Car safety is important for every person in the family, but especially so for the littlest members of your brood. It's vital to make sure that your baby is safe and secure in their car seat no matter how long or short the journey. When placing your child in a car seat they are kept secure by a harness, so it's integral that you know how to fit this properly. By doing so, your child remains strapped in and secure for the entire car journey. In this latest blog post, we cover everything you need to know on how to fit 3 point harnesses, plus things to remember, comfortable clothing for car seats and the For Your Little One products to keep your baby as safe as possible during car journeys.
What is a 3 point harness?
A 3 point harness refers to the equipment that comes with every child's standard car seat.
This harness restrains and keeps the child in the seat, as well as offers a layer of protection in the event of a car crash. 3 point harnesses serve very similar purposes to adult seat belts. If the worst were to happen and you were involved in a car collision, the harness would pull your child back into the car seat, reducing the impact of the crash. The harness also helps to keep their spine and neck protected to avoid fatal injuries, particularly in newborn babies. It is very important to always ensure you have your baby's 3 point harness secured and fitted properly to keep them safe at all times when travelling in the car.
How to fit 3 point harness in a car seat
Fitting a 3 point harness securely is fairly easy to do once you have the hang of it, but should always be checked for security before heading off on the road. If you're a new parent, or not familiar with the operations of car seats, there are a few steps you need to follow when securing your baby for road travel.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that a 3 point harness is comprised of two long straps with a buckle at the end. The harness then secures over their shoulders and torso, as this is the strongest part of an infant's body. The straps are attached together by metal hooks that slot perfectly into a gap in your car seat. For security reasons, we recommend checking these hooks are securely slotted in prior to every journey. The shoulder strap of the harness secures at the back of the car seat into a metal hook, which should only be touched when altering the height position of the harness.
Things to remember when fitting a 3 point harness
There are certain things every parent should remember when fitting a 3 point harness, both for the first time and also for regular safety checks. Read on below for important things to consider when your car seat has a 3 point harness:
Height of the harness
The height of the harness must be correct to ensure your baby is completely safe in the car. The straps of your harness should cascade over your child's shoulder towards the buckle, and ideally, the harness is at a level point with the child's shoulders. This ensures that if the car is involved in a collision, the straps are able to protect your child from feeling the full impact of a crash.
Tension of the harness
A 3 point harness needs to be tense and secure enough to protect your child in the event of a crash, but not so tight that your child is uncomfortable and unable to move. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to fit two fingers between the child's chest and harness. This allows them to be kept securely in the seat, while also making sure the straps aren't cutting into them painfully.
Position of harness pads
The position of harness pads can differ slightly depending on the model of car seat you have. Typically harness pads will either cover the child's shoulders or chest. With many modern car seats, you can adjust the position of the fabric pads to keep your baby safe and secure on long journeys.
It is a legal requirement throughout the UK that every car seat with a 3 point buckle must have a seat belt buckle to click into. Ensure that the two straps of your harness come together to then click into your buckle. All modern buckles are rigorously tested for safety and security, making it harder for little fingers to click themselves out, but also easy for parents to get their child out of a car seat during an emergency.
Suitable clothing when using a 3 point harness
When placing your child into a car seat, it's important to be aware of suitable clothing for a 3 point harness. Different journeys call for different outfits, so we suggest keeping the straps of the harness loose after removing your child from the seat. This makes it easy to secure your child the next time you take a trip in the car, regardless of what they are wearing. Avoid puffy jackets and playsuits when using a 3 point harness, as the security measure is designed to fit closely to your child's body and could reduce their protection during an accident.
Keep your baby secure with For Your Little One
Safe road travel with your baby is a breeze with For Your Little One. We have a huge range of secure car seats with 3 point harnesses
that are simple to strap and buckle in when in a rush on an early morning school run. Visit our website to find out more today!