May 14, 2010,
M.C. asks from Saint Paul, MN on July 21, 2008
Shuttle to Hotel Do I Need a Seat???
My husband, 2 kids and I are going to Walt Disney World, Florida and will be shuttled to our hotel and then back to the airport and that's it. My kids will be 2 and 4 at that time and I'm not sure if I should bring a carseat, booster or nothing for our 4 year old? What would you do? Is Britax Marathon compliant for airplane use? I think it is but I'm not sure...
I plan to bring a Britax Marathon for my youngest to contain her in flight. No other transportation will occur besides the shuttle to our hotel.
Florida law states she wouldn't have to be in a seat. She is tall for her age but I'm not sure how well a seatbelt would fit her. I'm actually not sure if shuttles have lap and shoulder or just lap.
I'm shocked to read that shuttles are not always complient with state laws. Accidents happen to shuttles too.
S.E. answers from Miami on May 14, 2010
There was a time decades ago when parents thought that holding their children on their laps in moving vehicles was "safe". Now we know better. When were on vacation we tend to let our guard down and do things we would never think of doing otherwise.
The laws of physics simply do not fail to apply when you're on vacation or when it would be more convenient to pretend they don't exist. If you were a first responder to accident scenes and have witnessed the terrible results of an unsecured child in a moving multi-passenger vehicle, you would never consider allowing your child to ride unrestrained. On Disney property there is an exemption, however shuttle busses and vans that leave the property and travel on the roads to airports and hotels are required to have restraints. Unfortunately, law enforcement doesn't posess the resources to enforce every vehicle. It will take an unfortunate accident with mutiple young children before I think the enforcement begins to step up.
Just because you can get away with it, or because everyone else is doing it, or because it isn't "convenient" were all arguments put up against these child restraint laws in the legislature.
From reading the responses and answers from some of these parents below, all I can say is I'm glad that there are laws to protect our children. Because if their weren't , these same parents would drive around everyday with their children unrestrained simply because it's more convenient, everyone else is doing it.
If you have small children, don't play roulette with their safety in trade for convenience. Rent a car and reserve the proper child restraints. Please.
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B.W. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
Most shuttle buses either have no seat belts, or they have limited seat belts available for child safety seats. If you are only going to be riding the shuttle (no taxi, no rental car, no riding with friends) then you could probably get away without bringing carseats. However if there is even a chance that you'll be in a vehicle other than the shuttle, don't chance it and bring the carseats for BOTH girls. you cannot use a booster on an airplane, only 5pt harness carseats. THe Britax Marathon is FAA approved, we've used ours on the airplane many times. the last time we flew we let our then 5yr old sit in the seat without his carseat and he did fine, but I wouldn't do that with a younger child, and I wouldn't chance nto having a carseat on vacation, because you never know.
If you have a 5pt harness carseat for both girls, bring them adn strap them into the carseat on the airplane. It'll make your flight alot easier, and they'll be more comfortable. You have to buy a seat for them anyway, might as well make it worht your money and thier comfort.
S.H. answers from Omaha on July 28, 2008
You best bet would be to make a phone call to the hotel and ask them what is expected of people who are traveling with children.better to be safe then sorry. maybe if they know you have children they might have car seats to put in the van for you
L.A. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
We just did a trip and had an hour drive in a shuttle. I was glad we didnt bring seats, because there werent any seat belts to strap them in anyways. Even the van that drove us back didnt have seatbelts.
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
I'm a picky mom and my daughter is 7 and in a Britax Regent.
But when we go on vacations and are in situations where there aren't seatbelts I manage and do the best I can. We were in NYC when she was 5 and I physically couldn't drag her seat with us and we used a taxi several times without a carseat. It's really hard to manage suitcases, kids, strollers, carseats aaahhhhhhhh
I personally wouldn't drag a seat for your 4 year old. If your 2 year old needs one for the plane great use it but I highly doubt a shuttle would have seatbelts. Also in most states it's not mandatory to use carseats in public transportation usually only in your own private car.
K.B. answers from Milwaukee on July 22, 2008
My aunts usually use carseats in the plane, and they usually have relatives pick them so they need that carseat for the private vehicle.
My 2 year old would rather sit just like everyone else instead of using the carseat but I usually bring it along... you can pick up the car seat baggage cart at Babies R Us, you just strap the carseat onto it and can haul it around. I believe your 2 year old can even sit in it while you are hauling it around so you don't have to carry her when she is tired.
A lot of shuttles are like small buses, the seats are all different ways/positions and most don't have seat belts. Some passenger vans have seat belts and some don't, it all depends on if the company has taken them out... or if the seat belts have been jammed into the seat.
If you decide to rent a car most places provide a carseat, you just have to ask. I think that is a great and a huge lifesaver.
Best wishes on your travel!
S.F. answers from Madison on July 22, 2008
When we have been on airport shuttles with our kids we have never used any type of carseat. I've never seen anyone else using one either...
B. answers from Minneapolis on July 22, 2008
On our last couple of trips we have brought a carseat/stroller combo that we bought for the airplane. We expected to use it in cabs and shuttle buses too. The cabs we took wouldn't allow one of us to sit in the front seat, so there was no room for the carseat. It ended up in the trunk. It didn't fit into the seat on the shuttle bus, so it ended up on the luggage rack there. Our shuttle did have seat belts, and our daughter (3 years old) seemed fine for a short ride wearing that. If you decide to bring a carseat, make sure that it is FAA approved for the plane. Booster seats are not.