Yes, most Power Wheels do come with seat belts. There are four types of power wheel seat belts: lap belts, shoulder belts, and three-and five-point seat belts.
They help protect the occupant in a vehicle from colliding with the interior parts of the vehicle.
Why Do Power Wheels Have Seat Belts?
Power Wheels pose similar risks to that of bigger vehicles. The maximum speed of a power wheel is 6mph, which is enough to cause injury to young children; unfortunately, accidents do happen.
Not all seat belts will provide the same level of protection. Fortunately, it is very easy to change the seat belts on Power Wheels to ensure your safety.
Let’s take a look at the types of seat belts, how to upgrade them, and safety guidelines for parents with younger children.
Types of Power Wheels Seat Belts
As the name suggests, the lap belt goes over the abdomen region of the child. It is available on most Power Wheels but isn’t the safest type of seat belt out there.
While it does prevent a child from being tossed out of their seat, it can still result in bumps or scrapes from leaving the upper torso unsecured.
Do Power Wheels have seat belts other than the lap belt? Yes, they do. Let’s look at the variety of options available for those looking for some extra safety for their child.
Shoulder or Sash Belt
The shoulder belt goes across the shoulder of your child and can be buckled towards the center. It provides more upper-body protection than the lap belt, but can still feel uncomfortable for many kids.
Y-Shaped or Three-Point Seat Belt
The three-point seat belt is the one you will find in most cars today. It is a combination of the lap and shoulder seat belt.
These help divide the impact of a collision to the chest, shoulder, and pelvis of the body and are easy for kids to recognize and use.
Five-Point Seat Belt
A five-point seat belt consists of five straps mounted to the car’s frame. It includes one lap belt, two shoulder belts, and one belt between the legs.
Similar to the shoulder belt, this seat belt is also buckled in the center of your kid’s body.
These types of seat belts are most commonly used in race car driving and child safety seats. They provide better safety for toddlers and smaller kids, and aim to keep the driver as secure as possible.
- The five-point seat belt has been mandated in NASCAR competitions due to its increased safety benefits.
How to Upgrade the Seat Belts on Power Wheels
If you’ve purchased a Power Wheels but didn’t have time to check the seat belts, you may have ended up with a set of seat belts that are more of an accessory than a safety feature.
To ensure your little one can play safely, order a harness that adheres to safety guidelines. Then follow the instructions given below to add them to the Power Wheels model you’ve got at home.
Pro Tip: We suggest that you use a four-point harness, at least. This works best for kids below the age of three.
Instructions to Change the Seat Belts on Power Wheels
- Remove the existing seats on the Power Wheels and put them safely on a table nearby.
- Take out the screws on the previous seat belt.
- Remove the seat belts.
- Make additional slits for the harness straps if there aren’t any.
- Keep the slits thin and align them properly.
- Arrange the harness, and make sure you lay it down with the right side up.
- Thread each strap through the openings and secure it with the bolts provided by the manufacturer.
- Repeat this step until all the straps are secured.
- Adjust the strap length according to the size of the child. It should fit the child snugly.
- Install the seats onto the Power Wheels.
- Try to get your child to sit in the vehicle so you can see if it fits.
- Check to see if the harness straps work well.
- Check how much your child jerks when he/she hits the emergency brakes.
- Make any readjustments to the straps if necessary, and test it again.
- Once you’re sure your child is safe in the installed harness, you can put the tools away.
Safety Guidelines for Power Wheels
Having seat belts is only one aspect of the safety guidelines. Let’s look at a few things you can do to limit risk and ensure your little one’s safety when playing with the ride-on.
Supervision Is a Must
Vehicles made for children are checked to ensure they are safe for kids to play with. Yet, kids can get creative without adults around to watch them and sometimes go at a higher speed than you’re comfortable with.
Ensure you’re teaching your kids how to use the car safely when using it for the first time. Then be around to ensure they can handle the vehicle comfortably.
Most often, little ones don’t notice problems when they’re playing and need an adult to watch over them.
Use Age-Appropriate Power Wheels
Don’t assume a Power Wheels car for a younger kid or toddler is safer for all kids. These are tailored according to the height, weight, and capabilities of the children.
Strictly use only those that are made for your kid’s age group.
All Power Wheels have a weight limit. Some Power Wheels models will also come with an automatic shutdown feature that activates when the vehicle is overloaded.
Overloading can be because of too many accessories, too many kids on the seats, or due to a child of the wrong age group using the vehicle. Avoid letting two kids play on a one-seater Power Wheel as they could fall off.
Even under adult supervision, you must make sure the location your little one rides around in is free from traffic.
Other sites to keep your little one from steering towards are water, stairs, pools, and slopes or uneven surfaces.
The ideal location for younger kids to play and have fun is one with flat, smooth ground; minimum obstacles; and enough space to ride their toy truck safely.
Play in Daylight
For children’s safety, playing with a Power Wheels toy at night isn’t recommended. The visibility is too low for the child and parents, and even for strangers passing by.
This makes it dangerous for everyone.
Take your child out to ride the truck during the day. It’ll make him/her feel energized; plus, it’s healthy to play when the sun’s out.
Note: Fisher-Price Fine
In 2001, Fisher-Price had to pay a huge fine to the U.S. government because it failed to report issues with some of their Power Wheels. The fine paid by Fisher-Price amounted to $1.1 million—the biggest paid by any toy maker ever.
If you’re interested in knowing more about age-appropriate toys for kids, as well as safety measures, then here is a list of guidelines from CPSC and KidsHealth.
How Safe Are Power Wheels for My Children?
Yes. Power Wheels are safe for your children. All the ride-ons go through safety testing and are only approved once they pass these tests.
Note that the vehicles and toys that are guaranteed safe for one age group may not be safe for another. So always buy the correct vehicle model for your kids.
The best thing about ride-ons? They can help teach kids how to drive several years before they get a real car!
How Fast Can Power Wheels Go?
The maximum speed a Power Wheels can go is 6mph. However, if you want to ensure your small child isn’t riding off at high speeds, they also have a high-speed lock that locks the vehicle at a low speed of 2mph.
The average jogging speed is around 6mph, while 2mph is equivalent to that of a brisk walk. This makes it easier for parents to follow their children around.
How Long Do Power Wheels Last?
The battery life of the Power Wheels is one–three years. But it will also change depending on how well you follow the battery care instructions.
A battery drains when it is installed into a device, thus it drains out faster even if the device is not being used. The same applies to children’s toy models and vehicles as well.
If the battery hasn’t been used in a long time, make sure to charge it. This prevents sulfation, which can ultimately shorten the battery life.
How Much Do Power Wheels Cost?
Power Wheels cost anywhere between $250-$450. Some Power Wheels may also come with additional features, such as a microphone with sound effects.
These features will require you to pay an additional cost.
Most Power Wheels come equipped with a harness. That said, safety is paramount, and it’s still better to try to make them as safe as you can.
It is not only the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure the toy is safe, it’s also the customer’s job. Make sure to check the Power Wheels each time you take it out, and put it into storage safely as well.