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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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

onlyfortonight Wed 18-Dec-13 12:14:45

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?

onlyfortonight Wed 18-Dec-13 12:18:24

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.

onlyfortonight Wed 18-Dec-13 12:20:48

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.


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.

onlyfortonight Wed 18-Dec-13 12:33:28

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.


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.

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