Car Seat Harness Fit

harness fit

 

Did you know that 3 out of 4 car seats are not used correctly? The car seat must be installed and used correctly for it to preform the way it was designed to in a motor vehicle crash and keep the child safe. Installations vary from each individual car seat, but harness fit is the same.

Rear-facing harness fit should:

  • Be snug to the child’s body. No loose straps.
  • Have the chest clip at armpit level.
  • Have harness straps beginning at the harness slot at or below the child’s shoulder. They should look like they go around the child shoulder.

Forward-facing harness fit should:

  • Be snug to the child’s body. No loose straps.
  • Have the chest clip at armpit level.
  • Have harness straps beginning at the harness slot at or above the child’s shoulder. They should look like they come down over the child’s shoulder.

For both positions, there should be no bulky jackets or clothing that doesn’t allow the harness to be snug to the child’s body, and there shouldn’t be any padding or inserts that did not come new with the car seat at purchase. Bulky clothing and aftermarket padding compress in a motor vehicle crash creating gapping that allows the child to be ejected from the car seat.

Fitting the car seat harness correctly to the child is critical to keep them safe when traveling in a vehicle. For more car seat safety tips, visit the car seat tip page on our VUMC Injury Prevention website.

 

Sources:

Safe Kids

NHTSA