Keeping your child safe on the road is the utmost important task. When we would do anything to keep our kids safe, why choose the second best when it comes to safety? Car accidents are the leading cause of death – nearly 1.3 million people in the United States die in a road crash.
You don’t want to compromise on your kid’s safety? Do you?
Why Do We Use Car Seat?
Car seat keeps the children safe and secure from any crash. It is vital to choose a car seat which is right for your child’s size. As responsible parents, you should get tested car seats which would meet all requirements. Every little detail in the car seat is important in preventing accidents. Car seat harness is one such aspect.
What Is A Car Seat Harness?
A car seat harness keeps your kid safe and secure in their car seat. It is a harness which sits against your kid’s chest to keep him/her secure. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, a car seat harness are for both front-facing and rear-facing car seats. Car harness will keep your kid restrained to the car seat and it is all about position. Learning to use the car seat harness correctly is important as incorrect usage may not protect your child.
First Things First!
Make sure what your child is going to use – a front or rear-facing car seat. If your child is in a front-facing car seat, the harness should be at or above the shoulders. If it is a rear-facing car seat, the harness should be strapped at or below your child’s shoulders. Check for the harness straps which should go through the car seat. They should be at the same level and not have any twists.
Once you secure your child in the car seat, pull the harness straps over your child and buckle it and close the chest clip. Pull the harness and test the snug tightness. A pinch test is when you pull the harness horizontally you cannot pinch the material together. After the pinch test, move the chest clip to armpit level.
Although it sounds very simple, a large number of parents still leave the harness too loose. It might seem right and comfortable, but still, you might have harnessed it wrong.
Snug As A Hug
When you strap your child with the car seat harness, you should not allow any slack. It should relatively lie in a straight line without any sagging. The harness should not push your child into an unnatural position. It should fit as snug as a hug.
In winter when your child is bundled up in warm clothes, the harness should still be flat and secure against them. Do not dress up your little one with thick layers of clothing before strapping them secure. They should be dressed in thin layers and strapped securely in place over their clothes. You can bundle them with a coat or a blanket over the harness. A loose harness may not protect your child in case of any crash. In worst cases, your child may even get ejected out of car seats.
Harness Grows With The Child
It is important to keep changing the car seat harness along with your child’s growth. When your child outgrows a car seat, they would ideally outgrow the harness as well. According to AAP, a child outgrows the car seat when his/her ears reach the top of the seat, reach maximum weight, height, or their shoulders are above the harness spots. This is the time to bring in the booster seat for your child.
When you make sure to secure and strap your kid snug and in a correct position, it will protect them the right way. Do not compromise on their safety!