perfectly RFing on the bus. The bus mechanic told me that if the bus didn't have a seat belt that he could have installed one for me.
 

Pixels

New member
That would depend on what type of seats are on the bus. There are two types of bus seats, one is not reinforced for seatbelts, the other is reinforced.
 

rverrone11

New member
I wasn't quite sure how he could install one if there wasn't one, but since there was one I didn't have to worry about it. I hope he knows the difference between reinforced and not reinforced...he is also a CPS Tech so I do hope he knows what he is doing.
 

MonsterMom6

New member
School buses are only safe for kids above 50 pounds.

Is this REALLY true? How can they justify putting Kindy's and other small children on a bus? My DS is 8.5 and only about 48#. He's very light and not average, but there are enough K, 1, & 2 graders that aren't anywhere close to 50#. And our buses have no belts or restraints- maybe the front row???
 

Jennee

New member
I wasn't quite sure how he could install one if there wasn't one, but since there was one I didn't have to worry about it. I hope he knows the difference between reinforced and not reinforced...he is also a CPS Tech so I do hope he knows what he is doing.

we have a community wheels bus here and we have installed straps to buckle car seats into the bus. the driver lifted up the seat and attached the strap to the bar in the back, put the seat back down and we put our seat in and threaded the strap through the right part of the seat and he tightened it. those seats werent going anywhere.
(there was 2 of us, one who put hers in rf and i put mine in ff)
 

Evolily

New member
Remember, school buses are extremely safe. Even buses that do not have compartmentalization like city buses are very safe. It's arguable that some or all passengers would be safer with a 3 point or 5 point harness on the bus, but even without that buses are still extremely safe. Kids under 50 lbs, and even kids under 40 lbs ride buses every day and are arguably safer on those buses than they are in vehicles if you look at the real life data. If a sedan hits a passenger van the passenger van wins- if a bus hits a passenger van the bus wins :eek: .

C rides a bus every day at around 38 lbs- A will start riding in the fall and is currently about 34 lbs- depending on the day and bus assigned they may have a 2 point, 3 point, or no restraint on the bus. I worry more about the 2 point than unrestrained, but I'd personally prefer a 3 or 5 point daily :). I feel safer with them on the bus unrestrained that properly restrained in a car.
 
If there are seatbelts, you can install her carseat.

If there is nothing, then you need to drive separately.

School buses are only safe for kids above 50 pounds.

:eek:WAIT! I was told that it was SAFE for Michael to ride on a school bus. He was 48 pounds at the start of school. Now, he is 51 pounds(bounces between 48-51 pounds). He rides with a lap belt on the way to school and nothing on the way back.

Logan will be no where near 50 pounds for kindergarten!
 

agurlsride

New member
If there are seatbelts, you can install her carseat.

If there is nothing, then you need to drive separately.

School buses are only safe for kids above 50 pounds.

Ok, I know this is an old post but I just noticed that you said that buses are only safe for kids above 50lbs...so does that mean my 6 and 8yr olds are not safe on the bus (they are 44 and 45lbs)? As you know, they take the bus on field trips here (ID)...now I'm worried.
 

Evolily

New member
:eek:WAIT! I was told that it was SAFE for Michael to ride on a school bus. He was 48 pounds at the start of school. Now, he is 51 pounds(bounces between 48-51 pounds). He rides with a lap belt on the way to school and nothing on the way back.

Logan will be no where near 50 pounds for kindergarten!

Here are some older threads
http://www.car-seat.org/archive/index.php/t-2166.html
http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=20671
http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=75544

There is no evidence that school buses are unsafe. Frankly, although I am NOT a tech, I disagree that an infant would be safer in a car in a car seat than on a bus unrestrained- I would tend to side with the bus being the safer option. Although a child would be safest in the bus restrained in a car seat :) . The recommendation is for preschool children under 50 lbs to ride in car seats on buses. That doesn't mean they are unsafe, though- buses are inherently safe.
 

mommycat

Well-known member
"I disagree that an infant would be safer in a car in a car seat than on a bus unrestrained- I would tend to side with the bus being the safer option."
I don't really know the full range of the answer to this question BUT your statement would definitely not hold true should the bus happen to roll over, which may not be common but it CAN happen. I would not want my infant to be unrestrained on a bus in a rollover. :twocents:
 

Qarin

New member
"I disagree that an infant would be safer in a car in a car seat than on a bus unrestrained- I would tend to side with the bus being the safer option."
I don't really know the full range of the answer to this question BUT your statement would definitely not hold true should the bus happen to roll over, which may not be common but it CAN happen. I would not want my infant to be unrestrained on a bus in a rollover. :twocents:

Well... sure.

But you wouldn't want your infant to be rearfacing in the back seat of a car when it spins out and is impaled through the back window by a railroad crossing arm, either, but obviously that doesn't happen very often...

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/MARC-Train-Strikes-Car-in-Rockville.html

(Fortunately, in this accident, the only baby involved was safely ensconced in its mother's uterus in the driver's seat!)

So the point is, it's about over-all relative risk- the result of an unrestrained infant in a rollover school bus accident would likely be devastating, but the chances of that happening are actually, apparently, lower than a devastating accident while restrained in a passenger car.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Schoolbuses are safe for those children who are the size it is designed for. 50 lbs. is a guideline, it is not hard and fast. If a child is very skinny and is not 50 lbs., but is tall enough, compartmentalization will still work pretty darned well. The reason "preschool aged" children are not supposed to be unrestrained on the bus is threefold. One, they are often too small (both under 50 lbs. AND too short for the way the buses were designed to contain to work properly); two, they are younger and we all know that as we get older our bone structure gets sturdier; three, they are less likely to be able to sit properly during the trip (the same reason they shouldn't be using boosters in cars.)

At least, that is what I understand after discussing it in my tech class last week. :) Of course IANAE, but I would be totally comfortable with a seven year old or ten year old who was about the same height as his peers, or even at the low end of the curve but normal, and was able to sit properly in his seat on the bus riding the bus unrestrained, even if he was under 50 lbs. :twocents: Yes, rollovers are worse for everyone, but thankfully schoolbus rollovers are very very uncommon.
 

Qarin

New member
Here are the two links I've seen linked to about "preschool aged children" and school buses:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/buses/Guide1999/prekfinal.htm

http://www2.nsc.org/library/facts/scbusinf.htm

In the first one, the only reference to "50lbs" is in defining what a "Child Safety Restraint System" is. The second one, from the National Safety Council, claims that the NHTSA "defines 'pre-school' as children under 50 pounds", but it seems to be referencing the same document as the first link is, and my interpretation of the NHTSA guidelines is rather different from the NSC's- I see the NHTSA talking about "preschool age", and was using the "preschool" dummy (which is, I believe, the 3yo one- what does that one weigh?), and the only real reference to weight is in that definition of what a child safety restraint system is.

I note also that the guideline document was written in 1999- in the past 10 years, it does seem that "preschoolers" are transported without harnesses or car seats less often that it seems they used to be (not sure about that- I wasn't paying much attention to kids before around 2001...), while k-12 continue to be transported primarily in school buses utilizing only compartmentalization, with good morbidity and mortality stats.
 

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