Car Seats- I guess I missed something?! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-11-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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Using a Swedish, or should I say European seat since all are ECE R44 approved, is technically illegal. That's ironic since it's much safer. Keeping a two year old in a Britax Marathon or Swedish Britax Hi-Way is probably the same regarding safety. The advantage is the ability to rear face much longer, to 55 lbs.
Yeah, that's the most frustrating part, that these seats exist and are in use, with apparently great results elsewhere, yet for whatever reason, one gov't doesn't want to trust another's test results....

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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Does he try to pull out of the straps or just unbuckle? Like pp said I would see if you could cover it up with something. We have the Nautilus too and it's been great, ds hasn't figured out the buckle yet. I actually have a harder time unbuckling it more than I do our Marathon, go figure....
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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My oldest nephew is a lot like the OP's son, and was in a booster at 2 1/2 because he was just so big, and my sister couldn't afford a Britax seat.

What is someone supposed to do when they have a very big toddler and a limited income? Sell a kidney for a Britax?

While it's fairly easy to find a low cost/free infant or convertible seat, it's harder to find a low cost/free seat that will keep a heavier/taller than normal toddler in a harnessed seat.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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There's no need to sell any body parts to buy carseats.

There are appropriate seats in almost every budget (unless your budget is $25, in which case, you'd have to check into programs that hand out seats). The Apex 65 is a combination seat that will harness to 65 lbs. It's top slots aren't as high as the Nautilus/Frontier or Regent, but they're still pretty tall. It's on sale right now at Albeebaby for $90. It requires a headrest behind it. If that's not available the Nautilus is $150 and can often be found on sale for around $120.

If a person wants to, they can keep their child safe in an appropriate seat until they're ready to sit in a seatbelt for $160 - $200 (Scenera and then Nautilus or Apex and cheap backless if needed)

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Old 12-12-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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(..)
Like another PP said, chest clips are just pre-crash harness positioners. Some other countries don't even have them (harnesses only). If the straps are tight enough, like they should be, then he shouldn't be able to get out anyway.
We don't have chest clips on our seats here. And we've never had any problems, we just make the straps real tight (like they should be anyway), and the kids can't get loose.


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Right and wrong. First, I apologize for not being clear enough in my last post. I said I wasn't a fan of harnessing kids forward facing. It should have read "harnessing older kids forward facing". Sorry about being unclear and thanks for pointing that out.

So let me make it clear, it's absolutely inappropriate to put a 2 or 3 year old in a booster. That's too young and it's unsafe.

You're totally right about not keeping a small child in a booser. But keeping a normal 4-5 year old in a good belt positioning booster is a safe as a harnessed seat taking all factors into consideration. The recommendation in Sweden is to NOT use any harnessed seats for older kids. Leading experts in the field who have been doing this for way longer than anyone else recommend booster ahead of harnessing for kids 4+. I know this goes against US recommendations but that doesn't mean they are wrong.

Anyway, the comparison of harnessing v. booster is irrelevant since any safety difference is small whatever you choose to believe. We shuld focus on rear facing isntead which is where the difference in safety is HUGE.

Using a Swedish, or should I say European seat since all are ECE R44 approved, is technically illegal. That's ironic since it's much safer. Keeping a two year old in a Britax Marathon or Swedish Britax Hi-Way is probably the same regarding safety. The advantage is the ability to rear face much longer, to 55 lbs.

Many kids outgrow seats by height first but that still means rear facing for a long time. And there are many kids who are big kids and are forced to forward face way sooner than desired.
Here, where we live (we are "neighbours"), you would put a kid that has outgrown a rearfacing seat in a booster. The recomendation is clear on not having big kids (3 year olds aswell) in a harness forwardfacing, at all.
The strain on the neck in a carcrash would be to big, the neck would simply snap. (Or get so damanged that the child would die from it later, and I know of so many cases where that happend.) Because the body is totally strapped, and wont move an inch, so the complete force would be on the neck. And the neck of a small kid can't handle it.
So here it is infant rearfacing seat, rearfacing seat, and then booster with the cars 3-point seatbelt.
But like you, we have seats that go up to 55.11/12 lbs (25 kg.) rearfacing, and the kids are usually 4-5-6 years old before they get put in a booster.
We have two 5 year olds rearfacing in Britax Secura seats. (The tallest is 43.3 inches/110 cm. and 28.6 lbs/13 kg.)
And a 3 year old rearfacing (of course) in a Britax Secura, and also a 10 year old in a Britax Kidfix booster.

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:48 AM
 
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Great stuff Pixiekisses. The approach to car seat safety is the same here (Sweden). Rear facing until 4-5 and then a good booster seat. Fatalities and injuries are extremely low.

What you say about harnessing is true but there is lots more to it. There are factors beyond pure crash testing which improves safety for boosters. And there are also some very technical details regarding construction of the harnessed seats which puts much more strain on the whole body, not just the neck. It has to do with the "ride down time" in harnessed seats. Basically means part of the regular 60 ms. ride down time is "wasted" and a child's body needs to absorb the full impact forces in half the time making already high forces double. Boring enough discussion to put anyone to sleep

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Old 12-12-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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Great stuff Pixiekisses. The approach to car seat safety is the same here (Sweden). Rear facing until 4-5 and then a good booster seat. Fatalities and injuries are extremely low.

What you say about harnessing is true but there is lots more to it. There are factors beyond pure crash testing which improves safety for boosters. And there are also some very technical details regarding construction of the harnessed seats which puts much more strain on the whole body, not just the neck. It has to do with the "ride down time" in harnessed seats. Basically means part of the regular 60 ms. ride down time is "wasted" and a child's body needs to absorb the full impact forces in half the time making already high forces double. Boring enough discussion to put anyone to sleep
Heh, been there, done that.
It's a issue here you know, so online forums with parents tend to have those discussions.

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Old 12-12-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Oh yeah, we have heated discussion on car-seat.org about this all the time. In reality, both harnessing and boosters for older kids are safe. On might be a little safer but it's far wiser to focus on rear facing vs. forward facing of small kids. That's where the safety difference is huge.

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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I understand the idea of the heavy head and harnessing not being ideal... but I don't think it really holds true.

What does that research say about the fact that racecar drivers use 5pt harnesses? And that car manufacturers know that 5pt harnesses are safer, but say that people wouldn't use them?

-Angela
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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Race car drivers wear 5 point harnesses forward facing. Why? Because it's safer than a belt.

Keeping kids harnessed forward facing to higher weights gives you an extra measure of protection. Every time you move up a level in terms of car seats, you lose a level of safety. All things considered.

Yes, there are many factors involved, but the reality of the matter is that seat belts and LATCH systems fail far more often than tethers and 5 point harnesses.

Research supports this.

If you have watched crash test footage, you'll realize that harnessed bodies in crashes indeed move. Much more than an inch. The chest clip is designed to break away and the harness webbing is designed to "give" to a degree. Car seat harnesses aren't meant to be that tight. Snug, yes, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable.

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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Comparing race car drivers and toddlers is not applicable. A race car driver is an adult, most often has fully developed muscles and bones, and also often use extra protection for their necks. A toddler has soft bone and not fully developed muscles as you know.

If we get a little more technical, race car driver seats are also fastened into the body of vehicle in a completely different way getting rid of one problem with harnessed seats regarding ride down time.

Harnessed seats for adults is safer as I understand but comparing toddler or babies to that is not a good idea.

It's a subjective discussion, some say it's safer and some say it isn't. There are no head to head tests and won't be any either.

I can only offer you this: The researchers/people who have been doing car seat safety research longer than anyone, have more experience than anyone else, and have the best track record in the world regarding safety during the past 30 years recommend booster ahead of harnessing (for kids 4+) Kids in Sweden don't use harnessed seats at all and despite using this "dangerous" seats accident statistics toy with any other country.

Whatever one choose to believe, the difference is probably not large and it's far better to focus on making more your toddler stay rear facing for a longer time.

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Old 12-12-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Comparing race car drivers and toddlers is not applicable. A race car driver is an adult, most often has fully developed muscles and bones, and also often use extra protection for their necks. A toddler has soft bone and not fully developed muscles as you know.

If we get a little more technical, race car driver seats are also fastened into the body of vehicle in a completely different way getting rid of one problem with harnessed seats regarding ride down time.

Harnessed seats for adults is safer as I understand but comparing toddler or babies to that is not a good idea.

It's a subjective discussion, some say it's safer and some say it isn't. There are no head to head tests and won't be any either.

I can only offer you this. The researchers/people who have been doing car seat safety research longer than anyone, have more experience than anyone else, and have the best track record in the world regarding safety during the past 30 years recommend booster ahead of harnessing (for kids 4+) Kids in Sweden don't use harnessed seats at all and despite using this "dangerous" seats.

Whatever one choose to believe, the difference is probably not large and it's far better to focus on making more your toddler stay rear facing for a longer time.
Is the comparison based on a 3pt belt that is NOT locked? b/c I read that many parents lock the belt when putting young kids in boosters (pull it out all the way... feed back in so that it doesn't let out at all.)

Also, what about submarine-ing?


I've watched the videos and I can see the additional stress on the body in a 3pt harness instead of 5. I understand the forces on the neck could be increased though. Anyone have any links to research showing some kind of numbers we can compare?

-Angela
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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Race car drivers wear 5 point harnesses forward facing. Why? Because it's safer than a belt.

Keeping kids harnessed forward facing to higher weights gives you an extra measure of protection. Every time you move up a level in terms of car seats, you lose a level of safety. All things considered.

Yes, there are many factors involved, but the reality of the matter is that seat belts and LATCH systems fail far more often than tethers and 5 point harnesses.

Research supports this.

If you have watched crash test footage, you'll realize that harnessed bodies in crashes indeed move. Much more than an inch. The chest clip is designed to break away and the harness webbing is designed to "give" to a degree. Car seat harnesses aren't meant to be that tight. Snug, yes, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable.
It's way more complicated than this and there are almost unlimited factors involved which is why no one can say with certainly that boosters or harnessing is safer for a toddler. There is no testing of harnessing vs. booster because it's too subjective, too expensive, and also meaningless. Both are approved and safe. One might be a little better, it's up to you what you want to believe.

I have watched lots of crash footage and regularly speak to people at a crash test facility and other people who have been doing car seat research for 30+ years.

If your seatbelt fails, which is unusual but does happen, there will be a disaster regardless of seat.

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Old 12-12-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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If your seatbelt fails, which is unusual but does happen, there will be a disaster regardless of seat.
Unless they're in a seat installed with LATCH Also possible to fail, I'm sure....

-Angela
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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LATCH can fail as well I guess but we're talking too small chance to worry about IMHO. LATCH has a fairly low weight limit so it's not possible to use it all the time. But I hear change is on the way regarding this......

By the way, 39000 posts. Wow

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Old 12-12-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Unless they're in a seat installed with LATCH Also possible to fail, I'm sure....

-Angela
But you wouldn't really ever have a seat w/ latch and a seatbelt, except kids under 40/48 lbs in a booster, in which case a seatbelt failure would still be a disaster. If one or the other were used to hold the seat in, only whichever one in use is subject to failure and would be a huge problem if it did. I don't see how one or the other is more or less likely to fail; they're tested w/ the assumption that they will work properly but nothing's perfect.
In the case of the KDM story, the seatbelt failed, if LATCH had been used it 'probably' wouldn't have (what are the chances of both pieces being faulty in the same car in the same spot). However, in another car, maybe the latch would fail but the seatbelt is fine.

I still don't get why carseats expire but not seatbelts ...and the buckle of the seatbelt is a lot of plastic too.

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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Good points. In the KDM case, my understanding was that the seatbelt failed or at least wasn't fastened. Maybe I got it all wrong but perhaps it was undone by accident before crash took place? Does anyone know this for sure?

Having a seatbelt fail is extremely unusual, same with LATCH. Both of them? Can't worry about this kind of stuff , it's too rare IMHO.

Car seats don't expire everywhere. It's recommended to not use car seats longer than 10 years here in Sweden but there are no official expiry date. I know almost everyone on this board is not from there and it doesn't apply to them but it was just a thought.

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Comparing race car drivers and toddlers is not applicable. A race car driver is an adult, most often has fully developed muscles and bones, and also often use extra protection for their necks. A toddler has soft bone and not fully developed muscles as you know.

If we get a little more technical, race car driver seats are also fastened into the body of vehicle in a completely different way getting rid of one problem with harnessed seats regarding ride down time.

Harnessed seats for adults is safer as I understand but comparing toddler or babies to that is not a good idea.

It's a subjective discussion, some say it's safer and some say it isn't. There are no head to head tests and won't be any either.

I can only offer you this: The researchers/people who have been doing car seat safety research longer than anyone, have more experience than anyone else, and have the best track record in the world regarding safety during the past 30 years recommend booster ahead of harnessing (for kids 4+) Kids in Sweden don't use harnessed seats at all and despite using this "dangerous" seats accident statistics toy with any other country.

Whatever one choose to believe, the difference is probably not large and it's far better to focus on making more your toddler stay rear facing for a longer time.
Yeah, that!


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LATCH can fail as well I guess but we're talking too small chance to worry about IMHO. LATCH has a fairly low weight limit so it's not possible to use it all the time. But I hear change is on the way regarding this......
I have to ask, LATCH, is that the same as isofix up here?


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(..)
Car seats don't expire everywhere. It's recommended to not use car seats longer than 10 years here in Sweden but there are no official expiry date. I know almost everyone on this board is not from there and it doesn't apply to them but it was just a thought.
Here it's also a recommandation to not use a seat for more than 10 years, and I've seen the car crash tests with old seats, it's not good. We only have new seats, but if I was getting a seat from someone I know and trust completely (that's the only person I'd get a used seat from, not strangers) I wouldn't let it be older than a year or two years for infant and rearfacing seats, and a booster would have to be brand new.

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Old 12-12-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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LATCH can fail as well I guess but we're talking too small chance to worry about IMHO. LATCH has a fairly low weight limit so it's not possible to use it all the time. But I hear change is on the way regarding this......

By the way, 39000 posts. Wow

40 or 48lbs isn't that low for my kids Dd is nearly 4.5 and 35lbs and in a harnessed seat installed with LATCH I expect her to be at LEAST 7 before hitting the 48lb latch limit for her seat and my car.

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But you wouldn't really ever have a seat w/ latch and a seatbelt, except kids under 40/48 lbs in a booster, in which case a seatbelt failure would still be a disaster. If one or the other were used to hold the seat in, only whichever one in use is subject to failure and would be a huge problem if it did. I don't see how one or the other is more or less likely to fail; they're tested w/ the assumption that they will work properly but nothing's perfect.
In the case of the KDM story, the seatbelt failed, if LATCH had been used it 'probably' wouldn't have (what are the chances of both pieces being faulty in the same car in the same spot). However, in another car, maybe the latch would fail but the seatbelt is fine.

I still don't get why carseats expire but not seatbelts ...and the buckle of the seatbelt is a lot of plastic too.
The comparison being made was booster vs. 5pt seat. A 5pt seat can be installed with LATCH as long as the child in it is under the LATCH limits for the car and seat.

-Angela
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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It's way more complicated than this and there are almost unlimited factors involved which is why no one can say with certainly that boosters or harnessing is safer for a toddler. There is no testing of harnessing vs. booster because it's too subjective, too expensive, and also meaningless. Both are approved and safe. One might be a little better, it's up to you what you want to believe.

I have watched lots of crash footage and regularly speak to people at a crash test facility and other people who have been doing car seat research for 30+ years.

If your seatbelt fails, which is unusual but does happen, there will be a disaster regardless of seat.

If you are in a belt positioning booster and your seatbelt fails, there's nothing left to hold you in and you become a projectile. If you are in a harnessed seat that is belted and tethered, unless the tether, belt and harness all fail, you will at least remain in the seat. A tether is not meant to restrain a seat, but it can prevent it from becoming a projectile. THe odds are in your favour that you will at least not be ejected as easily in a harnessed seat even if the belt fails.

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Old 12-12-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Agreed. But we're now talking about statistical risks which are pretty much insignificant IMHO. Yes, seatbelt can fail when you have a crash. Worrying about such low probability event is not logical and good risk/reward thinking IMHO.

Have a nice weekend

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Old 12-12-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Worrying about such low probability event is not logical and good risk/reward thinking IMHO.
Indeed.

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Old 12-13-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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This risk of being in a serious accident is also quite low, but yet we take extreme measures to protect ourselves and our children from potential injury resulting from such an event. Seat belts can and do fail. Between 2000 and 2006 there were 180 recalls of seat belts and seat belt components. That's still rare, but it's not that rare.

You have a nice weekend too .

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Old 12-13-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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This risk of being in a serious accident is also quite low, but yet we take extreme measures to protect ourselves and our children from potential injury resulting from such an event. Seat belts can and do fail. Between 2000 and 2006 there were 180 recalls of seat belts and seat belt components. That's still rare, but it's not that rare.
There are alot more car crashes, also serious, than seat belt failures.
I think it's just silly to compare those at all.

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Old 12-13-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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When we think of "seatbelt failure" what is actually happening is that the child is too young, squirmy, immature etc for the seatbelt and unbuckles it, or a sibling does so.

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Old 12-13-2008, 07:30 PM
 
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When we think of "seatbelt failure" what is actually happening is that the child is too young, squirmy, immature etc for the seatbelt and unbuckles it, or a sibling does so.
That's not what I was referring to at all. That's still a valid point, but not what I was specifically referring to .

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Old 12-13-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pixiekisses View Post
There are alot more car crashes, also serious, than seat belt failures.
I think it's just silly to compare those at all.

Okay, lets use something else as a basis for comparison.

Plane crashes happen about as often as seat belt failures. We still take precautions to avoid injury and death in the event of a crash even though survival is improbable.

I don't think that mechanical seat belt failures are so rare that we shouldn't take precautions to protect our children from the rare possibility.

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Old 12-13-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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Plane crashes happen about as often as seat belt failures. We still take precautions to avoid injury and death in the event of a crash even though survival is improbable.
I would like to see some numbers that support this.

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I don't think that mechanical seat belt failures are so rare that we shouldn't take precautions to protect our children from the rare possibility.
We can't.
Simple as that.
And I dunno about US, but here, they are so rare that it's silly to take it into consideration.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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That's not what I was referring to at all. That's still a valid point, but not what I was specifically referring to .
I know There definitely is such a thing as seatbelt failure (as evidenced by the recalls you mentioned before). I wasn't trying to argue with you

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