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February 23rd, 2010, 06:06 AM
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::er!ca:: ::er!ca:: is offline
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 36,283
What is Extended Harnessing?
Keeping your child harnessed past the traditional 40 pounds



Why should I keep my child harnessed past 40 pounds?
  • Limits head excursion (forward movement) during a crash, reducing the risk of head and neck injuries
  • Spreads crash forces out over a broader area of the body (5 points instead of 3), and across the strongest parts of the child’s body
  • Child is seated properly 100% of the time
  • Reduces driver distraction (keeps kids seated properly and restrained)
  • The majority of children are not mature enough to ride in a booster until 5-6 years old
  • Offers a snugger fit than an adult seat belt. When an accident occurs, the harness is already holding the child in the proper position.
Top 3 reasons kids go into a booster before they should
  1. Their younger siblings need their harnessed car seat
  2. Their peers are in booster seats
  3. Need to replace their old seat due to age of seat/returning loaned seat and need a cheap replacement
“Every step in car seat “advancement” is actually a step down in your child’s protection.” - CPSafety.com

If a child in a booster still finds that the shoulder belt crosses the neck or face instead of lying flat on the collar bone, the child needs to be moved back into a higher weight harness seat. If a child can not or will not use a booster correctly for the entire duration of the ride, every ride, then the child needs to be in a high weight harness seat.
A child under the age of 5 years old is at increased risk of internal injuries due to poor fitting booster seats, and the risk of submarining down/out of a booster. The goal of extended harnessing is to let your child reach a safe size & maturity level before putting them in a proper booster.

How to tell if a child has outgrown their forward facing harnessing seat:


A forward facing harnessing seat is outgrown when one of the following occurs (which ever happens first)
  • The child reaches the weight limit of the harness
  • The child’s shoulders are above the top harness slot
  • The child’s ears reach the top of the seat
*It’s important to remember that while forward facing, the harness slot must be AT or ABOVE the child’s shoulders at all times.
*Also note that a forward facing harnessing seat should always be top tethered. If your vehicle doesn’t have top tethers, please contact your local dealership to have one retrofitted. Many manufacturers will install the first top tether for free, and additional top tethers cost around $15. The use of a top tether reduces head excursion by 6 inches.

There are many car seats on the market today that will keep children harnessed well past 4 years and 40 pounds. The majority of the seats on the market today harness to 50-85 pounds. If your child has a car seat with a 40 pound harness weight limit, and outgrows it, there are many affordable options for you to keep them harnessed longer. Best practice is ABOVE the law, not just the minimum law.

Crash Test Comparisons: (at 30 mph)
Windows Media Player required
Frontal impact- 5 point harness vs. Booster
Side impact- 5 point harness vs. Booster

Study showing increased head injury in children under the age of 5 who are in booster seats:
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd.../05-0330-O.pdf

Some videos about harnessing:
Extended Harnessing
The Importance of a 5 Point Harness Car Seat

Which car seats are best for EH?
*Forward Facing Only Seats
Britax Frontier: forward facing only seats, harnessing from (2 yrs) 25 to 80 pounds; converts to high back booster
Britax Frontier 85: forward facing only seat, harnessing from (2 yrs) 25 to 85 pounds; converts to high back booster
Britax Regent: (discontinued) forward facing only seat, harnessing from 22 to 80 pounds
Graco Nautilus: forward facing only seat, harnessing from 20 to 65 pounds; converts to high back booster and backless booster
Evenflo Maestro: forward facing only seat, harnessing from 20 to 50 pounds; converts to high back booster but isn’t advised to use in booster mode by CPSTs
Evenflo Generations 65: forward facing only seat, harnessing from 20 to 65 pounds; converts to high back booster but isn’t advised to use in booster mode by CPSTs
Safety 1st Apex 65: forward facing only seat, harnessing from 22 to 65 pounds; converts to a high back booster


*Convertible Seats
Sunshine Kids Radian: convertible car seat, rear faces 40-45 pounds, forward face 60-80 pounds
Learning Curve True Fit: convertible car seat, rear faces to 35 pounds, forward faces to 65 pounds
Evenflo Symphony 65: convertible 3-in-1 car seat, rear faces to 35 pounds, forward faces to 65 pounds; converts to high back booster but will be outgrown quickly in booster mode
Evenflo Triumph Advance: convertible car seat, rear faces to 35 pounds, forward faces to 50 pounds
Graco My Ride 65: convertible car seat, rear faces to 40 pounds, forward faces to 65 pounds
Safety 1st Complete Air: convertible car seat, rear faces to 40 pounds, forward faces to 50 pounds
Britax Marathon: convertible car seat, rear faces to 35 pounds, forward faces to 65 pounds
Britax Boulevard: convertible car seat, rear faces to 35 pounds, forward faces to 65 pounds
Evenflo Momentum 65- rear faces to 40 pounds (supposedly, though it's brand new and the Evenflo site says 35 pounds), forward faces to 65 pounds

Last edited by ::er!ca::; June 4th, 2010 at 05:35 AM.
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