Harness vs Booster HE #

smackeen

New member
We all have heard the saying a step up means a step back in safety.

I am wondering on the step from harness to booster (as long as the sit correctly).

I have read a little saying that after a certain height/weight that head excursion numbers in harness vs booster may be more harmful than the booster (as long as they sit correctly).

The reason I bring this up is the race car driver analogy. Race car drivers are in 5 point, so safer. But, that is only true as they have the tether for their head also.

What are your thoughts, opinions on this?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
ADS

monica-m

CPST Instructor
We don't have any evidence to support a harness being safer after age 4, 40 lbs, and the required maturity to sit properly. The race car analogy drives me crazy because there are so many things that are different from the driving conditions to the safety equipment.

I personally worry about neck loads in older harnessed kids but I know there isn't evidence to back that up either.
 

Kecia

Admin - CPST Instructor
For what it's worth, I'm one of those people who really don't care too much about increased neck loads or chest Gs with older kids. Compliance data figures are useless to me because I don't drive a test sled and my kids aren't Hybrid-III dummies. Plus, I've never seen any published evidence that the bigger dummies are more at risk for serious injuries in a 5-pt harness than their smaller dummy siblings. Yes, the numbers go up or down with the different sized dummies and installation methods but what does that translate into in a real world crash?

Personally, if I'm in a horrific crash (rollover, severe SI, multiple impacts, etc.), I want to turn around (if I'm lucky enough to still be able to do that) and look in the back seat and see my child still sitting in his CR. With a properly installed 5-point harness, that's pretty much a guarantee unless your vehicle is ripped in half or something equally horrible. Unfortunately, you can be partially or completely ejected from a 3-pt belt in certain types of serious crashes - I don't want to say it happens all the time but ask any experienced first responder or crash investigator and they'll tell you stories. For me, preventing ejection is paramount to everything else.

I guess a lot depends on what you're preparing for and where your personal comfort levels are. I've been in 2 severe crashes already so my comfort zone is very different from that of the average parent (and even the typical tech). I'm always trying to prepare for that worst-case scenario crash that is still survivable. Now, with that said, you can't keep kids in a harness forever, and as the mother of a 16 year old and a 9 year old I know you have to transition out of the 5-pt eventually. But I kept both of my boys harnessed in the main vehicle for as long as I reasonably could while still respecting their opinions on the matter. DS1 was 9 before he moved to a booster in my minivan and DS2 was 8.

Just my :twocents:
 
Last edited:

smackeen

New member
This is my opinion also. In the more severe collisions, roll over and multiple impact, harness seems safer.

Just curious on other opinions.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mommyfrog

Active member
Head excursion? As in how far the head goes forward in a crash? My opinion is that a tethered, harnessed seat is better than a booster. My only reasoning is the test limits the seats are required to pass. Boosters and untethered, harnessed seats have one head excursion limit. Tethered, harnessed seats have a lower limit. To me that also means that an untethered, harnessed seat is just as safe in that area as a booster. So no moving to a booster as soon as possible just because there are no tethers. The harnessed seat will (in my opinion) be just as safe or safer than a booster. These are just my opinions after taking the tech course and reading several studies and articles. My kids stay harnessed until 8-9 and then booster until the belts fit.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
I think people are confusing head excursion and neck loads. The max head excursion allowed is the same for boosters and untethered harnesses. The speculation seems to be that neck loads would be reduced in a seatbelt because the top of the body would move forward a little more, as opposed to being held back more in a harness, and therefore putting increased strain on the neck as the head whips forward.

I don't believe we have any proof of those theories, so it's all very hypothetical, and without data, there's not really a whole lot that can be said.
 

smackeen

New member
I think people are confusing head excursion and neck loads. The max head excursion allowed is the same for boosters and untethered harnesses. The speculation seems to be that neck loads would be reduced in a seatbelt because the top of the body would move forward a little more, as opposed to being held back more in a harness, and therefore putting increased strain on the neck as the head whips forward.

.


Oops, that is what I was thinking of.

Head excursion = amount of room head moves.

Neck load = force on neck during collision ?
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,537
Messages
2,200,648
Members
13,400
Latest member
charleshubbard

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Nuna Baby is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2021 Carseat Media LLC

Top