Lap Belt Only Solutions

Posted in: Booster Seats

9 Responses to “Lap Belt Only Solutions”

  1. […] (for more info, see Using Boosters with Lap Belts) […]

  2. Corinne says:

    Hi – Can you please address proper use of car seats on school buses that do not have tether anchors behind seats? Is there a five-point harness car seat where it is acceptable to secure it to the seat with just a lap belt? If not, what do you recommend for standard school buses? Child is a small 5-year-old. Thank you!

  3. Laura says:

    If a classic car has lap belts only, is it necessary for a booster seat? Boosters are made to make a lap/shoulder belt fit, so am I right in thinking a booster is not needed???

    • Anyone riding in a seat belt (this includes kids in boosters, teens, and adults) needs to use a shoulder belt. Lap belts have been forbidden in vehicles for the past decade as they do not offer optimal protection – and do not protect the brain & spine since there is nothing to hold the head and chest back in a crash and they often hit hard structures. The only seat that would be safe to use in a position with a lap belt is a rear-facing seat. Forward-facing seats can not be used in this classic car as there are no tether anchors. Boosters can not be used in this vehicle as there are no shoulder belts. Kids and adults should never ride with just a lap belt – they should always ride where there is a lap AND shoulder belt.
      Classic cars should not be used with children.

  4. Kaiulani says:

    Hi I have a 2009 dodge 2500 I’m expecting our 4th child but my oldest who is 6 will have to go in the front middle seat that is a flip up and has a lap belt what seat should I get that will best protect him.

    • There is no way to keep this child – or an adult either – safe in just a lap belt in the front seat. With just a lap belt there is nothing to hold your head and chest back in a crash and you will move forward so far that the head is likely to hit the dashboard, or worse hit the airbag before the airbag is ready which can be fatal. You may be able to put a rear-facing car seat there in this center seat depending on how wide the vehicle is AND if you have an airbag cut off switch for the front passenger seat. Please visit someone trained in your area to get personalized advice and help in fitting your family in your vehicle. In the meantime, please leave this center seat empty and use 2 separate vehicles when all of you need to go somewhere.

  5. Amanda says:

    Could I get some kind of certified information on the lap belt safety? My ex is putting our son in the middle of the front seat of a 1991 single cab pickup in a backless booster with only a lap belt. He thinks it’s perfectly safe and has our daughter in a booster in the passenger seat and she is only 34 lbs and does not sit well in boosters. She always tries to sit on her legs or her legs are at her sides 🙁

    • The instruction manual to your booster seat will clearly state that the seat MUST be used with a shoulder belt. A 34 pound child should never be in a booster – they should be in a 5 point harness until at least 40 pounds (and at least 5 years old AND mature enough to sit properly in a booster). The way your daughter is sitting she will likely suffer catastrophic injuries in a crash as she is likely to fly through the windshield in the backless booster used with only a lap belt and her squirming in it. Since there are no tether anchors in this vehicle, the child really needs to be rear-facing – and the Graco Extend2Fit will allow her to stay rear-facing until 50 pounds and installs very nicely with just a lap belt.