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Discussion Starter #1
I'm feeling confused. When DD was little, I had her professionally fit to the carseat, and the carseat install checked. At that fitting, we were told the shoulder straps should be at or slightly above (1" or less) the level of her shoulders. We used that guideline for her infant seat (Graco) and her convertible seat (Britax marathon)<br><br>
When she was a toddler and moved FF in her Nautalis, I went in for a new fitting. I was told then that the straps should be 1" or less above OR below her shoulders, with a preference for them being slightly too high rather than too low.<br><br>
Now I've been reading that the guidelines have changed, and now they say straps should be at or below the shoulders, but not above. Since the holes are about 3" apart, this would mean that at some point, the straps would be 2.5" or so BELOW her shoulders. Is that right? Safe?<br><br>
I'm so confused. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut">Can you please help?
 

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It sounds like you were given bad advice; I'm not sure if guidelines have changed. For rear-facing, the straps need to be level with the shoulders or below; for forward-facing, they should be level with the shoulders or above.<br><br>
ETA: I'm not that familiar with the Nautilus, so it could be they allow the straps slightly below - but I really doubt it. The techs here can clear it up for you.
 

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When the child is rear-facing, straps must be at or BELOW the shoulders. AFAIK, there is no US or Canadian seat that allows otherwise.<br><br>
When the child is forward-facing, straps must be at or ABOVE shoulders. Sunshine Kids allows use with shoulders above straps (under certain conditions), but no other seat does.
 

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This is so confusing for parents! And some techs, because the rule is at or below for rear facing, at or above for forward facing. This rule hasn't changed, and it's pretty much universal in all car seats (except what chickabiddy said). Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, so I think I've got it.<br>
Rear facing: at or below.<br>
Forward facing: at or above.<br><br>
So the seat itself doesn't matter, but only the direction the child is facing. That is confusing for me because we had her rear facing in her Britax until age 2, then FF in that same seat for another 9 months. But I guess the strap fitting changes based only on the direction of the travel? Which I guess makes sense if you stop and think of the physics of an accident.<br><br>
Thanks for helping clear that up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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For RFing you want the straps at or below because you want to make sure that the child's head will be contained in the shell in a crash. That's also why we have the one inch rule for RFing. For FFing you want the straps at or above because the child's body needs a bit of room to ride up in the seat in a crash.
 
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