Booster Seat Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Booster Seat Question
10
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:04pm
I have a problem that I would like some insight on. My 4 y/o son will be starting pre-K this year. (Actually, day after tomorrow!!!) I went in to the school to finish up some last-minute paperwork today, and one of the papers was a permission form for me to sign, saying he could go on field trips to the library (which is about 1 1/2 miles from the school). My problem is this.

When I asked whether the children are put in booster seats for the ride, the teacher said no, as it is not required by law. (In Ga., where I live, booster seats are only requiredup to the age of 4.) I told her my son rides in a booster seat at all times, and that is what he is used to. Could I bring his seat to the school for the morning of these trips? She again said no, as it would cause a problem with the other children, who would not have them.

Based on this, should I allow my son to go without his booster seat, just a seatbelt, for these trips, (which, to the best of my knowledge, will occur several times throughout the school year), or should I not allow him to go at all? I would offer to take him myself, but this would not be feasible, as I have two younger children at home who nap during their usual field trip times. I do not want him riding without a booster seat, regardless of the law, but I do not want him to miss an enriching experience with his class, or to be picked on or feel left out because of my decision. --->Dawn

Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:10pm
You should ask the ladies on the Carseat board...they're great with questions like this:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppcarseats

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:15pm
Is the school using cars or buses for transportation? Buses usually do not have seat belts so it is a moot point. I would talk to the Principal first. If that does not get desired results go to the PFC (PTA). If the school is in legal compliance and unwilling to work with you, AND you are not comfortable with the situation then no I would not allow him to go on the field trips.

In CA we have booster seat laws up 6 years OR 60 pounds. So in kindergarten we where required to leave our car seats on field trip days. If a school bus was being used we were not asked to leave car seats.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:37pm
The place he is going is actually a daycare center, and they only have the one pre-K class. There isn't really a principal, just the director of the center. They use vans to transport the kids, and they are all in seatbelts at all times. But still... ya know? --->Dawn
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 5:38pm
Thanks, I'll defenitely do that! --->Dawn
Avatar for natsmom98
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 6:30pm
If I were you and was worried about him not being in a booster seat, I'd find a way to drive him myself. You said it was only a couple of times a year - I know how important naps are but the kids could miss naps on those occasions or you could maybe find a sitter while they nap ... good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2000
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:51pm
Dd's preschool stopped doing field trips (the year b/f she started there) for precisely this reason. They didn't want to be responsible for carseats being installed incorrectly, etc. I would NEVER allow my 4 y/o to go anywhere in a car without her carseat. Our state law is that they must be a carseat/booster until 6 y/o, but that is just taking into effect in October, and currently is 4 y/o.

Dd's school decided the liability was too great, and now instead, they have all kinds of neat things/people come to her school. Frankly, I don't think it is necessary to have field trips until grade school.

I feel VERY strongly about carseat safety. Four years ago, we had the unfortunate experience of attending the funeral of a 7 m/o baby of a friend of ours - our dd was the same age at the time. The baby was ejected from an improperly restrained carseat and died of massive head injuries. It was the most emotional funeral I have ever been to - one of the few times I've seen dh cry. We were just in shock, esp trying to imagine how we would have felt at losing our dd who was only a week older. Unfortunately, b/c of my views on this subject, dd never rides in other people's cars unless dh or I personally install her carseat (she is still in a 5pt harness) and give the driver explicit instructions on how to use the harness. I think the only people who have ever driven her anywhere are our parents and our siblings.

If I were in your situation, I would get a babysitter to watch the kids and be a chaperone, or I would ask to drive my child to the location *and* pick her up afterward. My other kids would just have to nap in the car (LOL, they do that a lot anyway!).

Good luck, and bravo to you for taking this issue so seriously!

Maureen

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 10:01pm
Hey Dawn, I once discussed why there are no seat belts on school busses w/a school bus driver. The reason is b/c it is VERY rare for passengers to get injured in a school bus b/c of the sheer size of it.

While it's certainly your call, I would think what your son is going to miss out on if he isn't allowed to go is more of a risk than the fact that he won't have a booster seat on the bus. But, that's JMHO.

GL! C

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 10:11pm
But I betcha its not a bus. I betcha its a van. And those DO have accidents with injuries.

That said, my dd, who is 7, still rides in a booster in my car. But she goes on her daycare field trips sans booster .. but WITH seatbelt.

Big age diff I know between my kid and the OP's. But ....

Hollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 10:16pm
Yeah, I didn't see her later post saying it's a van...in THAT case, I'd raise holy hell! Again, JMHO! C
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 7:34am
This is what I know ... you need to ask to see a copy of their current liability insurance concerning transportation of children. If the law in your state is as you said, they must comply with that law and have current liability. In MA where I am ... all child care situations(includes prek, center-based, religious based, and family child care) must have liability insurance for transporting children anywhere and each child under the weight of 60lbs must be in a regulation child/car restraint. You can find out the laws by contacting the local State Police.

Good luck, Linda

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