|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:
http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seite....icosipriori.mpg (This is a harnessed seat similar to what is sold in the US.)
http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seite....axicosirodi.mpg (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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ
Isabelle Broadhead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LFo8vVi04
Toni Perry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G59s3PjcntQ
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