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  1. #1
    CPS Technician
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    AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    I don't own this seats, but I know folks who do. One of my friends recently went and had her seats inspected by a local tech (who is also a certified instructor) who may have moved the headrest/harness adjuster to the highest position. Her son is almost 3yo and he is still harnessed - he's actually still small enough to rear-face, but her son has a genetic illness that she believes might cause him to "freak-out" if she tried to turn him.

    But anyways I thought I had read somewhere on the boards the that highest position was for booster mode only and that the harness should be removed. If this is the case I'd like to inform my friend of the danger and let this tech know that the highest position is only for booster mode. A lot folks out here have AO's and if she's doing that for all of them...I hate to think about the kids harnessed in those seats with the headrest/harness at the highest position.
    Last edited by NatenMaddiesMommy; 08-04-2007 at 03:22 PM. Reason: typo - incorrect age
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Did the tech read the manual I'd ask to see your friend's manual > http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=21257

    Also, the back of the seat may have this....


    Here's the contact list to report the misinformation, most especially if the tech did not read the manual > http://www.cpsboard.org/state.htm
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  4. #3
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Thanks for that info. I will forward it on to that mom. I actually have another friend who put her daughter back into a 2001 AOE rear-facing after having her riding FF in the built-in car seat in her Caravan. The child was obviously way too small. I helped her adjust the harness to a lower slot height so I know her seat didn't have the warning on the back, but obviously for rear-facing it's not at the highest slot either. I also let he know she needs to get a new seat since that one expires in a month.
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

  5. #4
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    The warning is actually really difficult to read unless you are looking for it. As far as I know, ALL AO's and their clones do not allow you to use the top most position for the harness.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  6. #5
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    She's actually going to call the company b/c she says:

    "I read the manual over and over and the only thing about the hghest slot is for the HARNESS STRAP NOT the headrest. If their shoulders are in the highest slot and are BELOW the shoulders, the it must be used as a booster. The only thing about the headrest i found was that the top of the head should be below where the carseat top starts, then they have outgrown the seat. Tyler is still not in the highest harness slot. now that i clicked on your links, i am gonna call the comp, i will let u know! They are assuming that is the headrest is in the hghest position, that the highest harness is below the shoulders?!"

    Very confusing
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

  7. #6
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Moving the headrest is *how* you adjust the harness slots/position... which is why we refer to headrest position and not slot position when talking about the AO and it's clones.

    The manual is saying that if the headrest is in the top postion that it can not be used with the harness... very tricky wording though.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  8. #7
    Moderator MomToEliEm's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Check out this post from a few days ago as it talks about the specific wording that appears in the different 3-in-1 manuals regarding the top headrest position. The wording is so confusing so I can see why someone could get confused.

    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=21257

    When I looked at someones seat made in 2002, it had the verbage stamped on the back of the seat, but it is so hard to see that I doubt anyone really looks at it.

  9. #8
    CPS Technician ignora's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question



    I would also tell her that, at 2 1/2, her son is too young to be put in a booster. So, basically, if he's using the highest position, she just needs to go get a new harnessed car seat... and NOT convert the AO to a booster. But, you said he has that genetic illness... so maybe that's a given. Just wanted to make sure.

    There are several seats that can keep her son harnessed if he needs a new seat. Let us know what his height/weight/torso height are and the techs can make some recommendations...

    And my dd's 2003 AO has that embossed warning, too. I didn't think it was there, either, until I uninstalled her seat and really made a point of looking for it.
    ~ Nora ~ CPST ~
    Mom to
    Miss Sidney (4 yrs)

    ~ In Memory of Aaron ~

  10. #9
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Quote Originally Posted by ignora View Post


    I would also tell her that, at 2 1/2, her son is too young to be put in a booster. So, basically, if he's using the highest position, she just needs to go get a new harnessed car seat... and NOT convert the AO to a booster. But, you said he has that genetic illness... so maybe that's a given. Just wanted to make sure.

    There are several seats that can keep her son harnessed if he needs a new seat. Let us know what his height/weight/torso height are and the techs can make some recommendations...

    And my dd's 2003 AO has that embossed warning, too. I didn't think it was there, either, until I uninstalled her seat and really made a point of looking for it.
    I think that's how this whole thing started. She is looking for a new seat, but wanted to make sure she was using the AOE correctly and that both her kids seats were installed correctly. I helped her tether her Roundabout to the seat track, but I guess this same tech moved it to a different location. I'd be interested to see where it's installed now, b/c I had a hard time getting around the bolt on the floor.

    She definitely does not want her almost 3yo in a booster. I think she is debating b/w a larger Britax convertible which can later be used for her daughter when she outgrows the Roundabout or just going ahead and getting her son a Regent since she has no plans to rear-face him. I think he's about 30lbs. She was also a bit put off by this tech who told her that sometimes the Britax seats aren't worth the extra money since kids grow out of them my height before weight. That's true with almost every seat out there, but I thought the Britax seats have one of the tallest shells available and has EPS foam which a lot of the economy seats don't have. She said she didn't care what the tech said about Britax because she was going to buy more anyway...hahaha.

    But the tech also advised her NOT to buy a Recaro b/c she had never heard of them and didn't know if they met the safety standards. This is the same tech I went to and she told me that I should consider a new seat when my child's head reaches the top of the shell - even when forward facing which totally contradicts what I have read in every car seat manual (top of ears for FF) I'm really a bit disappointed in this technician since she is also a certified instructor according to the Safe Kids database.

    As a side note I'm taking the course later this month so that I can become a certified tech too (and hopefully give out better advice)
    Last edited by NatenMaddiesMommy; 08-04-2007 at 03:22 PM. Reason: age correction
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member tjham's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Quote Originally Posted by NatenMaddiesMommy View Post
    Thanks for that info. I will forward it on to that mom. I actually have another friend who put her daughter back into a 2001 AOE rear-facing... I also let her know she needs to get a new seat since that one expires in a month.
    I think the AOE is good for 7 or 8 years.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician ignora's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Quote Originally Posted by papooses View Post
    Here's the contact list to report the misinformation, most especially if the tech did not read the manual > http://www.cpsboard.org/state.htm
    I would totally report that tech! OMG!! What crappy advice she's giving out...

    Anyway, it sounds like you and your friend have it covered pretty well. I agree with you on the Britax seats... taller shell, EPS foam... great seat. And, I don't even know what to say about what the tech said about the Recaros... I'm dumbfounded. Just because she's never heard of them doesn't automatically mean they're unsafe. Idiot.
    ~ Nora ~ CPST ~
    Mom to
    Miss Sidney (4 yrs)

    ~ In Memory of Aaron ~

  13. #12
    CPS Technician
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    I *was* thinking about taking our pick-up truck to have our 2 seats inspected by her before our big road trip. Our truck doesn't have LATCH, and I wanted to "make sure" that they installed correctly with the seatbelts, but I'm thinking I'll just find another tech in the area instead.

    Guess I really should report her since she also told me to take the vehicle's headrests off when it came time to raise the headrest on the Apex 65 since the car seat provided enough support. And she actually browsed the manual for THAT seat.

    Thank you all so much for the clarification on the AOE. I'll definitely never being buying that seat or recommending it to people in the future.
    Mommy to my 3 beautiful children:
    Noah 5yo, 34#, RF Boulevard
    Maddie 7yo, 50#, FF Radian
    Nathan 9yo, 58#, FF Frontier

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: AO and top slot harness/headrest question

    Quote Originally Posted by NatenMaddiesMommy View Post
    Guess I really should report her since she also told me to take the vehicle's headrests off when it came time to raise the headrest on the Apex 65 since the car seat provided enough support. And she actually browsed the manual for THAT seat.
    If I were that tech, I would *want* my state coordinator to bring such obviously dangerous + incorrect advice to my attention
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

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