17 month old on school bus?


New member
Well my kid isn't going to be 50 pounds any time soon or even before the end of grade school. I sure as heck am not driving my kids to all different schools every morning and picking them up in the afternoon (they are going to different schools not even close to eachother yet get out at the same time. I can't be both places at once) when there is a perfectly good bus that can pick them both up and drop them off.

Of hundreds of accidents I've been on in 8 years on the fire department, on busy rural highways, side streets, non divided free way systems and busy city streets, I've yet to ever be on even a school bus fender bender.

I guess I'm not too worried. In fact both my kids went on a school bus yesterday and I never thought twice. They are 2 and 3 and weigh about 26-28 lbs each.

Doesn't worry me. There are bigger fish to fry


Well-known member
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...

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.
:p yes, ok - I didn't really intend to imply that the car would be the best option overall, necessarily. I was not saying that buses were not great option, statistically. I was just trying to point out that compartmentalization does not work so well not only due to size but to circumstance. Maybe I am just getting my points garbled because my points on this issue are pretty random and un-defined... :eek:

I feel about this about the same way I do about air travel, I guess. Yes it is insanely safe statistically speaking, but I still feel that if we can do better, we probably should. I guess I also expect the possibility of a bus rollover more easily since I remember being in junior high school and hearing about a bus from our school rolling over into the ditch due to bad roads (no injuries to speak of since roads were bad and the bus was going pretty slowly but it just made the prospect of this happening much more REAL).

I am totally rambling. Oops. I just wanted to muddle my message even more I guess. :rolleyes:


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:

Sure it can. There are also plausible situations where a child is safer unrestrained in a car than in a car seat! That doesn't mean car seats are unsafe- it's faulty logic.

The real life data shows that school bus travel, and more generally bus travel, is very safe. Sure, you can always be safER, but I would imagine an infants overall risk of being killed or seriously injured in a car properly restrained was higher or at least equal to that infants overall risk of being killed or seriously injured in a bus unrestrained.

But, of course use a car seat on a bus when you can- especially for an infant or small child!


Well-known member
Sure it can. There are also plausible situations where a child is safer unrestrained in a car than in a car seat! That doesn't mean car seats are unsafe- it's faulty logic.
Yes, I know. I wasn't really trying to say that I didn't agree that the bus was safer overall. I was merely pointing out a case in which a bus would not provide very good protection. It was a random comment without any intent to participate in the discussion. :eek: It was my touchy-feely reaction to the thought of unrestrained babies in buses. NOT a logical argument. I'm going to shut up now because this is pointless, really, I just wanted to clarify my intent (or lack thereof). (I think I am feeling defensive because I threw an off-hand statement into a serious discussion and was strangely not actually expecting anyone to pay me any mind... my mind was on other things.)


Senior Community Member
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.

Buses are still 8 times safer than family cars -- less likely to crash in the first place & so much heavier to withstand greater crash force.

The above recommendation is based on the fact that the average age at which children are 50# is 6 yrs old. Perhaps a better wording would be that school buses are designed to protect kids who are at least as tall as the average 1st grader.

Kids smaller than the average 1st grader are at more risk of submarining down, under seats, becoming trapped. Tall enough kids are protected via compartmentalization: the seats are tall & close together so the child's whole body absorbs the crash force (rather than only the head/spine when using merely a lap only belt)

This is why I have visited one of the local bus garages to make sure they are set up with appropriate restraint options for preschoolers & will soon be visiting another bus garage for the same purpose.


Well-known member
Keep in mind that one of the laws regarding school buses now requires (at the federal level) that Head Start students be harnessed. Many states manage to slip through a loophold by not calling pre-K programs "Head Start" and thus not being required to harness these small children.

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