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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, 07:24 AM   #9
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Race car drives have HANS to prevent head excursion. The theory is that for a child mature enough to be boostered, the seatbelt allows head, neck/spine to move together, as opposed to the head snapping forward by itself.

Obviously in OPs case a harness would be safer than improperly boostering.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 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 Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
Race car drivers use harnesses...
You're comparing apples to oranges. You do not drive 200+ mph and the harnesses that race car drivers wear are very different from the one in your child's car seat. They have HANS devices and 6 point harnesses just to name two differences.

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Race car drives have HANS to prevent head excursion. The theory is that for a child mature enough to be boostered, the seatbelt allows head, neck/spine to move together, as opposed to the head snapping forward by itself.

Obviously in OPs case a harness would be safer than improperly boostering.
This is the theory I subscribe to but since we don't have any evidence either way, it's just a theory. The properly used seat wins every time, that we do know.

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So do astronauts
Not even close to a fair comparison. Astronauts travel at speeds that no car could achieve.
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