3 Most Common Harness Mistakes

Posted by Juliet Fernandez on

We are regularly reminding parents, how the harnesses on a car seat are used play a critical role in the safety of the seat. It is crucial to ensure that the shoulder straps are being used correctly to provide optimal protection in the event of a car accident.

Here are the top 3 mistakes we see parents and carers make:

1. Shoulder straps are at the wrong height

When your child is in a rear-facing car seat, the shoulder straps should be at or just below their shoulders. On the other hand, when your child is in a forward-facing car seat, just above shoulder level to provide adequate protection.

 Rearward Facing Harness Position Forward Facing Harness Position

Shoulder strap heights need to be adjusted as your child grows. The way to adjust the straps are different for different make and models of car seats.

2. Twisted straps

When the harness straps are twisted it makes is very difficult to tighten.
Twisted straps can also be dangerous in an accident as it concentrates the force of an accident on a smaller area. This can increase the stress across the shoulders and chest leading to an increase in the degree of injury.
Flat, untwisted straps spread the load of an accident across the contact points on your child, reducing the force across the shoulders and chest.
If you are having issues untwisting your child's car seat harness straps, pop in and we will take care of it.

3. Loose straps

This may be stating the obvious but we regularly see children arrive in their car seats with loose straps. 
Use the simple pinch test technique to check for a secure fit. If you can pinch the straps near your child's shoulders, they are too loose. Keep them safe by tightening until you cannot pinch the strap. Another test - you should only be able to fit 2 fingers between your child's chest and the straps.

Here is a video to show you how to ensure your straps are tight enough:

Child's Car Seat Correct Harness Tension

Feel free to pop in and our expert staff will be able show you how to ensure a snug fit.

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