What Is A 5 Point Harness Car Seat?

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This unique and innovative design is specifically made for your child’s safety as it will not only make them sit comfortably but also keep them feeling secure. It can be difficult for parents to find the perfect seat for their children.

If you are unfamiliar with what is a 5 point harness car seat? Well, it is a safety harness designed with five connection points that are arranged to prevent and protect your child from injuries due to a crash on the shoulder and hips.

These points are located on the seat, such as the two points placed at each side of the shoulders, the other two points placed at the child’s hips area, and the final point is placed where the harness buckles are in the middle of the baby’s legs.

In this article, I will explain the features of the 5 point harness and have a better understanding of this safety procedure.

The Importance And Purposes Of A 5 Point Harness Car Seat

The reason why this discussion is necessary is that there are numerous cases all over the world that sadly explain how small errors made by people put their child’s life at risk.

I have gathered this information for the purpose of helping you to have a better understanding and so you can make the right choices and follow the proper safety guidelines for the betterment of you and your children.

How To Tighten The 5 Point Harness

Through my research, I found out that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated about 46 percent that car seats used by people are making at least one mistake that can cause serious injuries to the child.

These errors are most commonly happening due to not tightening your child’s harnesses as they grow older, so it is something that needs to be taken into serious consideration as you might be risking the life of your child.

Step By step

In order to harness the straps, firstly, make sure you pull the strap on top of the crotch buckle in order to ensure that the strap is comfortable. Moving on, you will place the chest buckle in the middle of your child’s neck but away from the neck to prevent choking.

Next, once you have buckled up your child, you will then check the tightness of the harness. This can be done by pinching the straps with your hands, and as you do that, if the harness is tight, it will not be easy to grasp; however, if you do pinch the harness, then it means the straps are not tight, and you can tighten it more.

No-Rethread Harness

The purpose of no-rethread harness is to make adjustments on your seat’s straps as the child grows in order to accommodate the child’s height and weight. It is easier to adjust the height but will be difficult to tighten the harness straps due to more irritation in the arrangements.

Moreover, it is easier to rethread the rear-facing car seat as the child grows older because you would not have to remove the seat.

Rethread Harness For Rear Facing And Forward Facing Car Seats

As mentioned earlier, it is easy to rethread harness on rear facing car seats, but however, the rethread harness is more important for a forward facing car seat. This procedure is also made easier as it saves you so much time from uninstalling the car seat to harness the straps as your child grows.

You can place the straps below the child’s shoulders in the rear-facing car seat, but you will have to place the straps above the child’s shoulder in the forward-facing car seat for safety precautions.

Important Adjustments

These adjustments are necessary as they will protect the child from a crash and prevent them from moving or falling out of the seat or car or even hitting something inside that car that can cause serious injuries.

It is important to adjust the heights of the shoulder straps as you can budge the headrest upwards and downwards, as well as the shoulder straps budge upwards and downwards. If you do not adjust the harness straps, it will be life-threatening for the children as they grow older.

Crotch Buckle

You have to make sure that the crotch buckle and the chest clip is secured in place. As in several cases, due to crash forces, the child can be strangulated as they slide down the seat by the chest clip. The crash can hit harder and cause some serious injuries to the sensitive parts of the body.

Uneven Straps

This might force your child’s body to wiggle a lot which will cause serious injuries as the forces on the body will not be absorbed equally.

In order to prevent that, make sure you loosen the harness and start pulling the strap on the uneven side to make sure that both straps are equal again as you place your hand on both straps in order to determine both sides are equal.

Adjustments As The Child Grow

It is really important to adjust the harness straps height as the child grows because if it is too tight, it can be uncomfortable, and if it is too loose, then your child might be in danger and can shake and even fall out of the seat during a crash. It will also be difficult for you to put your kid in and out of the car seat.

5 Point Harness Vs. 3 Point Harness

The key difference between the two is the straps that are used to secure the child in place. For the 5 point harness, there are two on either side of the shoulders and two at the hips that will be connecting to the crotch, whereas, for the 3 point harness, there are two straps on both sides of the shoulders but nothing on the hips area to keep your child secure.

So it is pretty obvious that even though they both provide the same functions, one is less safe than the other.

5 Point Is Safer Than 3 Point Harness

Many parents believe that 5 points is safer than 3 point harness during an accident as it will prevent your child from sliding from the seat and keep your child’s abdomen safe as it is a sensitive area of the body.

It will also absorb the forces equally all over the body protecting the upper and lower body, whereas the 3 point harness is not a going choice as it has no security for the hips area, putting a lot of pressure on the chest and shoulder causing serious injuries.

Which Harness To Use According To The Age

This mostly depends on what you think is suitable for your car type and the age of your child. It is worth mentioning. Many parents believe that using the 5 point harness is the best choice for their children from a very young age, as they can be adjusted pretty easily, and your child can grow into the car seat and use it for years.

However, there are parents who say that using a 3 point harness car seat is better for infants and toddlers as they are easily secured in place, and you can take your child in and out easily.

Even though both choices are good, many manufacturers and researchers recommend the rear-facing 5 point harness car seat for much better protection of your child.

The Drawbacks And Solutions

Although it is safe and secure for your child, it can be challenging to make your child sit in place and not expect them to move or mess around with the straps or even undo the buckle. This can be dangerous and can cause frustration for you while you are driving.

Many parents have complained about their children not liking the straps on them or the rear-facing seating adjustments. Children also tend to wriggle out of the straps easily.

Unbuckling

It is not challenging for kids to undo the buckle, and if they learn to do it once, they will most definitely do it repeatedly. This can be really frustrating and hard to manage the situation, but in order to prevent this from happening, there can be some solutions that parents can try.

If the harness is too low or loose, children can easily squeeze their shoulders and reach the buckle easily, so it is necessary to tighten the harness straps before buckling your child.

Move Out Of The Straps

This is also another frustrating thing children tend to do if they do not tighten the straps around the shoulders. Even if one shoulder is uneven, as in loose as the other strap, then this can also make your child wriggle and easily take their arms out of the straps.

It is important to always keep the straps even at all times by placing one hand at the chest clip and moving the uneven strap until it is equal with the other side making it tight and finally clutching it in place.

Conclusion

I hope you have a clear idea of what is a 5 point car seat. I personally believe that this innovation is great for the safety of your child in a vehicle as it will keep your child stay in place and make sure to protect from any serious crashes.

However, children love to play around, they are innocent clueless, so it is easy for them to undo the buckle, but it is the parent’s responsibility to teach them and help them understand a set of rules to follow when riding in the vehicle so they can start learning at a young age and make your job easier.