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DS is going on a trip tomorrow by coach ...

(3 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 16-Jun-09 23:21:37

I have just read the letter and it says that the coach has lap only seat belts and we can bring booster seats if we wish. I'm almost certain that booster seats cannot be used with just a lap-only belt. If this is the case isn't it a bit irresponsible of the preschool to put in the letter that we should bring them if we want to.

Colonelcupcake Sat 20-Jun-09 22:14:47

Coaches and minibuses come under the law of buses, you are right in the fact that the booster seat will not be secure and safe in the event of an accident, the pre-school may not realise this, it is safer for the child to be secured with the lap belt only than on the booster seat. On the child carseat website it says:

Coaches and Minibuses
Coaches and minibuses carrying groups of children on organised trips, including school trips, must provide children with either a lap-belt or a three-point belt on a forward-facing seat.

All coaches and minibuses manufactured or first used on or after 1 October 2001 (whether they carry adult or child passengers) must by law be fitted with either three-point seat belts or lap belts on forward or rearward-facing seats.

However, seat belts are no use if they are not worn, so ensure that your child knows that he or she must wear their seat belt at all times, whether you are travelling with them or whether they are travelling on a school trip, for instance.

Seat belts are designed for adults, and the safest option would be for children to use a child seat that is suitable for their weight, when travelling by coach or minibus. Unfortunately, this is rarely possible because it is not practical for the Operator to carry a range of different child seats on their vehicles.

If you are travelling with a baby, keep the baby in a rearward facing baby seat and use the seat belt to secure it, if possible.

If an older child is travelling on an organised trip, ask the organisers about child seats in advance, although it is unlikely that they will be able to provide them. It may be possible to use your normal one if it can be fitted to a coach seat. However some coaches have lap belts and some have lap and diagonal belts, so check whether your child seat is compatible with the type of seat belt fitted on the vehicle. Discuss this with other parents so your child will not be the only one using a child seat.

In most cases, it is likely that the children will have to use the normal seat belt. Although not ideal, this is still far safer than not using any restraint. To maximise the protection provided by the seat belt:

the belt should be worn as tight as possible
the lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach
the diagonal strap should rest over the child's shoulder, not their neck.
Three-point seat belts (lap and diagonal) provide greater protection than lap belts. However, lap belts are far better than no belt at all.

Do not be tempted to put a seat belt around yourself and a child on your lap; in an impact, your weight would crush the child.

nappyaddict Sun 21-Jun-09 16:13:19

Thanks for the information. As we only have a booster seat I decided it would be safer for him to travel just with the lap belt than using the lap belt with the booster seat. I'm glad you can clarify I made the right decision

Is it really safer for a baby to travel in an unsecured seat than to to put the seatbelt around just yourself and then hold the baby on your lap? Presumably you'd have to make sure you held on to the car seat at all times cos it could fall off the coach seat if it braked suddenly? Up until what age would you say this is safer?

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