Next Step: Harnessing


The next step after selecting the right child restraint and installing it,  is harnessing.

You are likely using a 5-point harness car seat, which contacts your child in strongest five points of the body: both shoulders, the hips and the crotch.  A 5-point harness spreads the crash force evenly over the child.

1. If your child is in a rear-facing child restraint, the car seat harness strap should be at or below your child’s shoulders. If your child is in a forward-facing child restraint, the harness strap should be at or above your child’s shoulders.

2. Make sure the harness straps are both going through the child restraint at the same level. Also it should have no twists.

3. Put your child in and tighten the harness straps to snug. Do the pinch test to ensure it is tight enough.

4. Put the chest clip at armpit level.

That seems simple enough.

Also remember, do not have anything thick, like a winter coats, inside the harness straps.

Be sure to read your car seat manual thoroughly for additional recommendations for your specific child restraint or travel car seat. Pay careful attention to what the child restraint manufacturer says is the maximum weight limit for the harness as it’s used, i.e. rear-facing weight limit or forward-facing weight limit.

If you need additional support for a small child, use rolled blankets but not under the child or between the child and harness straps.

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