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Old 02-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

Assuming they are within the height/weight restrictions of the seat they are in? I ask because I belong to another carseat group and it seems like anytime anyone mentions harnessing a child past 6 ish they automatically go to "there is no reason to continue harnessing, they are just as safe in a booster" and continue to drive that point home. I understand that after a certain point if the child is mature enough to sit in a booster there is no evidence that harnessing is safer but I just want to make sure that it's not a matter of harnessing being less safe.

I have a 6.5 year old, we toyed with the idea of a booster but she has SPD and likely adhd and even without that I just don't feel like I'm ready to allow her to use a booster. She has almost outgrown her Marathon so we are shopping for new seats. Price is not a concern and we had originally planned the Nautilus but she didn't like it but did like the frontier. She is a tiny 6.5 and has tons of growing room in the frontier and like I said price is not an issue for carseats but I want to make sure there isn't something I am missing and that it's just a matter of boostering and harnessing are both equally as safe and not an issue of harnessing becoming dangerous after a certain point. I just want to feel confident that she is riding the safest way she can and boosters make me nervous. My husband is going to get a booster for his car, she only rides with him for short trips (less than 3 or 4 miles from home all city driving) so that's where she will be booster trained in case of an emergency but we are talking about the frontier for my car which she is in 99.9 percent of the time.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

We don't know which is safer. It may be that in some crashes, an older kid is safer being boostered, and in other crashes, that same kid is safer in a harness. Or it could be that one or the other has an advantage across the board. We just don't know.

We *do* know that in Sweden, which has a history of emphasizing child passenger safety, kids typically move to a booster seat around age 5.

In your case, since a properly used harness IS safer than an improperly used booster, then a harness might make more sense (if you are pretty sure a booster would not be used properly).
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

I see a lot of children with special needs in a harness as opposed to a booster because they are not mature enough to handle the freedom of a booster and would move the seatbelt under their arm or behind their head, etc. I think go with your gut and if you think your daughter is safer in a harness than go with it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:55 AM   #4
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

DH and I were just talking about this because we are shopping for our first combo seat for DD. She will turn ffing in the truck in a few more months...or whenever she hits 25lbs and she teeters between 23 and 24 now. But we decided together (just talking it over, no evidence) that a harness is safer....our reasoning...if a seatbelt is just as safe then why do race car drivers have 5 pt harnesses? Haha....may be silly but it works for us. So we are gonna go ahead and get a very petite girl (3 in June) a frontier. Some say overkill, I say I like the seat best, it fits best out of the other harnessed boosters in the intended vehicle and it will definitely last her until she is in highschool....I mean, for a long time

Not advising turning a 3yo....this is our decision in one certain vehicle only that is rarely used. She will remain rfing in her radian in the main car until she outgrows it
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:55 AM   #5
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

DH and I were just talking about this because we are shopping for our first combo seat for DD. She will turn ffing in the truck in a few more months...or whenever she hits 25lbs and she teeters between 23 and 24 now. But we decided together (just talking it over, no evidence) that a harness is safer....our reasoning...if a seatbelt is just as safe then why do race car drivers have 5 pt harnesses? Haha....may be silly but it works for us. So we are gonna go ahead and get a very petite girl (3 in June) a frontier. Some say overkill, I say I like the seat best, it fits best out of the other harnessed boosters in the intended vehicle and it will definitely last her until she is in highschool....I mean, for a long time

Not advising turning a 3yo....this is our decision in one certain vehicle only that is rarely used. She will remain rfing in her radian in the main car until she outgrows it
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

I harnus to the limits of the seat. One major reason is that is a ton easier than messing with a seat belt, having DS try and thred it.

My niece is in a booster and is was a PITB messing with the seat belt.

DS1 outgrew the nautlis harnus by height at 5.5. He went to the seatbelt.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

Race car drivers use harnesses...
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:21 AM   #8
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

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Originally Posted by Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
Race car drivers use harnesses...
So do astronauts
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

this is the first time I've ever heard boosters might be a good idea... I've always been told 5pt harness is better. Since the seats look safer, I believed it. My state has kids in some type of seat virtually forever. I was told a booster was like sitting on a phone book. I'd like to learn more about this because I need another seat.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:04 AM   #10
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Re: Are there any dangers to harnessing a child past a certain age?

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Originally Posted by c&w's mama View Post
this is the first time I've ever heard boosters might be a good idea... I've always been told 5pt harness is better. Since the seats look safer, I believed it. My state has kids in some type of seat virtually forever. I was told a booster was like sitting on a phone book. I'd like to learn more about this because I need another seat.
Nope. There is no evidence that there is a safety difference between a high back booster seat and a forward facing harnessed seat, with one large proviso - the child has to be mature enough to sit properly in the seat with a booster, vs the harness which doesn't really give the child a choice. Most neuro-typical kids are capable of this at around 5 or 6. This is why many of us booster train - start using the booster only for short trips at first, harnessing for long trips until we see that the child can manage short trips. Sweden, the gold standard for child seat safety, has many children skipping right over the FF harness stage, going straight from RF in a harness to a booster seat at age 4-5.

And as stated above, a booster has several more safety features than a phone book, including belt guides to make sure that the seatbelt hits the child properly, and false hips to help absorb crash energies instead of an immature pelvis. A highback booster also has some side impact protection as well.
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