From our carseat check in January, we’ve seen the highest cause of CRS usage error at more than 60% is slack in harnessing.
When harnessing a child, it should be snug – not too loose or too tight either. You can avoid harnessing error by doing some of the tips listed below:
1. Make sure that the harness slot used is correct as per the orientation of your CRS. Slightly below or at the same level as your child’s shoulder when rear facing. Slightly above or at the same level as your child’s shoulder when forward facing.
2. Harness should be snug near the hips. Pull up the harness going to the shoulder by holding it at the area near the buckle head (where the marker for #3 is in the picture).
3. Remove visible slack at the shoulder straps by pulling the harness adjuster. Check snugness either using the ‘pinch test’ or the ‘two-finger’ test.
Your child should only be able to move his/her head forward, not his/her body or shoulder entirely to the front.
A little note about the harness snugness tests:
Pinch test is done by pinching the harness at the child’s collarbone. If you’re unable to create a horizontal fold (i.e. unable to pinch it) then it is snug. However, this is usually hard to be done for ECE approved CRS as they have thick and large paddings at the area.
Another test that can be done is the two finger test where you insert two fingers under the harness at the armpit level of your child, parallel to the body of the child and twist those fingers. If you’re unable to twist it, your child should be snug as a hug.