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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy Jonah Baby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Western MA

    Thoughts On This...

    I have two aunts in the family with children.
    One aunt is disgustingly unsafe with her children in the car, a matter for another time.
    My other aunt has always been pretty good with carsat usage. I have never seen her seats installed improperly (except her first carseat with the first child was tethered RFing...) or even slightly loose. The harness is always properly snugged to the child at the correct height level. Her oldest two remain in highback boosters, the younger ones in harnesses. One child didn't reach 20 pounds until she was 18 months old and my aunt kept her RFing until then. She uses top tethers and does not buy the least inexpensive seat available, never using recalled/expired/hand-me-downs. She never allows coats to be under the harness.
    I have left well-enough alone and not said anything about ERF.
    Today I ran into her in my grandmother's driveway. She had just finished buckling her littlest one into her seat (only kiddo she had with her on this occasion.) I peeked into the window to throw a grin at LO (and to secretly take note of what seats she had at the moment as they often get handed down to me...)
    LO, who just turned 2 is riding in an Evenflo Generations. I believe it is a 65# as it looks brand new and has that pretty blue/black cover, replacing her 40# that I think is just about expired. Older sister has a matching seat.
    So, LO has a belly clip.

    In my surprise, I state "You got a belly clip!" before I could stop myself. Aunt heard but did not fix the clip.

    I know that the Evenflo Generations was not crash tested without the use of a chest clip in proper position. I would not personally go against manufacturer on this matter, but I have to wonder...
    European seats do not even HAVE chest clips...
    Theoretically, if a harness was tightened to child properly, would the seat (US seat) still do its job of protecting a child in the car without the use of a clip? Could a clip, on a properly tightened harness, down on belly-tissue cause damage during a crash?
    Jonah 4/11/07 Avery 3/25/10 Noralee 10/14/11
    And my man from dream land, Sam
    RSTV, Coccoro, 2 Titans, Marathon, MyRide, Apt40, R100
    We do it in a Yaris!

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    April, 2001

  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Raegansmom4's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Dakota

    Re: Thoughts On This...

    The most important factor is having the harness snug enough. The chest clip is a pre-crash positioner to help hold harness on shoulders, but if it is tight enough, the harness should do its job ok. There could be a risk, however, of the chest clip causing some injuries as a "belly clip." There is soft tissue there, but a properly positioned chest clip is against bone, kwim?
    Amy - former CPST
    Raegan (11/4/05) - Seat belt
    Brinlee (3/16/08) - Backless booster
    Harper (2/12/2016) - Chicco Keyfit 30

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Worcester county, MA

    Re: Thoughts On This...

    I don't think there is a risk from the clip being over soft belly. Watch some crash test videos or look at before/after photos. The clip ends up pushed down to the belly anyway. And it's the neck that does the pushing. The child doesn't fly perfectly straight forward. Nor does the child fly forward belly first. The child moves forward, but then the harness catches the pelvis and the head and shoulders keep moving forward, so the body ends up making a C shape.

    Now, having the chest clip not properly positioned can change the harness routing slightly, which in turn might change the seat performance for certain factors. I'm thinking particularly chest deflection. It shouldn't be enough of a difference to matter, unless the seat/crash combination was marginal to begin with.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  5. #4
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Hampton Roads, Virginia

    Re: Thoughts On This...

    I'd just send her a quick... I tried to mention this, but don't think you heard me... email/phone call and just let her know that you noticed it and that you HAPPEN to have been going over the instructions of Avery's seat (getting ready for baby) and you remembered that chest clips need to be at armpit height... and that you wanted to make sure she didn't forget to pull it up next time.... or something to that effect.

    Heck, you could say you'd forgotten to pull up Jonah's and a tech corrected you when you took the baby's seat in to be checked.

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