How tight is tight enough? Re: carseat straps - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am pretty darn sure I strap my kids in tight enough, but just want to double check. They are both rfing in boulevards, and I yank that ratchet until I can't yank it any more Dh constantly yells at me because he thinks I am squishings Ds's scrotum, lol. My DD often complains that it is "too tight." but I usually just run my finger under the part on her shoulder, and its usually appeases her (its not easy to do this btw). I don't know how much tighter they can go

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#2 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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When you pinch the belt at the shoulder, you shouldn't be able to pinch any of the strap up (like in a fold)

-Angela
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#3 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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Yep, try to pinch, and your fingers should slip off. You don't need them that tight

CPST & mom

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#4 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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This is good to know! I think I need to tighten some straps.

Mama to Belly(5), homesteading in the desert with our chickens and sheep. Fish nerd, really into my reef tank. Baby due Sep 3rd!

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#5 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But do you mean like pinch it to make a horizontal fold? Or a vertical one? I can't pinch a horizontal fold...

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#6 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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http://www.carseatsite.com/pinchtest.jpg

That's too loose.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#7 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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You shouldn't be able to pinch the length of the strap together. If you're having signs of it being too tight (red marks, complaining of pain that is continuous, etc) then I would try to get it a little less tight, while still not being able to pinch it, kwim? I read somewhere that a sign of it being too tight is pressing the release button and having the straps loosen without pulling or movement- but don't quote me.
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#8 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Hey there, good to 'see' you on here!!

I have a link for you that shows, in photos, how to do a pinch test, if you want to see. I've always had DS's straps a little on the too-tight side, I think, according to this link. I've also heard, if they don't complain, it's safe, so I don't worry too much. If he complains, I loosen it, as long as it's no looser than they show.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=49030

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#9 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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Thank you so much for posting those pics! I was always trying to pinch "side to side" and I was having a really hard time understanding how I was supposed to get it tight enough not to do that.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#10 of 20 Old 01-13-2009, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone- I've been doing it right

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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#11 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 05:39 AM
 
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Do all the car seat techs agree with the photo's because I tighten my son way tighter than that. I thought it was necessary to be very tight
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#12 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 09:31 AM
 
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Do you mean the photos in this link?

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=49030

Then yes.

The first three photos are too loose. The fourth photo is of properly tightened straps. The last photo is too tight. Although like it says there's nothing particularly unsafe about a too tight harness. It's just uncomfortable and unneccesary.

Rebecca, CPST, Navy wife to Chris, furmama to Fenway
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#13 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaW View Post
Thank you so much for posting those pics! I was always trying to pinch "side to side" and I was having a really hard time understanding how I was supposed to get it tight enough not to do that.
LOL, yep, me too before I saw those pics ....I still tighten it down way more than is necessary, DS seems to be fine with it...but don't yank it all the way tight like I used to (thinking it was still too loose since I could still pinch the sides together at the top of the straps).
Oh well, better too tight then too loose, right?

Mom to A 11/06: Researching : to grow our family
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#14 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa1 View Post
Do all the car seat techs agree with the photo's because I tighten my son way tighter than that. I thought it was necessary to be very tight
Yep! The only thing wrong with "too tight" is it makes the child uncomfortable and then they don't like their car seat!

Lynisha ~Car Seat Tech-Scrapbookin'-Cake Decorating-semi-crunchy wife & SAHM to 2 + one on the way in Nov~

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#15 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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My mom always complains that I buckle my girls too tight. I'm afraid that she may be right. I had heard somewhere that you should not be able to fit 2 fingers in between their collar bone and the harness. Is this true?

Jessica, mama to Emma, 7, Mattie, 5.5 and Lilly, 3 and someone new this Halloween-ish.

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#16 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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No, the finger test is outdated and now we just use the pinch test.

CPST & mom

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#17 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Past_VNE View Post
Hey there, good to 'see' you on here!!

I have a link for you that shows, in photos, how to do a pinch test, if you want to see. I've always had DS's straps a little on the too-tight side, I think, according to this link. I've also heard, if they don't complain, it's safe, so I don't worry too much. If he complains, I loosen it, as long as it's no looser than they show.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=49030
Thanks for this link. I never knew about this pinch test. It's good to know that I'm doing ok, and that I could even loosen just a bit.

-- Miss 1928 -- and Opera Singing Mamma to Eloisa -- 12 Feb 2007
-- Wife to a Wonderful Husband and Pianist -- 27 March 2003
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#18 of 20 Old 01-14-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa1 View Post
Do all the car seat techs agree with the photo's because I tighten my son way tighter than that. I thought it was necessary to be very tight
The pictures posted in the link above are absolutely accurate. It is not necessary for the child and car seat to become one by the force of tight straps. It is important for the straps to be snug so they remain in place in the event of a crash, but over-tightening serves only to make the child uncomfortable and eventually resentful of being in the seat.

The pinch test has replaced the finger test completely because of the differences in finger sizes. My husband's fingers are each worth two of mine! The pinch gives a much better picture of how much slack is in the harness.

CPST ***I can help keep your child safe in the car. Ask me a car seat question!***
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#19 of 20 Old 01-15-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Then I have been tightening my son wayyyyy too tight. He has also hated his car seat from day one. Maybe this is part of the reason but I always thought super tight was the best. My car seat tech told me that was best too.
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#20 of 20 Old 01-15-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I am very careful to always check the tightness of the straps. Something else goes along with that though, and that is making sure the chest clip is properly positioned. Armpit height, straight across, and I am SO glad that carseats are typically made nowadays with the two-piece snap together chest clip instead of the old one-piece kind because so many people did that kind wrong.
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