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  1. #1
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    Question Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Please accept my apologies if the following sounds like spam but I thought it was important to share our news on what is happening in Europe.

    There is often discussion in Europe on why chest clips are illegal within Europe. It is a common problem that kids slip their shoulders out of the harness. As parents we suffered the same problem.

    The root of the problem is the gap above the red release buckle. It provides an easy way for the child to push their arm through and subsequently slip the harness from the shoulder, creating a potentially dangerous lap belt in as little as 4 seconds.

    I designed the "5 Point Plus" that shields the gaps through which children escape from the harness.

    The "5 point plus" won the Baby Products Association 2010 Award for Innovation in London

    For more information please visit www.5pointplus.com

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  3. #2
    CPST Instructor yetanotherjen's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Clips hinderance to safety?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Please accept my apologies if the following sounds like spam but I thought it was important to share our news on what is happening in Europe.

    There is often discussion in Europe on why chest clips are illegal within Europe. It is a common problem that kids slip their shoulders out of the harness. As parents we suffered the same problem.

    The root of the problem is the gap above the red release buckle. It provides an easy way for the child to push their arm through and subsequently slip the harness from the shoulder, creating a potentially dangerous lap belt in as little as 4 seconds.

    I designed the "5 Point Plus" that shields the gaps through which children escape from the harness.

    The "5 point plus" won the Baby Products Association 2010 Award for Innovation in London

    For more information please visit www.5pointplus.com
    I don't know if your reply qualifies as spam or not but since you posted I hope you don't mind a few questions.

    I watched the video posted on the home page of your site and it appears that the harness is twisted, and could be tighter, these 2 mistakes make it very easy for a child to escape. Also in Europe do you not need to have the harness AT or ABOVE the shoulders when forward facing????? I'm wondering if all 3 of these mistakes could lead to an easier escape. I'm not implying that even if everything was 100% correct escape would be impossible because kids can seem to find their way out of anything! I would be curious to see if it were more difficult for a child if these mistakes were corrected.

    Also it appears that your product not only goes around the harness straps but behind the child as well, is that correct??? Wouldn't that add bulk to the seat not allowing the harness to be as tight as it could be with out it, resulting in slack in the harness in a crash? Aftermarket products that interfere with the harness system are not recommended because they can change how the seat works in a crash, how is your product different than say aftermarket harness covers, the bundle me ect?

    Have you crash tested this product yet?
    Last edited by Jeanum; 01-20-2011 at 07:55 PM. Reason: moderator removed [URL] coding from quoted link
    Jen CPST-I
    DS1: 7 years 43# 49" Monterey, Probooster, Turbo SS DS2: 5 years 36# 41" Recaro Prosport, Frontier 85 and BV70

  4. #3
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Chest Clips hinderance to safety?

    Hi Richard,

    Since your website doesn't indicate that your product will be for sale in North America, I am splitting off your post from this older thread and moving it to the International forum. We generally give some latitude for manufacturers to post about their child passenger safety related product once in a thread where members can ask questions about it. Of course, we can't always guarantee a positive response from a community of passionate child passenger safety advocates.

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  6. #4
    Moderator - CPS Technician safeinthecar's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I think you have the potential for a good product. I like the set-up for your video. Showing a child escaping, followed by a crash test of what would happen in a crash with a half escaped child is brilliant marketing. Very simple and elegant.

    Assuming the device does not add bulk either behind the child or to the straps, and does not pull the harnesses farther apart than intended, I don't see anything inherently alarming in the design (Of course I would need to see one in person to confirm this) In fact, I frequently recommend a button up shirt buttoned over the harness and I don't really see how your product would interfere (assuming it is no thicker than a fleece sweatshirt) anymore than a shirt would. However, there can be unexpected interference in the actual crash sequence that you do not notice during normal sitting and driving, and I would also need to see a crash test first, unless the product were redesigned so that it attached to itself instead of the harness straps.

    All that being said, There are several misuses going on with the car seat the child is escaping from. I'm assuming the child is your son. ( cute kiddo!)

    1. The harness needs to come from harness slots at or above his shoulder level when forward facing. Having the harness come from below his shoulders can cause compressed disks in his back as he loads the harness in a crash. TO illustrate this, put one hand under the harness strap and pretend it is a little shoulder above the harness slot, then pull straight out on the harness with your other hand. You will see that the harness tries to straighten out into a flat line and pushes your hand down below the slot.

    2. A twisted harness will cut into skin in a crash. It's the difference between being spanked with a wide belt, and spanked with a switch.

    Fixing the misuses in your video would go a long way toward giving you credibility, help protect you from lawsuits (but the video instructions had a harness below the shoulders, so I thought that was how it was supposed to be?!?!?), and most importantly, keep your little guy from getting injured.

    I would also highly recommend having a certified technician take a look at your product to give you some pointers and advice on any changes you may need to make. Even better would be if you can convince manufactures to test your product on their seats and give you an official endorsement.

    Good luck!
    Kimberly
    Proud mommy of Becky 18! Danny 15 Hope 12~Auntie to William-14, David-10, and Logan 2~

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  8. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I actually had a hard time figuring out what the product was and how it works. I'm still not sure. There is a lot of discussion of why you need it and demos/pictures of the "escape" problem, but you should consider more pictures and info about the product itself. I was expecting to see a demo of the product after the crash test portion of the video.
    ~Tracey~
    Little Boy 1 - Graco Turbo Booster & Diono Monteray - 6 yrs, 50lbs, 48"
    Little Boy 2 - FF Radian XT - 4 yrs, 42 lbs, 45"

  9. #6
    CPS Technician StPaulMom's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    It's certainly an interesting idea, but since most car seat manufactures do not allow "aftermarket" products to be attached to the harness, and nothing should go between the child and harness, it appears your product would do both and would not be allowed and could potentially interfere with the harness in a crash.

    I must also point out, as an previous poster did, that the harness strap was twisted, too loose, and below the child's shoulders (should be above the shoulders in forward facing position). All of these factors contribute to a child being able to get their arms easily out of the harness and, if corrected, would make it much more difficult for them to do.

    It would be great, however, to see the product itself and how it's meant to work. Your site and video show what the problem is, but only gives potential customers a very slight glimpse of your product. More pictures and videos of what you're selling would be exponentially helpful. It took me a while to figure out WHAT your product even was, let alone how it works. And the "how" part is still incredibly vague.
    Emilie- CPST/SK Senior Checker and mom to:
    Thing One : 7.5 years, 47#, 52"- Recaro ProBooster
    Thing Two : 5 years, 40#, 43"- Recaro ProSport

  10. #7
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Hi all

    Firstly many thanks for keeping the post on the forum, and thank you for all the constructive feedback. It should be noted that the current focus of our website is targeted at industry professionals in Europe, however I will take on board your comments as consumers (parents) will start to visit the site.

    The “5 point plus” will be made available in the USA, probably in conjunction with one or more car seat manufacturers.

    Background to the UK
    In 2008 there were 2,016 reported injuries of children aged between 0 and 4 years old whilst travelling in a car, of which 126 were killed or seriously injured (source Department of Transport). We do not know the split of injuries due to car seat not fitted correctly and misuse of car seat. However, we must remember that these are reported figures and will understate the size of the problem. Parents may not report injuries for a number of reasons, including thinking the injury due to sharp braking is simply superficial bruising as opposed to more severe internal injuries.

    It should be noted that, in Europe, most car seat manufacturers and other organisations such as Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have a FAQ section addressing the issue of children slipping their harness, but are only able to say that children will eventually grow out of this phase.

    Car seat manufacturers and retailers have invested considerable sums in enhancing the safety of car seats with respect to design and fitting.

    The video highlights three issues often found with car seats once in the hands of parents and children:
    • incorrect height adjustment,
    • twisted straps, and
    • a child removing their shoulders from the harness straps.

    To make it clear to the non professional audience I will annotate the video so that consumers are made aware of the issues that they must look out for. We used quite a few car seats (three of ours plus friends’ and those lousy ones from car rental firms). In all cases, from 17 months upwards, our son could escape. Hence why I developed the “5 point plus”.

    http://5pointplus.com/images/p1.5%20...huge%20gap.jpg
    According to ECE R44 regulations, the straps should not be too tight. The image illustrates just how much slack there is on a correctly set up crash dummy in a standard five point harness. Strapping the child too tightly is not a solution.

    Car Seat Manufacturers
    To raise awareness of the “escaping issue” and the simple solution that we used with our son, I decided to exhibit along side the car seat manufacturers at the Kind und Jugend baby & toddler fair in Germany. Senior personnel from a number of leading car seat manufacturers made appointments to view the “5 point plus ” and were very enthusiastic about it as it provided a simple cost effective solution to an industry wide problem.

    Some of the comments from senior personnel included:
    • “very smart idea. I was impressed; so simple”
    • “no reason why this cannot be sold in USA now”
    • “Offers solution to parents with problem. Do not know of a better solution than the retro fit 5 point plus”
    • “It actually does the same function as harness clip for the US market. But your idea solves the problem with the EU regulation in a clever way”
    • “This product has awards written all over it


    Design
    The solution comes in two guises, original equipment incorporated by the car seat manufacturer, and secondly as a retro fit option for parents concerned with their children slipping the harness.

    The retro fit version wraps around the back of the child and then Velcros around the harness at the front of the child, allowing the webbing to move freely when the child is put in / taken out of the car seat. Moreover, the “5 point plus” does not impede the harness during sudden braking or impact, allowing the car seat to do what it is designed to do with the child seated in the correct position.

    To minimise bulk we have used spacer fabric that easily compresses and moulds to the shape of the child – minimising the extra bulk to just 1mm, yet allowing airflow to help reduce the “sweaty back” syndrome experienced by many children sitting in car seats. The side elements of the “5 point harness” are baggy, neither hugging the child’s torso nor exerting lateral forces that could pull the harness apart. The material is fully breathable, allowing the child to retain a comfortable body temperature in hot and cold climates.

    The "5 point plus" has been designed and crash tested to ensure that it does not adversely affect the operation of a car seat.

    With respect to information on the web site, sparse information was intentional as key elements were subject to confidentiality agreements. This stance is now easing, and more product details will be released in due course.

    “5 point plus” is protected by International Patent Application No.WO2009GB01964 & related patent applications.
    Last edited by wendytthomas; 01-22-2011 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Changed image to link because of size

  11. #8
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I agree with most of the comments from the readers. I have 2 boys and not one of them
    attempted to escape their car seats. I can attribute this to:

    1. Educating their young minds what a car seat is and what for
    2. We made sure that we followed the manufacturer's instructions on how to install and use it
    3. The fit needs to be snug; not tight --there's a difference
    4. Discipline is very important to instill in children

    We, too, live in Europe, and, yes, things are different here than in the US. However, we firmly believe that no matter how busy we are, how much time we actually have, what our race/culture is, where we are or where we come from; safety should be inherent in every one who calls themselves "parent". Parenting is an art and we have tools/guidance/tips to what will work for our household and current status in life. I'd be surprised if a car seat manufacturer supports this product because it will totally go against safety laws in place for quite some time now.

    Congratulations on your innovation.

  12. #9
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Thank you for posting more info. I hope you can work with the manufacturers to see the idea get well-tested and possibly incorporated in their seats if it proves to perform well.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  13. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I think the chestclip is mandatory in the USA!!

    Lena
    Fancy a Sitbag?
    Model: Mathias. Car seat: Britax Multi-Tech

  14. #11
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Quote Originally Posted by lenats31 View Post
    I think the chestclip is mandatory in the USA!!

    Lena
    It's not mandatory by law, it's just that every manufacturer uses them.

    I would definitely have to see this in person, but I'm intrigued by the idea. If you're able to get car seat manufacturers on board, that would be great.

    I, personally, would rather not have to use a chest clip, so if this were something that caught on in America (approved by manufacturers and incorporated into the seat), I'd be interested in it. Change happens slowly, though, so I won't hold my breath.

    The most fascinating part for me is that, apparently, children in Europe do wriggle out of their harnesses. The impression I've gotten in the past (mostly from people posting here on this board) is that wriggling out is a non-issue. But perhaps it's not?

  15. #12
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Quote Originally Posted by lenats31 View Post
    I think the chestclip is mandatory in the USA!!

    Lena
    Definitely not mandatory--in fact, I can name seats that didn't require it, or in one case even come with one! (Fisher-Price Safe Embrace, and Stay in View--now expired.)

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
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  16. #13
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Yup we have used our seat after removing the chest clip and having the okay by the manufactuer.

    Johnathon 10yrs, 76 lbs, 5-steps
    Seth, 6yrs, 43lbs in Clek Oobr
    River, 4yrs, 38lbs in FR85 and Clek Foonf

  17. #14
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I couldn’t agree more that discipline and putting safety first are crucial with respect to children.

    The problem is that children aged from around 17 months (still wearing nappies/diapers) cannot understand why they should not push their arms through the gap in the harness. Please see our link to professionally set up P1.5 (18 month old) dummy. During trials with parents, we have come across children aged just 10 months who accidently pushed their arms through the gap. This was clearly not a motivated action! All children are different: some do some don't. It doesn't mean that those who don't do it, will never do it.

    Parents believe that the five point harness is the best safety device for their children. When children remove their shoulders from the harness, parents are told to accept it as it is "a phase that children go through!" and believe there is nothing else they can do. Parents' acceptance of the problem must change.

    Our son, who was by no means unruly, knew we were unhappy when he escaped from his harness, but he did not understand the cause of our distress. He could not comprehend the importance of keeping his harness in the correct position. How far had we driven before we were aware of it?

    We have found car seat manufacturers extremely supportive during the development of the "5 point plus". My objective is to get the “5 point plus” integrated as standard, although this may be difficult for seats designed for “from birth through to 4 years”. One car seat manufacturer has expressed desire to offer the retro fit as an accessory for their Group I car seats. It must be remembered that this issue is an industry wide problem and is not associated with any particular manufacturer.

    www.kiddy.de has taken an alternative approach with their cushion, but there are many discussions on the pros/cons of doing away with the five point harness. Personally, I prefer the five point harness from a safety perspective as well as not as been so claustrophobic for the child.

    The adoption of isofix has been very slow, and is a good indicator on how slow society is on adopting improvements to safety. After going through crash tests with the “5 point plus”, isofix car seats have proved to be far safer.

    An interesting observation whilst we were perfecting the "5 point plus" was that when we removed it from the seat to enhance its design, our son did not try to remove his shoulders for nearly a month. When he realised that he could, he started his old trick again - so we refitted it. This indicates that children go through an exploratory learning process.

  18. #15
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The problem is that children aged from around 17 months (still wearing nappies/diapers) cannot understand why they should not push their arms through the gap in the harness. Please see our link to professionally set up P1.5 (18 month old) dummy. During trials with parents, we have come across children aged just 10 months who accidently pushed their arms through the gap. This was clearly not a motivated action! All children are different: some do some don't. It doesn't mean that those who don't do it, will never do it.
    I can definitely agree with this! While discipline is great, in the meantime you have a very unsafe situation. Having a very active, imaginative child I can say that from an extremely early age (<1yo, they have limited capacity to reason or think ahead to consequences at that age) DS1 was thinking up, and running off to do, things that other kids were not. At daycare, he was always the one who figured out a way to defy the babyproofing none of the other kids even thought to try to get around, and he is just stubborn enough that discipline took time to be effective. My DC provider had been taking care of kids for over 30 years and he was challenging her as no other kid had. It is not all a simple matter of discipline, and it bothers me how some people whose kids are not as challenging pat themselves on the back and say it's all because they do xyz, etc. I have heard enough accounts of people who have half a dozen kids, all raised the same, yet one just acts differently, to know there is a huge personality X-factor. (Sorry for the mini-rant.)

    Thankfully DS1 never tried to escape his harness, but even with chest clips some Houdini kids manage to escape. I can certainly see how in a seat with little lateral restraint on the harness straps a child could squeeze out if determined - and some WILL be, if just to see if they can.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  19. #16
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I aggree with the ability or lack thereof to understand the importance of staying in the harness at all times. But what I have found is that my own son, who is 3˝ years old and by no means hypotonic, can´t whiggle out of any seat that we have and have had with a 5point harness, when strapped in correctly.

    I have read about children who hare able to unbuckle the seatbelt when sitting in the cushion seats such as the Kiddy.

    Lena
    Fancy a Sitbag?
    Model: Mathias. Car seat: Britax Multi-Tech

  20. #17
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    I disagree with some of your "points" in chest clips.

    I have never heard of a child with callouses on their chest from the chest clip. I do see the point on high and low clips, but when a child is adequately restrained in their seat, with untwisted, flat straps, and securely tightened, the chest clip is much more difficult for the child to move. I have a hard time moving my kids chest clips sometimes once they're buckled properly. They have never tried to undo their chest clip while driving, but there are things which can be done if a child begins to undo their chest clip (turn it backwards, put a sweatter/shirt on backwards to keep little fingers away, or button a shirt over top of the harness).

    While your points are valid on keeping a child in their seat, and I can see how that would be more difficult without the chest clip, your product seems to be bulky behind the child, as well as placing bulk between the child and the harness. I think its great that you're trying to find a solution to a wide spread problem in your area, however, I really don't see a market for such a product in North America, where our seats typically come with a viable alternative which is tested and safe when used correctly. As with all safety products, they are only as safe as they are operated.

    I really think you should consider re-doing your video, without the "blurbs" correcting your own mistakes, to demonstrate proper car seat usage, and include an example of your product in action, as I can understand the concept, but without a clear demonstration of how it works, it leave it kind of open to interpretation as to how effective it would be, especially with the idea of bulk or misplacement of the straps.

  21. #18
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    Dear unregistered

    The point of the video is that life is not perfect, particularly in the hands of parents and children.

    • Children do move
    • Straps can be twisted (even from out of box)
    • Parents do not tighten straps up adequately
    • Parents over tighten straps
    • Children wear bulky clothes
    • Children pull in their stomach to create more room between harness and body to enable slipping the harness of their shoulders
    • Chest clips can be moved up/down
    • Parents fasten chest clip and forget main fastener
    • Parents add Velcro, buttons, and reverse shirts to deter children from moving the chest clip up and down

    All of the above points are repeated daily by parents, all over the world.

    Despite manufacturers improving both the design of seats and the training of retail staff to fit seats, there is still insufficient progress in making seats safer when in the hands of parents or children.

    You only need to read medical journals and see notes identifying the causes of injury to lungs, spleen, bladder, abdomen. Many could have been avoided if the child was correctly fitted as per manufacturer instructions. But as we all know, life is not perfect.

    The “5 point plus” has been designed and crash tested to ensure that it does not interfere with the performance of the car seat. Its function is to ensure that the child is secured in the correct position in the event of sharp braking or collision.

    With respect to the North American market, when asked about my plans for the “5 point plus” the VP of a car seat manufacturer replied “no reason why this cannot be sold in USA now”. Does this suggest that the chest clip may not be the best solution after all?

  22. #19
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    The problem is that adding something to the seat that has not been crash tested with it can have unexpected results in a crash. That's why manufacturers routinely forbid the use of aftermarket products that change the way a seat functions. Seats are tested and passed based on the design that's been thoroughly modeled and vetted by engineers. Many manufacturers have created innovative designs that help keep kids properly harnessed and help parents use the harness properly. I for one do NOT think that an aftermarket product that has not (and cannot be) crash tested in every seat on the market is the best solution.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  23. #20
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    Re: Europe: Chest Clip Product

    It has been a while since I posted updates as I have focused my attention on the organisations and manufacturers that influence legislation. Research from Australia identified that children are 12x more distracting than cellphones. So it is important that we minimize distraction as much as possible to reduce the risk of having an accident.

    The community may find these images informative as they help clarify the debate on the use of chest clips.

    The single purpose of the chest clip is as a pre-crash positioner, that is, the child has not removed the straps off the shoulders at the time of an accident.

    The image below shows how children can get their arms under the harness:



    We are all familiar with the misuse of chest clips, and it is widely accepted that misuse poses a danger.



    Crash testing protocol
    For crash testing purposes, the chest clip is placed level with the arms pits, as it is perceived that the sternum is the strongest part of the rib cage.

    A young child's rib cage, however, is simply soft cartilage, offering no protection against trauma.

    The medical illustration below shows how complex and fragile a 2 year old is:


    For comparison purposes, the state of the art Q3 dummy is shown below. As indicated on the image, the sternum is represented by a steel bolt.

    Given the chest clip is positioned here for crash testing, the localized load from the 55g of force is not detected by the chest sensor as it is below the point of impact.




    It is important to investigate alternative methods to prevent children getting their arms out of the car seat harness.
    Last edited by Admin; 05-02-2015 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Removed advertising link

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