PSA: The importance of a 5-point harness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Everyone needs to watch this short 3 1/2 minute video on the importance of using a 5-point harness car seat. It is a tear jerker, but it's very important.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ&NR

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#2 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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I can't stop crying and I have so many questions about our carseat situation I'm not really sure where to begin. I need to quell the tears first.
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#3 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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RIP poor Kyle.
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#4 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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That was heartbreaking. My son is in a 5-point harness, though we have Radian Sunkids.
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#5 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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I was hoping htere was a dialogue about this on here.
First of all, allow me to say I am depeply and profoundly sad for this family's loss.
However, I hate seeing this cycle of fear. If the boy had died because he had somehow flown out of his three point harness, then the argument would be good. But, that wasn't the case. We cannot predict every possible danger. I don't think the answer is for every family to run out and buy a $250 car seat. He died because the seat belt was faulty. I think it makes more sense to be lobbying for stronger seat belts. Also, many cars, especially older cars, do not have tehters, and cannot be fitted. And, what about older kids? Are there lives less precious?
I am not doing a very good job of articulating this, but we cannot raise our children in a bubble. Seat belt failure is very rare.
I can understand the mom's concern and message. But if this makes every person who reads it run out and buy the super expensive car seat, that is where precautions turn into hysteria.
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#6 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree to a point. People do need to realize that children should stay in 5-point harnesses as long as possible. They are simply just so much safer. I don't see why this video sending people to buy a carseat to fit their child is a bad thing. I don't think people need to be in fear constantly, but I do think that we should do everything we can to ensure our childrens safety in the car.

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#7 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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I like five point harnesses for kids and for adults. Yet five point harnesses aren't DOT approved as regular seatbelts (the excuse seems to be that it encourages racing). So are they safer or not? If five point is the way to go (no matter the cost) why aren't our seatbelts designed that way?

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#8 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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Really dumb question, I'm not very knowledgeable about car seats. My dd is in a Britax Boulevard. That's a 5 point harness, right? And what other types of harnesses are there?

ETA: How are you doing, Kathryn? I've been wondering about you. I'm sure you're extremely busy.
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#9 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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My ds1, 4.5, rides in a Britax Husky.

I had been struggling to find the right gift for my best friend's 32nd birthday. After watching this video, I ordered her a Britax Regent for her 3 year old 40lb dd who has been riding in a booster for a year. She was thrilled!

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#10 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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I have the Britax Regent and I can't stand it. I can't get it tight enough on ds's shoulders.
I should have found a way to get the Boulevard instead.
If I could miraculously get a Boulevard, I would donate the Regent to someone!
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#11 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:29 PM
 
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We actually had a seatbelt fail in our minivan. My 225 lb BIL was sitting in the middle row and I stopped fast. The seatbelt came unbolted from the floor! I really don't feel as safe as I used to. I had the dealer thoroughly check the other seatbelts and he assured me he'd never seen the problem before, but I wonder.. .

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#12 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boysrus View Post
I was hoping htere was a dialogue about this on here.
First of all, allow me to say I am depeply and profoundly sad for this family's loss.
However, I hate seeing this cycle of fear. If the boy had died because he had somehow flown out of his three point harness, then the argument would be good. But, that wasn't the case. We cannot predict every possible danger. I don't think the answer is for every family to run out and buy a $250 car seat. He died because the seat belt was faulty. I think it makes more sense to be lobbying for stronger seat belts. Also, many cars, especially older cars, do not have tehters, and cannot be fitted. And, what about older kids? Are there lives less precious?
I am not doing a very good job of articulating this, but we cannot raise our children in a bubble. Seat belt failure is very rare.
I can understand the mom's concern and message. But if this makes every person who reads it run out and buy the super expensive car seat, that is where precautions turn into hysteria.
Yes it is true that it was the seatbelt that failed, BUT if the child had been in a 5 point seat that was installed with a faulty seatbelt what are the chances that the child(while still buckled into the seat) would have been thrown from the car? We do not know for sure, but I would say its logical that the chance of the child and attached car seat being completely thrown out of the car would have been lower. Also if the child had been thrown out of the car even buckled into the seat, they would have had a shell protecting them when they landed.

All of that said, I hope this encourages people to really think about their seats and stop putting children in boosters before they should be. I also hope it gets people paying attention tho how their seats are installed... if you use a seat belt, tether your seat to the top anchor! If you do not have a top anchor, take your car to a dealer and have one installed! (many many dealers will do it for FREE).

This isnt about people buying a Britax -- there are now many higher weight harnessing seats out there that are more affordable. This is about changing the mindset that just because our child can sit in a booster because they hit the minimum weight, doesn't mean they should. Sometimes it seems like it is this contest, who's child is sitting in a booster first.... whose child is forward facing first.... (not talking about this forum, but IRL and other boards I have been to). Why do we do this? Why do we look at car seat changes as some sort of mile stone?

This is also about lowering the number of seats that are incorrectly installed or not installed safe enough. There are other countries where it is mandatory that all seats be installed with the top tether anchor.... why is that not true for this country? That way, regardless of if you have latch or a seatbelt there is a back up system in place?
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#13 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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It is all about education. The point of the matter is this: if you have the information easily accessbile, or a place to go for correct information, it is only then do you have the chance to make an INFORMED and educated decision. That I believe is the moral of this Texas families story. She didn't know. And many more still don't know either. Her baby and your baby is the reason why we (CPS techs and instructors) do what we do. The video specifically says a Regent/Husky......and right now that is still the only CRS that uses a 5 pt harness to 80 pounds (with the exception of one special needs seat). Others around 55-65 pounds have come out recently on the market. So no, it's not only Britax any longer, that harnesses to higher weight limits....other manufacturers are finally stepping up to the plate. Thank God.
Peace.

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#14 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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WOW that was so sad he was 2 days older then my DS.... Who does sit in a britax regent...


RIP KYLE
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#15 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:52 PM
 
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I think the message was vaild, though you don't need to buy the Britax. While they are hard to find, there are other 5-point harness carseats for toddlers. People seem to think I'm paranoid (ie. my sister, a co-worker), because the boxes that the boosters come in say "40lbs+."
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#16 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus View Post
I was hoping htere was a dialogue about this on here.
First of all, allow me to say I am depeply and profoundly sad for this family's loss.
However, I hate seeing this cycle of fear. If the boy had died because he had somehow flown out of his three point harness, then the argument would be good. But, that wasn't the case. We cannot predict every possible danger. I don't think the answer is for every family to run out and buy a $250 car seat. He died because the seat belt was faulty. I think it makes more sense to be lobbying for stronger seat belts. Also, many cars, especially older cars, do not have tehters, and cannot be fitted. And, what about older kids? Are there lives less precious?
I am not doing a very good job of articulating this, but we cannot raise our children in a bubble. Seat belt failure is very rare.
I can understand the mom's concern and message. But if this makes every person who reads it run out and buy the super expensive car seat, that is where precautions turn into hysteria.

Maybe they are out there lobbying for stronger seatbelts but in the mean time why not give other people this information, even if it's only ONE child (since you said seatbelts don't fail very often) who is saved. I for one am VERY glad to have the information. I have a Britax and I do not tether it, I will be doing that tonight. Call me naive but I had no clue that seatbelts EVER failed. I fail to see how it is giving way to hysteria by ensuring your children are as safe as possible in the car, no we can't predict every possible danger and we can't prevent every accident but I am going to do my very best to protect my kids.

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#17 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 08:55 PM
 
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Almost one year ago to the day, I lost a dear and adorable daycare child. She was in the exact carseat that Kyle was in when he was killed. She was riding in a van, and her seatbelt failed. Actually the entire van's third row seat came unlatched from the floor, causing the seatbelt to unlatch. There were four other kids in the car. Her sister was injured, and her brother, Mother and oldest sister walked away without a scratch.

It was a terrible morning, and I still miss her.
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#18 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 09:04 PM
 
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to me, it is akin to stranger danger. Thousands and thousands of children are adequately protected by car seats with boosters. So, I just don't think the fear is justified. If you have a carseat like this and have the tethering ability, then by all means, you should use it. If you don't have one and your child is in a booster seat and is the right size and you are using it correctly, then the chances of the seat belt failing is so very small that I just don't see how people would feel justified in going out and buying a new carseat. I think that car seat education is tremendously important, I really do. I just think that the chances of my child being killed because the seatbelt became dislodged are about as small as my child being hit by lightning.
I think that the internet does so very much, but it does a really great job of breeding fear, because it makes the world seem smaller and the risks seem greater.
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#19 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it might be like your child getting struck by lightning, but don't you have your kids come inside or not stand under trees during a big thunderstorm because of the risk, as small as it may be?

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#20 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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We actually had a seatbelt fail in our minivan. My 225 lb BIL was sitting in the middle row and I stopped fast. The seatbelt came unbolted from the floor! I really don't feel as safe as I used to. I had the dealer thoroughly check the other seatbelts and he assured me he'd never seen the problem before, but I wonder.. .
What kind of van? Please tell me...we're shopping for vans......
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#21 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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I think there are other concerns about booster seats than just seatbelt failure.

In a booster, if a child puts the seatbelt over their shoulder or falls asleep or turns around in their seat--they aren't going to be properly protected by the seatbelt. For them to be properly protected, they need to be awake, facing forward and the lap and shoulder parts of the belt in the right position.

If they are in a 5-point harness there is no way (short of them unbuckling themselves) that they would not be protected by the harness.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#22 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:06 PM
 
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I think there are other concerns about booster seats than just seatbelt failure.

In a booster, if a child puts the seatbelt over their shoulder or falls asleep or turns around in their seat--they aren't going to be properly protected by the seatbelt. For them to be properly protected, they need to be awake, facing forward and the lap and shoulder parts of the belt in the right position.

If they are in a 5-point harness there is no way (short of them unbuckling themselves) that they would not be protected by the harness.
so true.... this is one of the main reasons we bought a regent for older DD. She was 5 but still was way too fidgety for the booster seat.
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#23 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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What kind of van? Please tell me...we're shopping for vans......
I don't know about the others, but, my daycare girl was in a Ford Windstar.

BUT, this was a freak and horrible incident. Nobody knows why the seat came up from the floorboard. It was a used vehicle, and it is possible that it had been taken out to haul things and not put back correctly. Only the right side of the seat came up from the van floor. So, the seatbelt was not enough to keep the child in her the seat belt. She AND the booster seat flew out of the van.

I wouldn't just buy a van based on our stories. There must be a consumer reports on this.
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#24 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:21 PM
 
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I wouldn't just buy a van based on our stories. There must be a consumer reports on this.
There is, and we have researched. I wanted to make sure it wasn't one of the top rated CR ones.
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#25 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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Yes, it might be like your child getting struck by lightning, but don't you have your kids come inside or not stand under trees during a big thunderstorm because of the risk, as small as it may be?
Yep, I bring them inside, but I don't make them wear insluated suits once they are inside.
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#26 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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We just got the Regent for our 3 year old a few days ago. My family thinks I am ridiculous getting such a gigantic carseat (it woudl practically fit an adult) and dh tried to talk me into a booster seat but I am so glad we got the Regent. We don't have the LATCH system in the last row of our van for forward facing seats. I thought it was weird that when you use the seatbelt to secure the Regent it wraps around several times on one side and again on the other. Is that incase of seatbelt failure it will still be somewhat secure? Does anyone know what I am talking about? It's hard to describe.

To the poster that said some dealers will install a tether for free-can I just go to any dealership? We didn't get our van from a dealership. Thanks, Kathryn, for posting this!

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#27 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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To the poster that said some dealers will install a tether for free-can I just go to any dealership? We didn't get our van from a dealership.
Yes. I say dealership because when you call your vehicle manufacturer CS department, they will likely just refer you to the closest dealership to have the actual work done. So if you've got a Chevy, you'd call a Chevrolet dealership etc. etc. You do not have to have purchased the car from THAT or A dealership to have a tether put in. Make sense?

DC
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#28 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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Yep, I bring them inside, but I don't make them wear insluated suits once they are inside.
Wow. I hardly think that buying a quality carseat falls into the realm of ridicules, as your metaphor seems to imply.
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#29 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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What kind of van? Please tell me...we're shopping for vans......
2000 Toyota Sienna, which I believe had the highest saftey rating of minivans that year: .

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#30 of 80 Old 11-04-2006, 11:56 PM
 
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Wow. I hardly think that buying a quality carseat falls into the realm of ridicules, as your metaphor seems to imply.
No, I am not talking about having a quality car seat. I am talking about having a quality car seat, seeing this video, dumping the quality car seat you do have in order to buy a different one.
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