Travel Safety/car seats for school run


I take 6 kids to school as part of a school run, in Doha, Qatar. The kids are aged 11, 10, 9, 5, 5 and 3. I drive a Mitsubishi Pajero. What is the safest arrangement of the kids? We have several high backed boosters, several booster cushions and several Bubblebums (inflatable, narrower than booster cushion). 3 high backed booster seats do not fit in the middle row of the car, nor do 2 high backed boosters plus a booster cushion. So my question is this... Is it better to have two high back boosters (3 & 5 year olds) on each side of the middle row, plus one 5 year old in between them on the Bubblebum (which has a strap to connect to the seat belt above the child's shoulder). Or better to have the second 5 year old in the front seat in a high backed booster? Or better to have the second 5 year old in the back row in a high backed booster (which would not be supported up the whole of its height, as the back row seats are not very high). I look forward to your reply.

To start, I need to know what year the Pajero is. From some of the seat belt descriptions you provided, I am going to guess early to mid 2000's. Exact year will help, though country of build and market destination can effect what seat belts and safety equipment Mitsubishi provided.

Another tangent to address is the issue of a 3 year old child in a booster style car seat is not considered a good idea, even if it is legal. Kids should be in a harnessed car seat that is secured in the vehicle by the seat belt through age 6 years when possible. Younger children do not always stay in the position for safety required by a booster seat, so a harnessed car seat offers more safety. FYI.

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Bill Flinchbaugh


Anything involving children and motor vehicle transportation; car seat safety, car and safety system compatibility, safety systems design, best practices for child and family safety, general automobile safety.


30 years automotive specialties, 22 years mechanical/technical instruction (plus, non-profit board membership & community service organization partnership), 10 years NHTSA certification experience.

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