Is Your Child Escaping the Car Seat Harness?

escapingharnessad

 

Any parent’s worst nightmare is an escape artist.

But what most parent’s might not be aware of, is how dangerous it actually is when your child is not wearing their harness correctly, maybe not even wearing it at all – like in the picture above.

So what is the big deal you might ask? Maybe your confident they are safe because they are still technically strapped into the seat and isn’t crawling in the foot-well?
The answer is NO they are not safe.

And this is why… This is crash test footage of what happens when a child has escaped the harness.  The harness is no longer on the shoulders, but around the waist, risk of serious head and abdominal injury is extremely high, even death becomes a reality.

So what can I do??

First of all you need to make sure that your child is correctly buckled into their car seat. There are two simple rules to follow, and by following them, many times that is enough.

  1. The car seat harness is correctly placed on the shoulders and at the correct harness height according to your car seat manual. For rear facing car seats this will usually be at or slightly below the shoulders, but for forward facing use the harness must come from at or slightly above the shoulders.
  2. The harness needs to be nice and snug, close and flat against the body with no twists! You should not be able to fit more than two fingers under the harness at the collar-bone. A loose harness is very dangerous and the child risks being evicted out of the car seat in the event of a sudden stop or in a crash which may lead to serious injury – even death.
correctharness
Nice and snug harness.

 

But it’s not working!

If neither of the above is working, then you need to invest in an anti-escape device. The two I recommend (because they are crash tested) are the ‘BeSafe Belt Collector’ and the ¨5-Point Plus’. Both are widely available online as well as in store. 

How they work:

The ‘BeSafe belt collector’ is a simple plastic “clip” that is slid onto the harness, it is fully legal and crash tested.

beltcollector

Watch my video below:

 

 

 

The 2nd is the ‘5-Point Plus’ anti escape device. Unlike the belt collector it goes behind the child and wraps around the harness where it fastens with velcro. It completely “walls off” the sides of the harness that the child is using to put their arms through, making escape impossible.

5-point-plus-301213

Watch the videos below to see how it works:

 

 

I hope this was educational and helped you out!

 

 

 

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Therese has completed the 'Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course' at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, give-aways and advice. She's a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breast feeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.