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  1. #1
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    Default Car seat question - 4 year old, seatbelt vs harness

    Hi all,

    My DS will soon be turning 4, which I believe means that he can now move to a booster seat with the seatbelt....

    He is in a SNS Maxi-Rider at the moment and still looks to have plenty of room left in the chair. I was speaking with some girlfriends today and all automatically moved their kids over to the seatbelt harness instead of the five point literally as soon as their child turned 4.

    I had been thinking that I had no intention of moving him to the seatbelt and instead keeping him in the five point harness for as long as he fits, as I perceived this to be a safer option. I now feel like this thought is not consistent with everyone else, so I'm concerned that I'm missing something... Is the seatbelt just as safe? Is there any issues with keeping him in the five pint harness for longer, etc?

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!

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    My 5 year old is in a booster with an inbuilt harness. DD2 is only a featherweight so I would rather keep her in the harnessed seat as long as possible.

    Why worry about being consistent? Don't worry about what others are doing.

    Your kid, your choice Keep him in the seat. At just on 4 years old IMO he is still too young to be in an adult seatbelt.

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    Just to clarify, you mean keeping him in his existing set-up with the inbuilt 5 point harness? (not using a booster with a H-harness?).

    My DD stayed in her 5 point harness for way longer. She is very petite. I think she was in it until she was 6. She is now almost 9 and is in a booster with lap-sash, and will be staying in that for a while yet.

    The 5 point harness is safer than the lap-sash, provided they are not over the recommended weight limit.
    Last edited by CMF; 11-06-2014 at 16:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juzz View Post
    I was speaking with some girlfriends today and all automatically moved their kids over to the seatbelt harness instead of the five point literally as soon as their child turned 4.

    I had been thinking that I had no intention of moving him to the seatbelt and instead keeping him in the five point harness for as long as he fits, as I perceived this to be a safer option. I now feel like this thought is not consistent with everyone else, so I'm concerned that I'm missing something... Is the seatbelt just as safe? Is there any issues with keeping him in the five pint harness for longer, etc?

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Just because your friends are doing doesn't mean its right. Most seats now have height markers, so they should only be moved up to another type of seat when they reach this not based on when their birthday is.

    But yes, it is definately much safer for them in a five point harness than a normal seatbelt if they still fit the carseat.

    I was constantly berated for not turning ds to forward facing when he was six months old (even before then). But I knew the safest option was to rearface as long as possible so said screw you and kept him rearfacing until 14 months when he outgrew it. My point is, don't worry about what your friends are doing, just do what is right for you and your child.

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    Thanks for your comments all, much appreciated. I just wanted to ensure that I wasn't missing something lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by CMF View Post
    Just to clarify, you mean keeping him in his existing set-up with the inbuilt 5 point harness? (not using a booster with a H-harness)
    Yes, that is what i meant - using the existing five point harness...

  6. #6
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    Gothel is offline Skip the drama, stay with Mama!
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    We kept both our kids in a maxi rider + 5 point until they had outgrown them ie when the adjustable straps were in their highest setting, but the straps are dropping down behind the child's shoulder. Their shoulders also need to be lower than the low edge of the adjustable headrest.

    We then moved them into a booster with a H harness, which is safer than seatbelt alone.

    Make your own decision based on what's best for your child, not what your friends are doing!

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    My seat has a shoulder height marker, not weight. DD is 4.5 and is in 95th percentile for height but still has a fair way to hit the marker so staying put in our car. When in my mums her seat is different and she wears a sash belt in there.....which I find annoying having to reach over the seat to do up, ha

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    How much does your son weigh? If he is over 18kg then the harness is not designed to restrain over that weight and the lap-sash is safer.

    Here is the link to Britax's specs on using the maxi rider, the first page outlines the weights.

    http://www.britax.com.au/img/Product...Maxi_Rider.pdf

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Stretched For This Useful Post:

    Wise Enough  (11-06-2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothel View Post
    .

    We then moved them into a booster with a H harness, which is safer than seatbelt alone.

    Make your own decision based on what's best for your child, not what your friends are doing!
    With regards to a h harness it's now been found that they aren't safer than a lap sash seatbelt. And on the downside 90% of them aren't fitted correctly and when they aren't fitted correctly they are more dangerous than a standard seatbelt. Transport authorities have now changed their recommendations to state that they should only be used if a lap only belt is being used. I do however know some people who's kids have outgrown seats with an inbuilt harness and made the choice to use a h harness because their kids won't sit still in a seatbelt (special needs children) and don't understand why it is important fur them.

    To go back to the OP if your seat doesn't have height markers the harness is recommended to be used to 18kg. If you were looking to upgrade seats so that you can harness for longer there are some really good specials on at the moment and I can suggest some seats if you like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    How much does your son weigh? If he is over 18kg then the harness is not designed to restrain over that weight and the lap-sash is safer.

    Here is the link to Britax's specs on using the maxi rider, the first page outlines the weights.

    http://www.britax.com.au/img/Product...Maxi_Rider.pdf
    I agree with this. I've read that using the 5 point harness once they are over the shoulder markers can cause spinal compression in an accident and leave them with spinal injuries. My DS1 is nearly 7 and he is still in his Maxi Rider with the adult seat belt. This is far safer for him because of his height and weight. As long as the shoulders are above the markers it is safest to use the adult seat belt.


    Me + DH = DS1 (6), DS2 (2) and #3 due September 8th

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Chippa For This Useful Post:

    Wise Enough  (11-06-2014)


 

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