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  1. #1
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    I said in another thread I'd take pics of how I do the pinch-test.

    I put one finger under the harness, so I can pull it up to fold with my thumb and forefinger; then I remove the finger under the harness once I've "pinched." I always check near the child's collarbone.

    This harness is too loose; I could easily fold it in half:


    So I grab the harness near the child's stomach and pull it up, which pulls out the slack around the child's hips/thighs (note that some carseats, like the EFTA, tighten at the bottom of the harness instead of the top, so this step should be skipped on those seats):


    Next, I pull the harness adjuster strap, and test again. Still too loose - I can still pinch the harness together:


    I pull the harness adjuster strap again, and pinch again. Now it's tight enough. My fingers slip off the harness when I try to fold it:


    This harness is too tight. The Nautilus has a very smooth adjuster, so it will easily let you over-tighten the harness, but it's possible to over-tighten the harness on any carseat. Note that I can still fit a finger under the harness, but it's still too tight. My DD was unable to take a deep breath with the harness this tight:


    There's nothing unsafe about having a harness too tight, except that it's uncomfortable and unnecessary. Kids can be both safe and comfortable in their carseats.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician mish's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks! I do the pinch test, too, but it is nice to have pictures. I am totally guilty of overtightening the harness on Adam's Nautilus. He keeps wanting it tighter though. I think he likes the feeling of it for some reason. Strange kid.

  4. #3
    Moderator MomToEliEm's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Great explanation of how to test. I would love to see this post copied over to the "articles" forum so I could easily find it when needed.
    Katy

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Beckers's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks for making that! I think all my kids' straps are too tight
    Becky

    Ally 11 in a Harmony Cruz
    Riley 9 in a Chicco Strada
    Sam 6 FF in a Nautilus

  6. #5
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks Debbie - great visual aids! I know that I tend to overtighten once in a while, especially on my Britax seats (but believe me, both kids let me know when I do ).

    I tried to give you rep but apparently I need to spread the love first.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  7. #6
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Glad everyone likes them! I wish the "pinch" was easier to see, but it was the best I could do with a black harness.

    Quote Originally Posted by MomToEliEm View Post
    I would love to see this post copied over to the "articles" forum so I could easily find it when needed.
    That would be fine by me.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  8. #7
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    thanks for the visuals. i have a question. when you do the pinch test, is it okay to use three fingers? i mean, i understand using the thumb and forefinger for the pinch, but can you use your middle finger behind the strap to help grab the harness with the other two fingers? am i making sense? or do you have to use only the thumb and forefinger to initially grab the harness? pic #3 looks like you're using two fingers, but pic #4 looks like you're using three fingers.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  9. #8
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    excellent pics! oh my i definitly do them too tight. i'll be more careful

  10. #9
    CPS Technician pastrygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thank you! I think I do them too tight, too.

  11. #10
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post
    thanks for the visuals. i have a question. when you do the pinch test, is it okay to use three fingers? i mean, i understand using the thumb and forefinger for the pinch, but can you use your middle finger behind the strap to help grab the harness with the other two fingers? am i making sense? or do you have to use only the thumb and forefinger to initially grab the harness? pic #3 looks like you're using two fingers, but pic #4 looks like you're using three fingers.
    I always use three fingers - you just can't see it in the first two pics because the harness was loose enough that I was able to pinch. I put my middle finger under the harness, then attempt to pinch. That's how I did it in tech class and no one said it was wrong, though I'll admit I never asked or paid attention to how the instructors did it.

    I've seen videos where people just slide their thumb and forefinger along the shoulder, but if you do that with a too-loose harness, you pull up clothing or even skin. I think it also leads to people getting the harness too tight - they slide their fingers along the top of the harness, and if anything bunches up at all, even if it doesn't pinch together, they tighten.

    If you compare how I did it above to the old "two fingers" method, it's very similar. In the too-tight pic, I could only slide one finger under the harness; in the "just-right" pic, I could fit two fingers side-by-side, and in the others I could fit more than two fingers. The only reason we don't use the two-fingers method anymore is because people have very different-sized fingers (not because it wasn't tight enough.)
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  12. #11
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks for this! I'm definitely guilty of tightening too much. My kiddos will thank you.
    Kathryn
    ds 2/03 (46 in, 48.5 lbs) Regent and Nautilus
    dd1 7/05 (36 in, 38.5 lbs) ff in 2 Boulevards
    dd2 3/08 (23 in, 14.5 lbs) SS1

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Good thread You should add it to your collection of blog re-routing links
    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}

  14. #13
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks, glad you like it.

    Yes ma'am, I've added it to my blog.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  15. #14
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks. I think I am probably over-tightening. But the kids don't complain! And hey, maybe it makes up for all the times everyone else leaves them too loose, despite all my nagging.
    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.

  16. #15
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    Thanks. I think I am probably over-tightening. But the kids don't complain!
    If they're not complaining, I wouldn't worry about it. Some kids like it more snug - it's a sensory thing.

    And hey, maybe it makes up for all the times everyone else leaves them too loose, despite all my nagging.
    Sadly, it doesn't. Otherwise, I could skip my insurance payments because I didn't get in a wreck and use my insurance for several months.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  17. #16
    CPS Fanatic Lea_Ontario's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Defrost View Post
    Some kids like it more snug - it's a sensory thing.
    That's my Boo - no matter how hard we try, the harness can never feel tight ENOUGH for him.
    Mama to :
    Boo (2002), apramo backless booster
    Bug (2004), Parkway SGL
    Bear (2006), Parkway SGL

  18. #17
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    I guess in the end my insisting will pay off, because DS is starting to ask daddy and grandparents to tighten him more.
    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. #18
    Carseat Crazy bobbysgirl7103's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Thanks for the great explanation and pictures! I'm pretty sure I over tighten all of our car seats.
    Sarah, mom to DSS 14 seat belt, DS1 13 seat belt, DSD 11 seat belt, DS2 10 TB, DD1 6 RA, and DD2 4 MyRide all in a 99' Suburban


  20. #19
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Harness Pinch-Test Pics

    Just to let everyone know, I submitted this thread and it is now in the Articles section. Thanks Mods!

    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=49030
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

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