Should Car Seat Straps Go Above or Below the Shoulders?
I can clearly remember the car seat strap struggle from when my kids were little. Above the shoulders or below the shoulders - that is the question!
As a momma of four kiddos, there was so much that I had to look up and find the answers to, especially in regard to car seat safety. I can clearly remember putting my first child in the car seat and saying to myself, ‘geez, should car seat straps go above or below the shoulders?’
It’s not just me asking this question. This is a question I get across social media platforms. Today we’re going to answer it! In this article, we’re going to let you know where car seat straps should go on your child and we’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks.
The bottom line is, when your child is in their car seat, the harness is the only thing holding them in place. That’s why it’s really important for the harness to be correctly fitted and adjusted. Here is a good read from Consumer Reports about proper harnessing.
This is the way that I like to think of it: The harness should come out of the shell at a level that’s as close to your little love’s shoulders as possible. If their shoulders fall between two height positions, use the one just below the shoulders for rear facing and for a forward facing car seat, the one just above.
For a rear facing car seat you’ll want to be sure the shoulder straps are at the same level, or just below your child's shoulders. This is super important if the car seat is reclined. It makes sense why it’s important because it’s up to the harness to hold your child in their seat.
If the worst happens and the shoulder straps are too high your child will slide up the seat's backrest, potentially causing injuries to their little neck and head. This can be just as dangerous as the harness not being tight enough. A loose harness is never good and we talk about that all the time because it gives children the chance to wriggle themselves out further and also if there was a crash your child would fly out of their seat. This here is a good read from the American Academy of Pediatrics about choosing a proper car seat.
Adjusting the harness correctly
Here’s a great tip for harnessing: Loosen the straps after you remove your child from their seat. This makes it easier to put them back in their seat next time and it also acts as a safety net because you’ll have to tighten the straps the next time they’re in their seat, and then you can also check to make sure the straps aren’t twisted. It just makes things easier on busy mommas and pappas - and it can also lead to better safety practices.
Here’s how to apply everything you just learned about harnessing: After buckling your little love in, pull the shoulder straps so they’re flat on your child's hips. Next, pull the adjuster strap and tighten. Most parents worry that they’re hurting their child by ‘over-tightening’ but in truth, that tightness is what’s keeping them safe in their seat. The last thing you’ll do is pull down the chest pads, these are what keeps the straps from sliding down your child’s shoulders. In addition to making sure that your child is harnessed correctly, you’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable in their seat. In the summer months it’s easy. Just harness them in as we instructed above and you’re good to go. But in the cold winter months your child’s jacket poses a new set of challenges. Puffy winter coats weren’t made for car seats - the Buckle Me Baby Coat was. A comfortable ride for your child means less driver distraction and therefore an overall safer car experience.
The Buckle Me Baby Coat was made for use with your child’s car seat. In fact, this coat makes car seats more comfortable and easier to use. It works by harnessing your child directly in - no tricky maneuvering required. Simply put your child’s jacket on. Harness them into their seat, and you’re good to go. It's that easy.
Plus, these coats are a safer alternative to big, puffy winter coats - because big, puffy jackets were NEVER meant to be used in your child’s car seat. Puffy jackets make the child uncomfortable, which leads to driver distraction. We think this is the most important feature of the Buckle Me Baby Coat, and to drive that point home, we think you should know that the coat has been crash tested and was designed to be safer than traditional winter coats. That means your child is safer in a Buckle Me Baby Coat than they’d be in a regular coat.
These coats have a chunky rib knit collar, magnetic removable hood, and thick (but not bulky) sherpa lining with a fleece back that will leave your child feeling cozy and warm no matter the weather. And they’re cute, too! The Buckle Me Baby Coat comes in a variety of adorable colors.
Why choose Buckle Me Baby Coat?
There are so many reasons to order a Buckle Me Baby Coat for your child this winter. They’re a safer alternative to bulky winter coats. At the same time, they’re warm and cozy. They come in a variety of trendy colors and styles. The hood is removable. The coat is machine washable. Plus, we have a 30 day “Worry Free” exchange policy - so there’s never a need to worry about your purchase. But, let’s be clear, these coats are selling like hot cakes, and have been ever since they made their way into the market - get your hands on one before your size, style and color sell out!