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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    5,833

    Default how big a difference between infant 3 point vs. 5 point harnesses?

    I posted about my dilemma before. I need a car seat in Europe for 6 weeks for a newborn before I move back to the US. I have decided to buy a used car seat so we have one for the drive to the airport, flight, and first few days in the US. Then I will buy a new American car seat. How big is the safety difference between an infant 3 point and 5 point harness, given that the baby will be rearfacing in the back seat?

    I can buy a 4 year old Britax Rock a Tot (see sample info. at www.britax.co.uk/Catalogue_2003/cat_2003.htm), original owner, no accidents, but it's a 3 point harness. I have to check in a baby store to see how common 5 point harnesses are for infant seats here: Belgian safety standards are not the nirvana Americans think of when they think of European safety.

    If anyone is interested in some examples, I just reviewed a car seat info. brochure from the Belgian Traffic Safety Institute, which you would think would promote best practices, and it says sure, put your infant car seat rearfacing in the front seat, just not if you have an air bag. And you see people doing it! The brochure didn't even mention 3 vs. 5 point harnesses. Made me wonder when it was printed.

    Anyway, any advice about how big a difference a 3 vs. 5 point harness makes when rear facing would be appreciated.
    Advice and commentary on living overseas
    www.abroodabroad.com
    DD1 12, DD2 9, and DS 6

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    19,613

    Default RE: how big a difference between infant 3 point vs. 5 point harnesses?

    I personally would not have a problem using a three point seat as an infant seat. As long as the straps are at or below the baby's shoulders and hold the baby down in the seat, my feeling is it's perfectly safe. From what I understand, 5-pt infant seats in Europe are very new and few and far between, and 3-pts are way more common.
    I think I'd go with that Rock a Tot, I know a few people who've had them and loved them :)
    Then when you come back here, you can look for a good convertible or a bigger five-pt infant seat, like the Companion or baby trend adjustable back seat.
    Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats
    http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/RFAlbum/SarahMA.aspx

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