Question Just a random question...adults and belt fit.

MamaErin

New member
So I am just a bit curious about belt fit. What exactly is acceptable? I always hear "touching the thighs" and "center of the shoulder/collarbone"... does that mean fully on the thighs or just touching? I just wonder because I see a lot of people post pictures of kids in boosters asking if the belt fit is good and everyone says no but a lot of those pictures look exactly like how the belts in my car fit me...and I'm 5'5! I guess I just don't see how kids are ever supposed to 5 step if I apparently don't even 5 step...? Are you supposed to purposely push the belt down to your thighs when you buckle in? I have tried that before and it doesn't stay there. It really has me wondering if I have been doing something wrong with my own seat belt all this time? I thought it was as simple as buckling in....so now I am genuinely curious.
 
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Athena

New member
Good question! I know I do purposely take the time to position my belt the best I can. It's no wonder it takes us forever to get out of a parking lot. :D
 

jgomez411

New member
I was just wondering that too! I am 5'3" and the shoulder belt ALWAYS hits me wrong, like going above my collarbone into my neck. I've tried adjusting the seat height and the height of the seat belt when I can but nothing works and I'm constantly readjusting to try and get the right fit!
 

tiggercat

New member
Adult pelvis and children's pelvises differ because of size, and also in shape and strength because children (obviously) have not yet gone through puberty.
This discussion might help a bit:

http://vicarseattechs.com/2012/to-booster-or-not-to-booster/

For adults, you do want that lap belt low on the hips, and the bottom touching the thighs. There is a bit more wiggle room than with kids simply because the pelvis itself is bigger and the hip bones are more developed and hold the belt down. However, I do pay careful attention when putting on my belt, as low as I can get it, flat and snug.
For kids, the "good strong load bearing" area of the hips is so small, there is little margin for error. That lap belt should be down low right where the hip/thigh meet.

As for shoulder belt fit, it's not so much a safety concern to have the belt slightly rubbing the neck. It is annoying and causes some people to put the belt under the arm or behind the shoulder, which of course are very dangerous places for the shoulder belt!

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joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
I'm always tugging at my belt to make it fit right, and I'm 5-7! Some cars are just simply awful, especially some back seats where it seems almost no engineering nor thought to a person's shape has been accounted for (99 volvo s80, it was ON my stomach and neck in the middle seat. lame, lol).
I think this is why it's now been required that belts have adjustable height anchors, and a lot of belts are forward of the bight (so they lay more on the thighs, not the belly). Not that most of us can go out and buy a new car just for a better fitting seatbelt :rolleyes:
 

nannykates

New member
I never knew what a belt was supposed to feel like until I started driving my accord and twisted the adjustment to raise the butt part of the seat (adjusting from a minivan I felt like I was sitting on the floor). It was kinda crazy.
 

Meg

New member
For kids, the "good strong load bearing" area of the hips is so small, there is little margin for error. That lap belt should be down low right where the hip/thigh meet.

Belt fit has me confused.. I have a new booster rider and I thought I was doing things perfectly with the belt sitting where his hips/thighs meet, but then I see "proper belt fit" pics floating around on here and FB where it shows the belt laying completely flat on the thighs and it had me questioning things. (So, the lap belt is parallel to the ground, if that makes sense.) That link you posted shows a pic that shows the belt fitting the same way my son's belt fit, so I hope that means we are doing it right then!
 

Brianna

New member
Belt fit has me confused.. I have a new booster rider and I thought I was doing things perfectly with the belt sitting where his hips/thighs meet, but then I see "proper belt fit" pics floating around on here and FB where it shows the belt laying completely flat on the thighs and it had me questioning things. (So, the lap belt is parallel to the ground, if that makes sense.) That link you posted shows a pic that shows the belt fitting the same way my son's belt fit, so I hope that means we are doing it right then!

The IIHS shows a range for good lap belt fit here http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/boosters/pdfs/IIHS_Booster_Rating_Guidelines_0811.pdf
 

tiggercat

New member
Belt fit has me confused.. I have a new booster rider and I thought I was doing things perfectly with the belt sitting where his hips/thighs meet, but then I see "proper belt fit" pics floating around on here and FB where it shows the belt laying completely flat on the thighs and it had me questioning things. (So, the lap belt is parallel to the ground, if that makes sense.) That link you posted shows a pic that shows the belt fitting the same way my son's belt fit, so I hope that means we are doing it right then!

I, personally, don't like the lap belt so far down that it is fully on the thighs (parallel to the ground as you said). The child will then be able to slide forward before being caught by the seatbelt. On the hip, so the bottom edge is touching the thighs is where I like it. The IIHS paper someone linked to has a great description of ideal belt fit, with a scoring protocol that takes some of the guess work out of it.

Belt fit is a bit subjective, especially in pictures, which is why responses can depend on who is answering the post, kwim?

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Meg

New member
that link was extremely helpful! Thanks! :D I've been seeing pics with the belt at the 50-100 zone and that's why I was confused. Arden's belt is in the 20-40 zone, so it looks like we're doing good then. :thumbsup:

I, personally, don't like the lap belt so far down that it is fully on the thighs (parallel to the ground as you said). The child will then be able to slide forward before being caught by the seatbelt. On the hip, so the bottom edge is touching the thighs is where I like it. The IIHS paper someone linked to has a great description of ideal belt fit, with a scoring protocol that takes some of the guess work out of it.

Belt fit is a bit subjective, especially in pictures, which is why responses can depend on who is answering the post, kwim?

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Thanks for your help! I'm new to boostering and was unsure about the "perfect" fit, but I feel confident now after seeing the links. ;)
 

MamaErin

New member
I'm glad other people were wondering too! I thought it was going to sound like a dumb question at first...an adult that doesn't know how to use their seat belt! I just really didn't get why it was not acceptable in all the 5 step pictures but my vehicle fits me that way. It makes sense that there is a wider range of acceptable for adults! Thanks.
 

MUTigers

New member
I'm glad other people were wondering too! I thought it was going to sound like a dumb question at first...an adult that doesn't know how to use their seat belt! I just really didn't get why it was not acceptable in all the 5 step pictures but my vehicle fits me that way. It makes sense that there is a wider range of acceptable for adults! Thanks.

Personally, I'm really glad you asked! I've been wondering the same thing and also thought it was stupid to ask. I'm glad to know my seat belt fits me correctly! Thanks for asking!
 

tiggercat

New member
There are NO stupid questions! Not one! Please ask if there is something you are unsure about.

No matter how long you're involved in CPS, there is always more to learn, and if you are wondering, chances are someone else reading along has had the same question as well :)

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casmari04

New member
What do you do with really short adults riding as passengers? I am 19, but I am only 55.25" tall(seated shoulder height ~ 18 inches), and I weigh about 86 pounds. When I ride in either the front or back seat there is no position that fits me well. Should I approach my parents and tell them that I should sit in a booster when riding in the car as a passenger, or should I just let it go? The seat belt cuts across my neck, and rides across my belly button.
I have tried out the Britax SGL and Britax Frontier 85 we have, both seats work wonderfully; I like that I can see out of the front windshield when I sit in them. I just can't see myself telling my parents that I should start riding in a booster seat, because it would be safer for me.
 

bnsnyde

New member
I never feel it's a good fit for me. The shoulder belt is perfect, but the lap belt I'm always trying to shove down. If I had a booster like the kids the belt would not be so near my stomach! I am 5' 8" and 130 lbs. normally.

Just had baby and when pregnant the belt was over baby pretty much, and I kept trying to shove it down. I am so glad she's in a carseat now!
 

jeminijad

New member
What do you do with really short adults riding as passengers? I am 19, but I am only 55.25" tall(seated shoulder height ~ 18 inches), and I weigh about 86 pounds. When I ride in either the front or back seat there is no position that fits me well. Should I approach my parents and tell them that I should sit in a booster when riding in the car as a passenger, or should I just let it go? The seat belt cuts across my neck, and rides across my belly button.
I have tried out the Britax SGL and Britax Frontier 85 we have, both seats work wonderfully; I like that I can see out of the front windshield when I sit in them. I just can't see myself telling my parents that I should start riding in a booster seat, because it would be safer for me.

At 19, it isn't really something you need permission for, is it? There are a few backless boosters in adult color schemes that are inexpensive. Are you concerned that your parents would actually try to forbid it for some reason?
 

Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
I like the suggestion of an Olympian. I am 5'4" and have considered purchasing one for myself. It is like a super sized Literider. I am a bit too heavy (read: wide, not label-weight, which I would disregard) to fit in it though.
 

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