in not allowing my small dd (reception) on the coach

(61 Posts)
TokenGirl1 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:44:47

for a school trip and driving her instead? The coach only has lap belts and the school don't want her to use a booster seat.

She is the size/weight of an average 3 year old. In my opinion, if there is an accident she could be seriously injured wearing a lap belt around her abdomen as the belt is provided for adults not small children.

I'm sure they think I'm being overprotective but I've read the advice on car seats and there's a reason why small children are not supposed use belts around their abdomen.

MrsUptight Wed 18-Dec-13 11:46:15

YABU. They can't allow ONE child to use a booster! If you want her to miss out, then it's up to you of course.

kinkychristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 11:47:05

She's your child, do what you are comfortable with.

TokenGirl1 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:47:26

She won't be missing out, I'd drive her, drop her off and pick her up at the end.

LifeofPo Wed 18-Dec-13 11:47:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HankyScore Wed 18-Dec-13 11:48:43

Lap belts are horrendously dangerous even for bigger kids (and adults).

Yanbu at all.

crikeybadger Wed 18-Dec-13 11:48:47

If you feel reassured by driving her then do it. smile

procrastinatingagain Wed 18-Dec-13 11:49:08

YANBU. It doesn't sound safe for your daughter. She won't miss out if you drive her there anyway.

YABU - the bus trip is the most fun part & she'll feel left out if you push this point.
You sound very overprotective

Bramshott Wed 18-Dec-13 11:51:18

If that's what you feel most comfortable with, and the school are happy, there's no reason why you shouldn't. It might be worth checking about the belts though - most coaches have shoulder and lap belts these days.

I do have some sympathy as DD2 is very small (just over 1 metre aged 6 1/2), but coaches are statistically very safe - they are driven by professional drivers, generally fairly slowly, and are very robust in the event of a crash.

procrastinatingagain Wed 18-Dec-13 11:52:13

Isn't the problem that on adults the lap belt goes across the pelvis/top of thighs area, but on small children the belt goes across the abdomen, so it there is a collision, all the impact is absorbed by the internal organs? Doesn't sound too OTT to be worried about this imo.

WilsonFrickett Wed 18-Dec-13 11:55:17

If you want to drive her, that's fine. However, the horror stories you hear about wrt to coach crashes almost always involve motorway driving/driving in bad weather/driving overnight to catch ferries abroad etc. The risk of a coach going from your DD's school (to the panto I assume?) in the next town being involved in a crash is tiny.

Last year DS school cancelled a trip where they were all going to go on the normal bus because of bad weather. The buses were still running but they felt the risk was too high.

TokenGirl1 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:55:17

That's exactly it procrastinating. That is my only reasont o be concerned. I'm happy for her to go on the trip apart from that.

littleducks Wed 18-Dec-13 11:56:57

It's not a good idea, half the trip fun is singing songs on the bus. DS knows all the landmarks on the way to butterfly world from his reception trip, the journey is pretty important.
They sit next to their partners who they then walk about with and sometimes in their groups with their adult. I think your dd would miss out and statistically coaches are pretty safe due to their size in the case of a collision.

Ubik1 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:57:26

I'm sure I've read this before....

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:59:02

Cars are about eight times more dangerous per mile than coaches (cars: 6.1 deaths per billion passenger kilometres in 1981 falling to 2.5 in 2006, as seatbelts were introduced and made compulsory), coaches pretty well flat at 0.3 deaths per billion passenger kilometres. (Social Trends 39, ONS).

So you can take your car, but it's much more dangerous than travelling by coach.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 18-Dec-13 11:59:25

all the coaches I have taken children on lately have had adjustable shoulder belts and I have crippled my back by making sure all were appropriately adjusted.

Are you sure about the lap belts? I would not want to send my child on a bus without appropriate safely harnesses.

LifeofPo Wed 18-Dec-13 12:00:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gamerchick Wed 18-Dec-13 12:00:56

The bus bit is one of the best bits.

Lap belts are a horror and I would be very unhappy for my child (or myself for that matter) to use them. I always felt they were dangerous, and I had that confirmed a few weeks ago when I saw an X-ray of a significant spinal fracture (all the way through) which had been caused by a lap strap holding the bottom half still, but allowing the torso to be flung forward. This x-ray was of an adult too! I would also be campaigning to have the school fit 3 point harnesses in the minibus too.

(I'm a medical student BTW...)

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 12:03:06

It's a bit precious tbh.

Yabu and Friday is right statistically you are more dangerous driving her. Also impact in accidents is very different to car impact which with that makes it far safer on a coach and why booster seats are not a requirement on these trips.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 12:05:30

Hi op, dear to my heart as my dd was badly injured on a school trip coach crash. She went through the window as her lap belt snapped.

It's a very very rare occurrence. I know that and you know that. But do what your heart/sense tells you.

Your child your choice.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:06:12

I'm a medical student BTW

Then you'll have access to epidemiologists and medical statisticians who can explain the statistics to you.

A rational response to "lap belts are a bit rubbish" would be to travel by coach, but not fasten the lap belt. It's still massively safer than driving.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 12:07:44

Imho she would be a lot safer on the coach without any seat belt at all than in a car.

I've been on a coach which was run into by a car. Ds and I were at the end where the collision was and we barely felt the bump; if it hadn't been for the noise we wouldn't have realised anything untoward had happened. The car was scrap metal. No way would I want my child in a private car if there was the safer option of a bus, coach or train available.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 12:08:03

I actually do understand where you are coming from.
There are reasons why car seats are important.
They do not become less important on a day trip with school.

NotAsTired Wed 18-Dec-13 12:08:21

When you ask children what they enjoy about the trip, they always talk about the bus/coach ride and it's always the bit that they all remember. She would be missing out on a lot of fun.

Coaches are statistically very safe and plenty of nursery children (yes, 3 year olds) go on coach trips too.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:09:53

There are reasons why car seats are important. They do not become less important on a day trip with school.

Do you worry about the absence of seat belts on trains and buses?

fluffyraggies Wed 18-Dec-13 12:14:05

Why on earth wont the school let you provide a booster seat OP? confused

So what if one parent is allowed to provide one then all parents will? (i very much doubt that would happen anyway - half the parents at our primary don't remember/cant be bothered to send their kids in with a pair of welly's when requested for walks etc.)

IME a coach is provided for the day/morning/afternoon of the trip. Any booster seats can stay on board while the children are doing their activity, and be taken off when they return to school.

I was just trying to explain why I had seen an x-ray like that, that is all!

I agree that car travel is more dangerous than most other forms of transport, and in fact my children travel by bus each day to school and for school trips, so I am personally willing to place the care of my children in a responsible adult.

The issue I have, which I believe is the the OPs worry, is the lap belt. As a mum it would worry me, has worried me in the past and will continue to worry me. I think the likelihood of a crash is very slight, but we all think that don't we? Otherwise who would step out of the door in the morning. But our personal perception of risk often has little to do with the epidemiology. The OP stated her concern, and I think it is valid.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Wed 18-Dec-13 12:15:26

How will a booster seat solve it? Is "size and weight of an average 3 year old" big enough for a booster seat anyway?

A booster seat will not make a difference to a lap belt. Unfortunately booster seats are designed to lift the child up, so that the chest belt is clear of the child's neck (which risks injury if there is a crash with no booster). They should only be used with a 3 point harness.

fluffyraggies Wed 18-Dec-13 12:19:06

I'm guessing the booster seat would raise the child up so that the lap belt would be around the lap and not the abdomen.

( i am just guessing. OP said she wasn't allowed to provide the seat)

Fakebook Wed 18-Dec-13 12:20:47

What if you had an accident whilst driving there?

Everyday we escape death and injuries. We escape death and injuries from the moment we're conceived!

Stop being ott and let the girl have fun on her first school coach trip. I gave dd sweets in her pocket for her first trip.

Fluffyraggies, I guess that might work, but as you point out, only if she was allowed to provide a seat.

bigtimerush Wed 18-Dec-13 12:21:02

As Friday points out, no seat belts on Buses or Trains, do you avoid them as well.

Look, its your child, your decision but honestly the Coach journey is the best part of the trip.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 12:22:18

If it were me I would be looking at the hierarchy of worries, measured against the statistic likelihood of serious injury.

Yes, a lap belt would worry me to some extent.

But the car would worry me far, far more.

thebody Wed 18-Dec-13 12:23:46

Op my dd has been on a coach since the crash. She was terrified,as were we,but she did it. Life has to go on. You can't shield your dcs from all risk.

Can you go on the trip with her as a helper?

fluffyraggies Wed 18-Dec-13 12:23:49

Interested in this now! grin

I found this on a 'child seats and the law' website:

Q: Can I use my booster seat with a lap belt?

A: Booster seats and cushions are usually designed to work with a three point belt and require the diagonal strap to safely restrain an occupant, although there are some Group 2 seats which are crash tested and pass the ECE R44 using just a lap belt.

You should check the instructions for the booster seat to see if it can be used with just a lap belt. If the booster seat or cushion is designed for use with a three point belt only, then you should NOT use it with a lap belt.

OP, if you're worried drive her yourself. Not worth sitting at home fretting. Nothing anyone here can say to stop that happening realistically.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:26:19

Why on earth wont the school let you provide a booster seat

Why would a booster seat make any difference with a lap belt? The belt would be in precisely the same relationship to the child's centre of gravity, and the dynamics of the accident would be exactly the same (OK, fractionally different, as the lap belt would be slightly longer and therefore elongate slightly more during the deceleration).

Booster seats are about the relationship between the user's neck and the diagonal strap, especially when there are pre-tensioners involved.

The dynamics of an accident in a vehicle weighing eighteen tonnes are entirely different to those of an accident in a vehicle weighing a little over a tonne. The main risk in an accident in a coach or train is not fatal impact on the structure of the vehicle, as the deceleration pulse is both longer and lower in magnitude than in a car accident and the energy involved in any impact with the vehicle is much lower, but in being thrown out of the vehicle and injured on the way. Greyrigg was a train travelling at 96mph, with no seatbelts, and the only death was a heart attack suffered by an 84 year old: tragic, of course, but hardly the sort of thing seatbelts would prevent.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 12:27:44

The only reason why coaches and not buses provide seat belts is that coaches are designed to also travel on motorways, that is in places where a collision would have far more serious consequences than when moving slowly through city traffic.

Buses are not fitted with seat belts because they do not make those journeys (and because it would be unworkable with frequent stops and passengers getting on and off).

This does not mean that a coach travelling through a city becomes more dangerous than a bus making its way through the same streets.

Trains are not fitted with seat belts because the risk of collision is judged much less (due to less contact with other traffic).

Cars are fitted with seat belts because they are inherently less safe.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 18-Dec-13 12:30:07

As other posters have said, your DD is more likely to be injured in your car, than in the coach.

YABU.

aciddrops Wed 18-Dec-13 12:31:00

My son was on a school coach trip. The coach crashed into a car. Kids on the coach were fine but all the passengers in the car were taken to hospital. So, if you happen to crash into the coach on your way to the venue, the children inside the coach will probably come off better than your child inside your car.

Does your school own its own minibus?

My school hires them - and I assume they require that they all have 3 point seat belts, because I have seen no other kinds of restraint. My school also provides boosters for the smaller children. Surely in this day and age, providing appropriate seat belts for children should be at least common sense, if not mandatory?

Once upon a time, we would have be thought as being weird just for strapping our kids into a seat belt in the back seat of a car (remembers time my parents used to let us ride in the boot with the luggage!) However, things move on! Maybe one day we will have seat belts in buses and trains too?

sashh Wed 18-Dec-13 12:40:41

if there is an accident she could be seriously injured wearing a lap belt around her abdomen

No one, adult or child should have a strap around their abdomen, it's called a lap strap for a reason.

onlyfortonight

In that X-Ray was the strap being used properly? The way it is used is the important bit. And a spinal injury is still better than being flung through the windscreen, something you probably have not seen but would have been common had you trained 30 years ago.

HeadfirstThroughTheTimeVortex Wed 18-Dec-13 12:48:54

The coach is the best bit. It is also a far safer way to travel and a booster seat is not necessary.

You can't compare needing a booster in a car to needing one on a coach, they are totally different.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 12:59:32

Maybe one day we will have seat belts in buses and trains too?

Over the last ten years, how many rail passengers have died in train accidents?

2012: 0
2011: 0
2010: 0 (the death that year was a passenger in a car hit on a level crossing)
2009: 0 (one track worker was killed during a possession, and a pedestrian was killed crossing the track)
2008: 0
2007: 1 (a heart attack after Greyrigg, there was also a track worker death if memory serves)
2006: 0 (a volunteer was killed on a heritage railway in a shunting accident)
2005: 0
2004: 5 is the last fatal accident involving people killed where a seatbelt could have been remotely relevant, with 7 deaths at Ufton Nervet including 5 passengers, after someone killed themselves by parking their car on a level crossing.
2003: 0 (although there two level crossing accidents which killed the passengers in cars and minibuses)
2002: the last major UK rail accident, which is 7 deaths at Potters Bar, on the sort of intense commuter service which would be the very last to be plausibly fitted with seatbelts.

So if you have the most astoundingly effective seatbelts which were always worn, always effective and never had side effects, you could reckon on one death year being prevented.

If you want to spend money on rail safety, you remove level crossings.

formerbabe Wed 18-Dec-13 13:00:29

I don't ever remember even wearing a seat belt as a child whilst on a coach. I can see why you are worried op but if I was you, I would let her go.

TokenGirl1 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:01:46

I asked for her not to wear the lap belt but they refused as they think it's safer with it, I don't.

On the odd occasion we use the bus/train we sit rear facing so any impact the would thrown into the back of the chair.

The only reason I know about the dangers odd incorrect seatbelts in travel is because s friend of mine is a physio for children. She told me her child would rear face in a car until at least four because of the number of children she sees with spinal injuries. When I researched it, I was horrified by what I saw on some of the injuries from inappropriate restraints.

frogspoon Wed 18-Dec-13 13:01:56

onlyfortonight if a lap strap caused a spinal fracture by preventing the lower half from moving, whilst the torso was thrust forward at high speed, equally couldn't a 3 point seatbelt cause a cervical (neck) fracture as just the head is thrust forward. Whiplash is a well known medical condition caused by minor car accidents, surely if the force was greater, this injury could result, and potentially could be far more serious as could cause tetraplegia instead of paraplegia.

(not a doctor, just making an intelligent assumption)

Also would agree with everyone saying coach is safer than car. It's basic physics of momentum.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:05:42

equally couldn't a 3 point seatbelt cause a cervical (neck) fracture as just the head is thrust forward

That's the reason why seat belts have some give in them, to lengthen the deceleration pulse. When there's a risk of very high forces on your neck, either because of high speed or because of the extra weight of a helmet, then you get into the world of HANS devices, which go under the shoulder straps of a five or six point harness and hold the helmet in place. Hardly likely for street use, I would hazard.

CrohnicallySick Wed 18-Dec-13 13:09:07

The lap belts on a coach do go across the child's lap not abdomen, the way they are fitted in the coach is slightly different to a car. In a car the belt fastens to a point between the seat and the back. On a coach the belt is fastened to a point at the side of the seat, bringing it further forward and down compared with a car. I have fastened many children (age 4 up, and yes some are small) into coach seats and all of them fasten across the child's pelvis/ hip bones as it is designed to.

And has been previously said, the forces involved in a crash in a coach are less than in the car- the coach will not decelerate as quickly as a car (unless you were to hit a stationary object like a bridge, which would be less likely in the coach than the car as the driver is more highly trained, plus schools vet coach companies) and it is the deceleration that throws you forward in your seat.

CrohnicallySick Wed 18-Dec-13 13:13:41

Friday- and that's the reason why we don't use a conventional harness stage 1 seat for our DD. The harnesses in stage 1 seats don't have give in, and if the seat is fixed with isofix there is no give there either. We use a seat with an impact cushion that, in the event of an accident, would allow DD's upper body to move and hopefully lessen the stress on her neck.

Unfortunately ERF wouldn't work for us, so we got one of these seats as a compromise.

frogspoon Wed 18-Dec-13 13:21:35

That's the reason why seat belts have some give in them, to lengthen the deceleration pulse.

Ah yes, I had forgotten that they are supposed to stretch a bit.

Is there a way to tell if your seatbelt is stretching the correct amount, especially in an older car. Does an MOT check it?

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:27:36

Does an MOT check it?

No. The extension is inherent in the fabric of the belt, not in the mechanism. The mechanism should lock solid, with the extension coming in the belt.

The safety testing for motorsport tests this destructively, with the deceleration experienced by the chest of a dummy strapped into the survival cell being measured as well as the deceleration of the cell itself. The limit (for F1, "The peak deceleration in the chest of the dummy does not exceed 60g for more than a cumulative 3ms, this being the resultant of data from three axes.") is taken from experience with black box recorders showing what's survivable for fit young drivers.

cory Wed 18-Dec-13 13:36:47

TokenGirl1 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:01:46
"I asked for her not to wear the lap belt but they refused as they think it's safer with it, I don't.

On the odd occasion we use the bus/train we sit rear facing so any impact the would thrown into the back of the chair.

The only reason I know about the dangers odd incorrect seatbelts in travel is because s friend of mine is a physio for children. She told me her child would rear face in a car until at least four because of the number of children she sees with spinal injuries. When I researched it, I was horrified by what I saw on some of the injuries from inappropriate restraints."

But note that your friend the physio is talking of accidents caused by travelling in the most dangerous form of transport= the car.

Which is the one you are proposing to expose your dd to in lieu of the far safer coach.

As several of us have pointed out, if this coach is travelling in city traffic rather than on the motorway or on mountain roads it is highly unlikely that a collision would cause a strong enough impact on the coach travellers to result in impact injuries. If it hit your car otoh...

Idespair Wed 18-Dec-13 13:57:01

Yanbu.
In our school, usually minibus has a 3 point belt that adjusts to the child's shoulder.
However in your position, I'd think it was one of those things you have to risk in order to carry on in life without being paranoid all the time. I am guilty of bring paranoid so I am not slating you for it, I'm just saying I'd stick my head in the sand for the day.

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 14:03:07

In our school, usually minibus has a 3 point belt that adjusts to the child's shoulder.

Minibus risks are more comparable to cars.

Minibuses driven by people who don't have PSV licenses in particular.

I'm very nervous about minibuses driven by teachers and scout leaders. Seatbelts aren't the issue.

Branleuse Wed 18-Dec-13 14:10:31

yabu and YABridiculous

the lap belt is to keep them in place. She will be fine

although if it makes you happy, and she doesnt have an opinion on it, then go for your life

Branleuse Wed 18-Dec-13 14:11:48

she is statistically much more likely to be in an accident and get hurt in your car than she is on a coach.

If something crashes into a coach, its the other vehicle that is damaged, not the coach

friday16 Wed 18-Dec-13 14:21:54

she is statistically much more likely to be in an accident and get hurt in your car than she is on a coach.

People are very bad at calculating with risk. They tend to over-state the risks of unfamiliar things and under-state the risks of familiar things. So people worry excessively about trains, planes, coaches and vaccine risk, while they are arguably too relaxed about cars, staircases, kettles and measles.

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