09-07-2001, 02:21 PM
I drive a 2000 Chrysler Grand Voyager, which has dual integrated child safety seats. Does anyone know how the safety of these seats compares to convertible/ forward-facing aftermarket seats such as the Roundabout? Where can I get information about safety records or Integrated seats?
09-07-2001, 03:04 PM
Integrated seats are great! You get the benefits of a forward facing harnessed seat with NONE of the installation issues. The convenience and space requirements couldn't be better. So I'm a great fan of integrated seats.
From a crash perspective, they are probably very good. Head excursion, for instance, is measured from a point behind the child's head when they are in an aftermarket carseat. The starting point stays the same when testing an integrated seat, but the child starts much closer to the vehicle seat back. So there is less head excursion.
There are a few drawbacks, depending on your needs. Here are the ones I can think of.
1. They are forward facing only. So if you could still rear face your less than say 30 pound child, then you will want an aftermarket seat. Many children are able to stay rear facing to 2 years old or more in today's seats.
2. They are fixed to the car (duh!). So you probably will eventually need a spare seat for travel, grandparents' cars, going with friends, etc.
3. I was just using a minivan with integrated seats with my two children, both with the harness and as a belt positioning booster. They were nice, and convenient, but they didn't have some of the features that some of our other seats have. Like my son's legs stuck out straight in front of him, instead of bending at the knees. They didn't have the padding of some of our seats. The harness adjuster was not as nice as on our Roundabout. Stuff like that.
So if my van had integrated seats and my children were forward facing and harnessed, I'd try using them first. I'd make sure I had at least one harnessed seat on hand for other uses. If you end up wanting the features of the aftermarket seat, and feel that you really ARE installing it right (since I was comparing integrated seats to properly installed and used aftermarket seats), then you might decide you wanted to use it instead, or some of the time (like long trips). I doubt I'd ever use my cheap seats (I have Cosco Tourivas) instead of an integrated seat, but I might sometimes use my Roundabout.
I hope this helps. Your van sounds great! Can you use both seats as belt positioning boosters too? In the van we used, only one could be used as a bpb, though both could be used with the 5 point harness.
Toby, CPS tech
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