A mom’s “overprotective” urge to fix the car seat harness saved her kid right before a car crash.
Rebecca’s husband, David, and their son, William, were preparing for their drive to another city. In one of the pics from her husband, the mom saw that her kid wasn’t properly buckled in his car seat: the harness straps were too loose and the chest clip was located way too low. The woman insisted that he tighten the straps and fix the chest clip.
It turned out Rebecca’s comment came just in time — 15 minutes later her husband called her and said that he and William had gotten into a car crash. Little William was safe and sound. He was so securely fastened in the car seat, that he didn’t even wake up when the car crash happened.
A poorly adjusted car seat harness can lead to severe injuries in the case of a car accident.
According to car seat safety experts, many parents don’t realize how dangerous a poorly adjusted harness is, and continue to buckle their kids improperly in their car seats. Loose, uneven, or twisted straps, the incorrect position of the chest clip, and failure to adjust the harness as the child grows — are only some of the mistakes parents continue to make.
Safety experts have come up with harnessing strategies that will help you securely position your child in a car seat and rest assured that your child is safe.
Position the chest clip at your kid’s armpit level.
The aim of the chest clip is to keep the harness straps where they belong during a car crash, and thus keep your child in their place.
- The right place for a chest clip is at the child’s armpit level.
- If the clip is placed too low it may apply too much force to the soft parts of the body.
- If the clip is located too high (like right below the chin), it can bruise the kid’s neck or throat.
Make sure the harness straps are not twisted.
Twisted straps may bind into the locking mechanisms of the car seat and give you a false sense that the straps are tightened, when they’re not. A twisted strap will also apply more pressure to the child’s body, worsening the impact of the car crash.
- Make sure all the straps lay flat and even.
- Slide twisted straps through a buckle or a chest clip to make them straight again.
Properly tighten the harness straps and make sure they are even.
If the straps of the harness are too loose, the child will move out of the car seat shell in the case of a car accident, and can even be thrown entirely out of the seat.
- A strap is tight enough when you can’t pitch any of it between your fingers in the area of the child’s shoulders.
- Make sure that the straps are evenly tightened, otherwise the force of the crash will not be evenly distributed, increasing the risk of injury.
- Don’t forget to place the chest clip at armpit level after you adjust the straps.