This is the most commonly known part of a child restraint. Most parents will know about it as it is quite straightforward.
Harness pads are pads that cover the harness straps. It protects the child especially infant from the rough edges of the harness. Some shoulder pads come with anti-skid surface underneath it giving a better grip on the harness and the child during a crash.
Generally, harness pads for UNECE CRS is thick and big compared to FMVSS CRS. This is because, almost all FMVSS CRS is using a retainer clip/chest clip that needs to be at the right position. So, the harness pads cannot be too long as that will push the retainer clip down. On the other hand, harness pads for UNECE CRS is designed to be thick and big to absorb the crash impact thus reducing injuries.
To ensure it functions during a crash as how it is designed, always read your CRS manual to know what is the recommended position of the harness pads. Some manufacturers tested their CRS with the harness pads exactly at the shoulder. A few says you will need to pull it as low as possible covering your child’s chest.
Most harness pads are removable and can be hand-washed as it is probably one of the dirtiest parts of a child restraint since it sits near the child’s mouth. However, there are some harness pads that can’t be taken off and are sewn together with the harness.
ALWAYS read the child restraint’s manual if you want to clean any part of it.
For replacement of harness pads, always contact the manufacturer. Do not use a third party accessories as you will not know how it will work together with your child restraint during a crash.