Safe installation of 3 carseats in 2006 Honda Odyssey - specific questions - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-14-2012, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are expecting #4, which will be #3 in a car seat.  I have a 2006 Honda Odyssey.  The middle row had the middle seat that can be removed.  There is a lap belt on that one and a shoulder strap coming down from the ceiling.

 

Currently I have a 4 yr old that is 95% in height and 40lbs.  She is still in a 5 pt car seat that goes to 65lbs but she is so tall she really needs to be in a booster (or we need a new car seat).  I have an almost 2 yr old, also tall, and 31lbs.  She currently forward faces (has a condition that results in random and often vomiting so I need to be able to visually see her when driving, more than rear facing was allowing).  Then new baby will in a base/bucket car seat.

 

Is there a safe way to put all 3 across the middle? Right now the middle seat is out, and each car seat is attached and tethered. 

 

Anyone know if this is possible, or do I need to move someone to the back?  I know moving the 4 yr old to the back would be ideal, but is there a safe option to put them in the middle?  I am happy to buy to new seats if needed.

 

Thank you!

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#2 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 04:48 AM
 
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Ok, so the situation you are describing is the 8 passenger Ody.  

 

The outboard seats have a full set of lower anchors and top tethered seats.  That middle seat (the 'plus-one') has no lower anchors and no top tethers.  

 

It is not, unfortunately, very car seat friendly at all.  

 

It is *possible* that we could get all of your kids across the middle row, though, it'll just take some puzzling. 

 

1.  Your oldest child.  The seat you want is called a combination seat, not a booster seat.  A booster seat is used with the seatbelt only to restrain the child, and is appropriate for a child who has the maturity to sit perfectly still, never messing with the seatbelt, never bending over to pick up a dropped toy, never turning around to identify a source of traffic noise behind the car, etc.    The tallest combination seat is the Britax Frontier 85.  The harness slots will keep your child safely in a harness until she is ready to convert to booster mode.   While not quite as tall, the Graco Nautilus or Graco Argos, and the Recaro Prosport would also fill the need.    Your daughter is 40 lbs now, and that is the max weight allowance for the lower anchors in a Honda.   Install the seat with the vehicle seatbelt, but also be *Sure* to connect the top tether.  The top tether is a crucial part of any forward facing seat and should always be used.    This means that the seat should go in one of the outboard captain's chairs.

 

2.  Your newborn (congrats, by the way!)  This is the child I would suggest using the plus-one seat for, because a rear facing seat can be installed with belt only and does not need a top tether anchor.  It is also narrow and will fit that silly little plus one base, LOL. 

The trick here will be to select a narrow infant seat that doesn't have a base that flares out at the side.  This pretty much eliminates the Graco Snugride 35 or the Britax Chaperone, for starters.   I think your best bets would be the Chicco Keyfit 30 or the Safety First Onboard Air 35.   Of the two, the Onboard Air 35 will last you a lot longer (most kids can get to around 2 in that seat!)  

 

3.  You're not going to like this.  Your 1 year old needs to be turned around before you drive in the car again.  Vomiting or not.  The risk of what could happen to her in an accident FAR exceeds any risk from vomiting.  Major head and neck injuries, internal decapitation, paralysis, brain damage, even worse.   I would suggest a mirror to alleviate your concerns.  Pick a mirror that has soft sides and is made of a flexible material (not one of those big hard plastic ones with toys that plays music).  You will be able to see your child just fine.     What restraint does your 1 year old currently use?


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#3 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the prompt and thoughtful reply. :)  I have copied/pasted and replied below!

 

1.  Your oldest child.  The seat you want is called a combination seat, not a booster seat.  A booster seat is used with the seatbelt only to restrain the child, and is appropriate for a child who has the maturity to sit perfectly still, never messing with the seatbelt, never bending over to pick up a dropped toy, never turning around to identify a source of traffic noise behind the car, etc.    The tallest combination seat is the Britax Frontier 85.  The harness slots will keep your child safely in a harness until she is ready to convert to booster mode.   While not quite as tall, the Graco Nautilus or Graco Argos, and the Recaro Prosport would also fill the need.    Your daughter is 40 lbs now, and that is the max weight allowance for the lower anchors in a Honda.   Install the seat with the vehicle seatbelt, but also be *Sure* to connect the top tether.  The top tether is a crucial part of any forward facing seat and should always be used.    This means that the seat should go in one of the outboard captain's chairs. The car seat she was in prior to the booster (which was last week when I pulled it out, lol) went up to 65lbs, but she was just too tall.  I will check out the Britax Frontier for her. 

 

2.  Your newborn (congrats, by the way!)  This is the child I would suggest using the plus-one seat for, because a rear facing seat can be installed with belt only and does not need a top tether anchor.  It is also narrow and will fit that silly little plus one base, LOL. 

The trick here will be to select a narrow infant seat that doesn't have a base that flares out at the side.  This pretty much eliminates the Graco Snugride 35 or the Britax Chaperone, for starters.   I think your best bets would be the Chicco Keyfit 30 or the Safety First Onboard Air 35.   Of the two, the Onboard Air 35 will last you a lot longer (most kids can get to around 2 in that seat!)  When this seat attaches, do I do it with the little lap belt on that plus-one seat?  That seat belt just feels so crappy to me.

 

3.  You're not going to like this.  Your 1 year old needs to be turned around before you drive in the car again.  Vomiting or not.  The risk of what could happen to her in an accident FAR exceeds any risk from vomiting.  Major head and neck injuries, internal decapitation, paralysis, brain damage, even worse.   I would suggest a mirror to alleviate your concerns.  Pick a mirror that has soft sides and is made of a flexible material (not one of those big hard plastic ones with toys that plays music).  You will be able to see your child just fine.     What restraint does your 1 year old currently use? This is one I struggle with.  Our ped, OT and GI actually recently (when she hit 30lbs) said to flip her with the choking and vomiting. Every time I would hear her choke and veer out of traffic to try and pull over because I couldn't see her to know she was okay, I thought....there HAS to be a better way to do this, lol.   Honestly, what I need to do is never leave home with the 1 yr old with another adult. :)  I tried 3 mirrors we had, and due to the car seat itself, and the position she was, I could not get a position to be able to see her in the mirror.  (I don't know the car seat brand off hand...DH has that van right now, I will check.  It is a 5 pt car seat that goes up to 65 lbs as well).  She is rear facing is DHs car because we never go in there without a second adult.  I will see if I move her to the other side and redo the mirrors to see her.   This disables to ability to reach her quickly when I make a quick stop, if needed, but probably outweighs the benefit/risk.  My oldest didn't go front facing until almost 3.25yr because she was pretty light and while she has the same disease as 1 yr old, was better controlled at that point that our youngest now.  I will definitely spend some time revisiting this.

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#4 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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My suggestion would be, then to have her in the passenger side, so she's within arms reach of the driver and not right behind you, and so you can angle the mirror toward your rear view.     Does she choke/vomit less when she's forward facing?   That's because her angle is more upright.  Have you experimented with having her very upright in the car, rear facing?   

 

Keep in mind that the problem you're describing is psychological (and no judgement, I completely get the parental freak out, believe me!)  Whether she's forward or rear facing, if she starts to vomit and choke, you need to calmly steer the car to the side of the road.  You cannot assist her while you're driving, without putting everyone at risk.    

 

Also, I would work with your four year old to be able to alert you when your 1 year old is having troubles.   

 

Obviously you know the benefits of rear facing so I won't rehash that, but I think we can work together to figure out a solution that will leave her safe, leave you not panicked, and keep her rear facing in the car :-) 


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#5 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Oh....the lap belt on the Ody.  YES, I believe that you can use the lap belt independently to install the restraint, but please, please, please, double check your vehicle manual to confirm that.  It's only true if there is a locking mechanism on the lap belt.


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#6 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, typing this out makes me realize I need to get back with her Drs.  It is 90% psychological, but 10% urgent and probably needs addressed more.  The vomiting I am pretty used to, but her esophagus will swell so when I hear choking, I don't know if it is a minor vomit or a real situation.  I avoid driving more than a few minutes without DH or my 12 year old, which really sucks. Really, beyond the car seat situation, I need to figure that out better.  Once we get her treatment as dialed in as DD2, I won't sweat it.  But we just can't get there.  Which has nothing to do with the car seat situation, lol.  I guess more my AHA moment that a lack of the right treatment is affecting everything else.  That said, I will move her car seat to the other side tomorrow, make it RF, and see if I can stick enough mirrors around her to be able to get a glance if needed.

 

My 12 yr old is home tomorrow.  I am going to install the middle seat, check the manual, move stuff around. check lap belt.  I am thinking that I may just saw screw it and get all new car seats for everyone. :)

 

Thanks so much for your help and I will post back with how the car seat tetris goes tomorrow!

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#7 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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Car seat tetris can be super fun ;-)    

 

I hope you get the answers you need for your daughter.  Is this CVS?


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#8 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My two littlest have eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease...basically their immune system sees food proteins as pathogens and attacks the GI tract. We go out of state to an eosinophilic disease team in Colorado.  With my 4 yr old, we have run the course and she has about 20-25 safe foods that do not cause a reaction (severe stomach pain, chest pain, vomiting, choking, diarrhea, struggling to swallow, etc).  So as long as she sticks to that, she is mostly symptom free, with the exception of oops cross contamination here or there.  My 19 month old, as of 3 weeks ago, had no safe foods and lived only on a prescription amino acid powdered formula type stuff that has no intact protein chains (and can be her sole source of nutrition for life if needed).  But we started some aggressive food trialing with her a couple months ago and have had passes and fails.  Fails result in anything from delayed reaction vomiting, to swelling in her esophagus caused by damage done by the white blood cells.  There is just no rhyme or reason to this stupid disease and we have to go through this process to get her some foods.  She did just get a clear scope and now officially has 6 safe foods, which Rocks.  It is just that every time we start a new food, the reaction can range anywhere from 5 hours later, of after several exposures a couple weeks, depending how her immune system reacts to the protein in that food. 

 

Sorry to write a book. :)  It is an interesting condition that is being diagnosed more, and in the past it was usually kids labeled a combo of: severe GERD, esophogitis, failure to thrive, IBS, severe food allergies, etc....but now research is much better and GI doctors are much better at diagnosing it.  It is the treatment that is the toughy!

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#9 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Oh my, that sounds really horrid for everyone involved, especially your babies gloomy.gif       How remarkable, though, that there is something you can do besides just watch them be in pain. 


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#10 of 14 Old 01-16-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Without getting into the carseat issues (because I cannot help much with that) I just wanted to make sure you knew the middle seats in the 06 Odyssey can be pushed together.  If you do that you can more easily access the seat in the third row on the passenger side and help your 4 year old buckle into their seat.  We have two 3 year olds in Nautilus's in the middle captains chairs, a 9 year old in a low back booster and a 6.5 year old in a high back booster in the third row.

 

I only mention it because when we were looking for our used Odyssey a month ago we came across more than 2 people who were selling theirs and never even knew the seats could be pushed together.  Having the seats slide together is pretty essential for us so my older two can get into the back easily without having to climb over the younger two.

 

Good luck!


Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#11 of 14 Old 01-16-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. :)  That is actually how it is configured now.  I just find it awkward getting in to the back to buckle my 4 yr old.  BUT, not as awkward as I found it when I put in the jump seat, installed the infant seat in the middle, and then attempted to get the empty bucket in and out over a car seat on each side!  Holy moly.

 

Now I have another set of questions for you guys. :) 

 

So to get my facts straight....the FF seat of my 4 yr old has to be on an outside seat (either 2nd or 3rd row) because it must be tethered, right?  And assuming we succeed at a RF situation with my other LO, she needs to NOT use the latches on the car seat, but instead use the seat belt to attach it, correct?  Assuming I am right on those....

1) What exactly is a locking mechanism? :) 

2) If they do not have them, are these things that can be purchased?

3) And if they can be purchased and thus installed on an outside of middle seat belt, could I (in theory) put my RF 19 month old in the middle?

4) Or is that stupid because then I have an infant on an outside seat which is the one thing I remember as not being a good idea

 

I am thinking 4 yr old will have to go to the back, but am trying to think of anyway I can safely put all three in the middle row.

 

Thanks for working through this with me....it is much more complicated than when my 12 yr old was in a car seat, and I didn't really how little I knew. :)

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#12 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 03:49 AM
 
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 Correct:  your four year old must be outboard because you need a top tether (or in any of the positions in the third row).   There is no reason you cannot use the LATCH system with your toddler.  However, you cannot use lower anchors with your four year old because at 40 lbs, she has reached their maximum.  Her restraint must be installed with a seatbelt and top tether. 

 

There is no reason an infant seat can't be outboard, but I specifically recommended against in your case because if you want a 3-across, you need the narrowest possible seat rear facing on that middle 'plus-one' seat, and that will be an infant seat, one of the ones i mentioned above.   And that MUST be installed with the seatbelt because there are no lower anchors on the 8th passenger seat in the Odyssey.    Also, this way your toddler will be rear facing behind the passenger, so you can angle the mirror to be able to see her. 

 

1.  A locking mechanism is how you 'lock' the seat belt.  This holds the seatbelt and thus the car seat in position in the event of a crash.  

2.  Your car has them.  All vehicles made after 1997 have them.  You engage the locking mechanism by pulling the shoulder belt alllll the way out and letting it 'ratchet' back in (click click click click).    The one exception *may* be your middle seat belt.  Because it is a two part belt, it may lock in another way and I simply can't remember what it is!  You'll have to read the manual to get the details on that. 

3. You don't purchase a locking mechanism.  For cars made prior to 1997, you had to use the locking clip that came with the child restraint.

4.  The reason for the positioning I mentioned was described above (you want a narrow seat like an infant seat in the middle, and your toddler outboard so that you can angle the mirror to see her better). 


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#13 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gotcha, clear on all fronts, thanks!  I knew there was that locking mechanism, but wondered if the one being referred to was some other contraption I missed.  After messing around with the middle seat a bit, I realized that the seat belt comes down from the ceiling of the car, then one end snaps in directly below, then it pulls across to snap in the part you would buckle/unbuckle as an adult passenger.  I need to check in the locking mechanism there.

 

The more I think through this, the more I think one kid has to go to the back.  Maybe it won't be so awkward when I am not pregnant. ;)

 

A side note on my toddler.  I spoke with our OT team and they actually have had this issue before with some of the kids with special needs they work with and Mom's need to catch a look more often.  The have recommended and are going to help me install some (slightly complicated) mirror systems back there, regardless of where she ends up, so I can make sure I see her.  I never thought to ask them before!

 

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#14 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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Hi,

Thanks to everyone for this thread, I found it very helpful!  We have a 2006 Odyssey as well, and are expecting #3.  My boys are 3 and 4, and have Brittax Marathons.  They are in the 2nd row, captains chairs.  the middle "seat" is removed, and the 3 year old is in the seat that moved toward the middle....

I know I can move the 4yo to the third row, but I'd like to explore the option of having all three in the 2nd row.  From the previous posts it seems I can move the captains chair back toward the door, put back the middle "seat", and put the baby bucket there?  Does anyone know what baby bucket will fit?  

I absolutely need the base, so I can easilly remove the baby seat without taking the baby out.

I recommend your insights!

Best,

Jessica

 

 

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