Saturday, May 15, 2010

Car Safety

As many of you know, I'm pretty uptight about the kids and their car seats.  Both girls are still in 5 pt. harness car seats and I plan to keep them both that way until they reach the weight limits on their seats.  I really hate to see kids put into booster seats at 3 years old, but nearly everyone I know does it.  For me, the additional safety is worth the extra minute or two it takes to buckle them in.  The law in TX says they can be changed to a booster at 3 yrs old, but that's merely a minimum requirement.  I'm going to copy some information here about the benefits of extended harnessing.  Please e-mail or call me if you have any questions, I'd love to help you find a seat that is appropriate for your child.  

Why you should consider keeping your child harnessed past age 4 and 40 pounds in a car seat with a higher weight harness.

A younger child doesn’t have the mental maturity to understand that s/he needs to stay still in a booster. The shoulder belt must always stay on the shoulder to keep the child from being thrown forward in a crash. A parent who prematurely moves a child into a booster is often put in the position of constantly reminding (nagging) her child to stay in position to stay safe. The child will eventually tune out the parent and the parent will become frustrated. The child's safety is placed in the hands of the child. A car seat with a properly tightened 5-point harness allows a child to be a child: no nagging to stay in position, no worrying that the child doesn't have the seat belt on or is leaning over to pick up a toy.
5-point harnesses spread crash forces over a larger area and there are 5 points of protection on the child vs. 3 points with a lap/shoulder belt (1 shoulder and 2 hips). A properly adjusted harness is more likely to keep the child contained in the seat and not ejected, especially in a side impact or rollover. Sleeping is easier in a 5-point harness than in a booster.

Compare these 2 videos and watch how the dummy moves in each: (This is a harnessed seat similar to what is sold in the US.) (This is a booster similar to what is sold in the US.)

There are higher weight harness seats in all price ranges and some convert to boosters once kids reach the weight limit of the harness.

Videos dedicated to children who might have lived had they been harnessed (!Warning!!These are tear jerkers!):

Kyle David Miller:

Isabelle Broadhead:

Toni Perry:

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post! It was a good reminder for me. I have John's car seat in the center of the backseat and it is a MAJOR pain to get him in and out but I think he is safest there and I always fear that the one time I get lazy will be the one time something happens!