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built in child car seats in newer vehicles- safe?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a 2002 pontiac montana and was suprised to find that in the middle row of seats in the van there is one seat with a built in child seat, to be used in place of a standard car seat. It does say that it meets all the safety requirements, but I'm curious how safe it really is, it just seems so simple....is it meant for occational use or can I use it continuously in place of a car seat? Anyone have any experience with these seats, any feedback (do they seem equally comfortable, etc??

Thanks

Sarahfina
post #2 of 16
I've wondred about this too. Our Volvo has a built-in booster seat. (But by the time dd is big enough to use it we probably won't have that car anymore.) What are the weight/height/age recommendations on yours?
post #3 of 16
My brother and sil have a Caravan. They use their built in seats all the time. They have not had any trouble and they have had the van for a year. They only thing she doesn't like is their is no place for them to rest their heads since there is no sides.
post #4 of 16
Integrated seats aren't the best choice for some, mostly due to the fact that there are a lot of incompatibility problems between them and real world children. In addition, if you are in a wreck (NHTSA has guidelines on their website), the integrated seat is a one time use product (just like a separate car seat would be) and would need to be replaced either in full or at the very least the belts would need replacement. Every vehicle is different so refer to your vehicle manual. And lastly, if you change cars or travel, you would need to buy a separate car seat to use.

DC
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info. The weight requirements are minimun 22lbs, and since my dd is still only 20lbs we cant use it, yet....i think it will come in handy when we pick up friends, etc, but i'm thinking i wont use it for the majority of our needs- we allready have a car seat anyway...

Sarahfina
post #6 of 16
I'm just curious, dc, after a crash do the regular seatbelts need to be replaced, too? I mean where adults sit. What is different about the belts of an integrated child seat as compared to the standard adult seatbelts? Does anyone know? It doesn't seem like there is a lot of info out there about the built-in childseats. It certainly seems like the simplest solution all around, if they could meet safety standards.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovelife View Post
I'm just curious, dc, after a crash do the regular seatbelts need to be replaced, too? I mean where adults sit. What is different about the belts of an integrated child seat as compared to the standard adult seatbelts? Does anyone know? It doesn't seem like there is a lot of info out there about the built-in childseats. It certainly seems like the simplest solution all around, if they could meet safety standards.
Yes. All belts in use at the time of a collision should be replaced (even if a vehicle belt was holding an empty car seat at the time of a wreck). They are considered one time use products. Integrated seats are safe as long as the child fits well in them and the parent or caregiver knows how to use them correctly....recommendations no different than for a separate car seat. The only difference between an adult belt and a child restraint belt may be weight restriction. Adult belts are crash tested to hold thousands of pounds of restraining weight. In some integrated seats and stand alone child seats, there may be weight bearing (load) maximums that will coincide with the weight and height maximums posted on the seat itself. That load bearing restraint data varies per manufacturer.

DC
post #8 of 16
Wow. THanks. I wonder how many people have their seatbelts replaced after a crash. I never would have thought of that. :
post #9 of 16
What I would wonder too is that removable carseats have an expiry date (5-7 years) due to the plastic breaking down. How does this translate for built-in car seats?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellp View Post
What I would wonder too is that removable carseats have an expiry date (5-7 years) due to the plastic breaking down. How does this translate for built-in car seats?
I think that is the expected replacement lifetime of a car too, so that would be not an issue. You'd be out of any warrenties by then. Unless you want to keep the car, but car companies would much rather you buy newer cars anyway.
post #11 of 16
I use the booster seat in my Volvo (1993) when transporting other kids (which is often!) It seems to work better than most boosters I have seen for correctly positioning the seatbelt, and there's an adjustable headrest.
I wouldn't use a built-in carseat at 22 lbs. because I would never forward-face a 22 lb. toddler. At 35 lbs. when my child had outgrown RFing carseats I would probably use the built-in carseat.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudswinger View Post
I think [5-7 years] is the expected replacement lifetime of a car too...
You mean that's when car companies hope you'll buy a new car, or that's how often most people buy a new car? Does everyone here drive a 2000 or newer car? (DH and I do now, but we each had our previous cars for over 10 years.)
post #13 of 16
Good grief, I sure hope 5-7 years ISN'T the replacement lifetime of a car! What a waste! Dh's car is 18yo, and we're only now thinking of replacing it.

I sure hope to keep mine just as long...
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellp View Post
Good grief, I sure hope 5-7 years ISN'T the replacement lifetime of a car! What a waste!
:
post #15 of 16
Yeah, my car is 14 yrs. old and the car I had before that was 18 yrs. old before she died. Both Volvo station wagons-- a dependable car if I ever saw one!
post #16 of 16
I had booster seats in my Volvo. They worked wonderfully with my son. He loved it and it was one less thing to mess with. When we got our new car we had to go buy a booster seat. It is such a PITA and does not fit as well. It slides around on the seat and he cannot do the seatbelt by himself. As another poster said fit is key.
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