OT- Car safety ? UPDATE-in last post :)

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Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007
OT- Car safety ? UPDATE-in last post :)

Off topic post....but....So I was going to post this on the child safety board, but I decided maybe I would not get a response, seeing as the latest posts were something like 2008 :/ So for BTDT moms, I have a question for you about car seating arrangements. I have 4 kids currently and an 8 seat Yukon. I still have my 19 month old RFing--the only place I can put his seat RF is in the middle row, middle seat-it doesn't fit anywhere else RF. So DS1 (9.5 yrs) sits behind the driver in a low back booster and my almost 8 and 5 yo sit in the 3rd row in high back boosters. School has started and I found out my 3rd and 4th graders can walk my kindergartener into the K gate and drop him off so I am allowed to use the "kiss and go" lane to drop off (in our rainy weather its very nice so I dont have to pull toddlers and eventually this baby out in the rain to walk up). The problem is I cannot let any kids get out of the car on the driver side, only on the curb side. Last year it was fine, ds1 just sat on the passenger side. This year, my neighbor wants to carpool and she has 2 kids. Which would put my car at full capacity. I can't let anyone sit behind the driver seat because they can't get out on the passenger side because of the RF seat--can't get past it. But I can't move the RF seat behind the driver. So I basically feel like I have 2 options--turn the toddler around before 2 so he can sit behind me (driver) so that all the kids have access to the passenger door. OR leave him in the middle and have my oldest sit in the front seat on the way to school. We take "neighborhood roads" that are 20 mph to get the the school which is just less than a mile away. Do I let ds1 sit in the front during that short drive to allow my 19 month old to RF longer?? Or do I turn him around for every car ride (including freeway, all around town, etc) so that my 9 yo (will be 10 in Feb) will be able to be in the back seat for that mile ride to school the days I drive the carpool? I was hoping to get the baby to 2 at least (if not the limit of his seat) RFing... :/ What would you do??? Oh, and then there's the problem of March--and new baby. In which case, carpooling will either have to stop or I let my then 10 year old sit in front for the drive to school.

Joined: 05/22/13
Posts: 349

Hmm that's tough.... What seat is you rear faced child in? Could you go to a car seat tech and see if they have any suggestions?

Stormy Weather's picture
Joined: 10/03/09
Posts: 326

I have a rear facing three year old and I can understand how you feel. We shared a car the other day and he was in a friend's car facing forwards in the seat behind mine. It just didn't feel right. I hated it and worried all the way (although it was a fast road for 30 mins).

I definitely wouldn't forward face that young, or fiddle around changing the direction each morning. If it was me and if it's a short, around the town trip, I'd put an older child in the front seat, but I say that partly because I don't have a child that age yet, and I don't know the safety concerns for that age group yet. What's the reason for not putting him in the front seat? Is it his height, or an airbag? If it's the seatbelt height, can you buy something to adjust it at all? Could the airbag be switched off if it's the airbag that's the issue?

Another suggestion. With our car you can ask the garage to turn off the passenger airbag so you can put a rear facing child seat in the front passenger seat. This is how they most commonly seat small babies and children in Scandinavia, so the driver can see them. Obviously with the airbag permanently switched off. Then all the other kids could go in the back and get out on the right side. Might be worth a look to see if that's possible.

xxx

Lil Momma 1991's picture
Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 444

I would put your youngest forward facing. It's really not safe to have kids that young in the front seat. Even if your only going 20. If you were to get in a wreck where the air bags coukd deploy it could be very bad. His neck isn't strong enough to handle the force of an airbag. And the spinal colum would be a huge worry of mine. I think your youngest is safer forward then your oldest is in the front. Do some research on younger children in the front seat. The other option is to not car pool if your not comfortable with either of these.

So I just ran out to our cars to check out of curiosity. We don't have the option to turn off the passanger airbags if someone is there. We have a 2013 fushion and a 2011 escape.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

I know my car (2010 Ford Fusion) puts a light on telling me the passenger air bag is off if I have something lightweight on that seat (like a bag or box), as if it senses the weight and determines that airbag is not appropriate for that sized or weighted passenger (if it were a person). Maybe your vehicle would automatically sense that your older son is not big enough for the airbag to safely deploy but I would double check the manual and call the maufacturer customer service. My guess is most recently new cars have this feature to shutoff the airbag in those case and it was more of an issue with the older cars that could not sense weight and had an airbag that automatically deployed no matter what.

stbernardlover's picture
Joined: 03/02/12
Posts: 277

I also would it put the younger forward facing. It's not just the airbag issue, which is a biggie. But if you get into a forward collision, He is exposed to all of the glass and trauma from anything coming through the glass. There's no protection from another seat as a barrier. Much higher likelihood of getting impaled by something or losing an eye to glass.
At 19 months old, in a well made car seat, that kid has much less of a change in safety levels than the exposure to the old kid. There are more bars in the side of the backseat to protect kids, not as much glass, no airbags, etc. so the little one is still really well off even forward facing.

ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713

Could you just let a child climb over the seat instead of trying to climb around the rf seat? Then you can still keep everyone where they are. I have a friend with a similar situation and that is what she does. One kid just climbs over the seat to get in and out of that seat spot.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

:lurk:

I would base it on the height/weight of your oldest, if over 4'9" or 90 lbs then they will be fine in the front seat for the short drive. Our 15 year old babysitter turns off the airbags in our cars as she is under 100 lbs. I would also put the seat as far back as you can if you cannot turn off the front air bag.

Joined: 01/12/06
Posts: 61

Lurker

I know you said that a child can't climb around the rear facing seat when its in the middle but couldn't they get on there hands and knees and crawl under it along the floor boards. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination but everyone would be as safe as possible during the car ride itself.

Joined: 01/12/06
Posts: 61

Lurker

I know you said that a child can't climb around the rear facing seat when its in the middle but couldn't they get on there hands and knees and crawl under it along the floor boards. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination but everyone would be as safe as possible during the car ride itself.

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

I would have to check if the airbags turn off with his weight. He is not very heavy. I am really feeling safer with him in the front for the short 4 block drive twice a week than turning the baby around on every car ride always. No one can really crawl under the seat or climb over the baby. The neighborhood roads are so slow and with hardly any traffic, until you get to the 5mph school backup. There are speed bumps every block so it keeps the traffic really slow. Like I said, these are neighborhood roads with houses everywhere, two stop signs, no lights etc.

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

I fiddled around with the seating in the car last night--and was able to RF my toddler behind the driver seat!

So now everyone can sit in back and RF the toddler. But does anyone know if it is ok if the RF seat touches the back of the front seat, as long as it is still to the correct angle of recline?

Stormy Weather's picture
Joined: 10/03/09
Posts: 326

What make of seat is it Holly?

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

It is a Safety 1st convertible seat. It is a couple years old, but not quite to the expiration. I got it when my 5 year old turned 1, so 4 year old seat. It isn't the fanciest or most expensive seat, but it was what we could get at the time and it was skinny enough to fit 3 across before we upgraded cars.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"HollyBear" wrote:

But does anyone know if it is ok if the RF seat touches the back of the front seat, as long as it is still to the correct angle of recline?

I hope so because our car seat does! It is the only way we can get his Britax convertible seat to fit in both our cars without the front passenger having to sit with their legs all scrunched up if the person is average height or taller. I think as long as the passenger/driver seat does not push against as to cause the car seat to tilt and the car seat is at the correct angle as you stated, it is okay.

Lil Momma 1991's picture
Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 444

Depends on the car seat and the car Smile

Child Carseat Safety FAQ

Check out Q48. Smile My best suggestion would be to check the manual on your car.