Have you ever wondered if the safety belt on your kid’s power wheels can keep your kid safe in case of an accident? There are numerous power wheels with seat belts; however, most models have a decorative seat belt that can’t offer much safety.
Luckily, there is a way you can keep your kid safe while they are playing. And that is installing a reliable safety belt like a 4-point harness.
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How to Install Standard Power Wheels Seat Belts
If your kid’s toy car doesn’t come with a seat belt or it has worn out, then you can purchase a standard Velcro seat belt and install it. Fortunately, it is a very simple process that can be achieved within minutes. To install a new power wheels seat belt, you should do the following:
Step 1: Remove the Seat
After purchasing a reliable Velcro seat belt, you can proceed and remove the seat from the toy car and wash it. If the toy car didn’t have a seat belt, then you can proceed and wash the car seat and prepare it for the new installation. But if it has a worn-out seat belt, then you need to first uninstall the old seat belt before washing the car seat.
Step 2: Install the New Seat Belt
Most Velcro seat belts are designed for both seats, with each set including a long center section and the other two on both sides of the seat.
The center section has two sewed middle sections that prevent the strap from being pulled out after installation.
Next, go behind the seat, slide one end partially on one seat belt slit and the other on the other end, and pull both straps towards the front. Make sure both ends have the same length before proceeding to the side straps.
The side straps have a stopper, so you can insert the left one in its corresponding slot and then pull it through until it hits the stopper. Repeat the same procedure with the right one and make sure the Velcros are facing the right way.
If the power wheels didn’t come with seat belts, then the chances are that they may not have slits for installing the seat belt, so you will have to create the slits for the seat belt before installing them.
Step 3: Reinstall the Seat
Finally, you can reinstall the seat and allow your kids to test the seat belt and see if it’s right or not. If it’s perfect, then your kid can continue playing with their toy cars.
Unfortunately, the Velcro seat belts are not designed to prevent your kid from being ejected in case of an accident, but only to teach them the importance of always putting the safety belt on. This is the main reason why we call most seat belts decorative.
Therefore, if your kids are still young, you may need to replace the decorative ones with reliable safety belts.
Do I Need to Upgrade My Kid’s Power Wheels’ Seat Belt?
Generally, power wheels are designed to be safe for our kids, thanks to their huge wheels, low speed, and control over the speed levels.
Their huge wheels and design are meant to keep them from toppling over. But as parents, we always wonder if power wheels have a reliable seat belt before even gifting our kids with these toy cars.
We always worry that our kids can hit their heads on the dashboard when braking, especially after modifying their toy car by increasing its power.
We also worry that the belts that cross their abdomen can harm them when hitting the emergency brakes. Plus, some models don’t even come with a seat belt.
Unfortunately, even some high-end power wheels models have a decorative safety belt, while others have a belt that stretches over the kid’s abdomen, which is not safe for toddlers. And that is because a toddler or a kid with special needs can fall out of the toy car when it tips over.
Most seat belts are decorative, and their main purpose is to teach our kids the importance of safety instead of keeping them safe.
They may be a bit safer for older kids who have learned how to handle the power wheels, but you have to be very cautious when dealing with toddlers and upgrade to a 4-point harness.
Most folks prefer a 4-point belt that can hold their kids, especially the toddlers, against the seat even when the power wheels toy car topples over.
A 4-point harness can prevent their heads from hitting the dashboard when they activate the emergency brake. Therefore, if your kid is below three years, then you must upgrade their toy car’s safety belt and keep them safe for as long as possible.
And unlike the decorative ones, which teach them to how to wear seat belts, the 4-point harness will teach your kids the importance of wearing seat belts at a very young age.
The 4-point harness resembles a race car’s safety belt, and unlike their car seat belts, they are very easy to operate. And the good thing about this project is that you can complete it in less than an hour.
Another reason why you need a 4-point harness is if you have increased the power wheels’ power and speed.
Generally, these toys are designed to operate at a maximum speed of 7mph, but as our kids grow, we tend to look for ways to modify them and make them even more powerful and fun.
But with more power means an increased likelihood of accidents; therefore, if your kid is driving a modified power wheel, then you need a reliable 4-point safety belt that can keep them safe.
Upgrading Power Wheels Decorative Safety Belts
As aforementioned, power wheels are designed to be very safe for our kids. And with their unique design, their probability of toppling over is quite low, even on rough roads.
This is actually the main reason why some power wheels don’t come with a seat belt. But for toddlers, it can be a bit dangerous; therefore, installing a reliable seat belt is mandatory. Luckily, installing one is a straightforward task that any parent can do in the comfort of their garage.
Fortunately, numerous brands have high-quality replacement safety belts that you can install in your kid’s toy car. But if they are below three years old, the best option is a 4-point harness. For older and taller kids, you need an extended harness.
Plus, all seat belts come with all the needed accessories for securing the belt, so you can either drill new holes or use the ones that came with the power wheels. To upgrade the seat belts on your kid’s power wheels, you should do the following:
Step 1: Uninstall the Original Seat Belt if It Has One
If your kid’s power wheels came with a factory fitted, then you should start by safely removing it, but if it doesn’t have one worry about removing the safety belt. To access the seat belt perfectly, you should first remove the toy car’s seat by unscrewing the screws holding it in place.
Remove the seat and clean it if it is dirty before confirming how the belt is secured to the seat. Make sure you wash the toy car’s seat thoroughly using water and soap. You can even wash the toy car while you’re at it, but make sure the water doesn’t get into the toy car’s electronics.
After the seat has dried properly, you can remove what is holding the seat belt in place; you can pull it out.
Step 2: Create Slots for the Seat Belt and Install the New Belt
Generally, a 4-point harness needs some anchoring points at the sides of your kid’s thighs and above the shoulders. So you will have to make two openings on the sides of the toy car’s seat.
But make sure you put them at the corner of the seat and not in the middle of the seating area.
Power wheels with no safety belt have indentations in the place where the belt is situated in the other models. If the seat has no slits that fit the new seat belts, you will have to make some.
Start by making the slits on the seat’s sitting region and then the shoulder level slits. Make sure the slits are aligned for the belt to fit and be balanced. The opening shouldn’t be huge enough for the straps to slide right through.
So the shoulder slits are situated right on top of the ones on the seat level. And most importantly, they should be situated higher than your kid’s shoulders for them to feel comfortable when wearing them.
If your kid is taller, then you will have to install the upper parts of the seat belt on the roll cage. But make sure the roll care is reinforced.
Before installing the new belt, you should arrange the belts the right way on the toy car’s seat and try and visualize how it will look. This will show you if your slots are aligned and correctly positioned.
Once you’re satisfied with the position of the slots, you can thread the first strap to the slot and secure it using the manufacturer’s securing accessories, which is normally a bolt in most cases. Secure the other three straps before taking care of the other seat.
Make sure both seats have similar 4-point seat belts that can keep your kids safe when driving.
Step 3: Adjust the New Seat Belt and Then Reinstall the Seat
Before reinstalling the toy car’s seat, you must adjust the length of the straps and ensure that they will fit perfectly against your kid.
You can even tag the strap and confirm if they can withstand the impact even after your kid activates an emergency brake. Make sure your kid doesn’t hit their head on the dashboard when braking and that they remain near the seat.
Once you’re sure everything is safe, you can reinstall the car seat, making sure that the seat is screwed tightly in its compartment. Next, ask one of your kids to get into the toy car and try the seat belt.
Make sure the belt fits him perfectly without necessarily harming him in any way. There should be more than enough room between your kid’s body and the straps for you to wiggle the fingers.
If it’s too tight or big, you can readjust the straps and then ask your kid to drive the toy car with the seat belt on.
As parents, our number one priority is keeping our kids safe and healthy. Therefore, we always look for the safest toys and even modify them to make them even safer, especially for younger kids.
One of the most crucial safety precautions that are overlooked in most power wheels is the safety belt. And while some toy cars don’t have seat belts, others come with decorative Velcro belts. Velcro belts can’t keep our kids safe; therefore, it’s crucial that you upgrade to the 4-point seat belts.