View Full Version : what is the safety ratings on 5 pt harness vs should strap

08-14-2006, 06:11 PM
I am so torn on what to purchase my three dds. I was wondering if there are case studies on safety reports on 5 pt harness vs shoulder staps?

On a scale of 1 - 10 (ten is the safest) what would each get?

08-14-2006, 06:27 PM
Well a 5-pt harness is always safer than a 3-pt seatbelt. That is why race car drivers wear 5-pt harnesses. But that wouldn't be really practical for every day drivers (especially those wearing skirts, lol). I don't know about statistics but it just seems logical to me that have a strap over both shoulders is safer than just a strap over one.

How old are your dd's, and how much do they weigh?

The minimum recommendation for moving from a harnessed seat to a belt-positioning booster is 4yrs and 40lbs, longer if possible.

What seats are they in now and what harness slot are their shoulders at?

ETA: I see that your username says 2002 so I assume that your dd's are 4yrs old. If they're 40lbs or more then I guess I would also ask if they tend to fall asleep in the car or not. The problem with younger kids in bpb's is they often can't stay seated properly for longer periods of time. If they have a tendancy to slump over it could put them in danger in an accident.

08-14-2006, 06:44 PM
Hey - thanks for responding so quickly.

My two daughters are taller than their highest 5 pt harness should strap so we switched their Cosco Alpha Omega LX car seats into booster seats. But I ve turned in to a research fiend and I think we need new seats. My third dd is shorter so she still fits in the car seat with the harness. I asked a car seat "expert" what her thoughts were on 5 pt after posting this. She said it's a maturity thing and plus the fact we are not on a race track going that fast....lol. I used your example I must have read it somewhere else. Here are the stats:

all of them are 4 yro (June 2002)

DD 1 - 36.6 lbs
40.5 in
DD 2 - 38 lbs
40.25 in
DD 3 - 29.8 lbs
38.25 in (I am wondering if the booster seat is made better than their current model so I might as well switch her up)

Let me know your thoughts I really could use all the help I can get right now this is all mind blowing and I don't want to pick incorrectly. My girls are my gifts from above I want to protect them the best way I can.

Booster seats I am looking at right now
Britax Parkway
Recaro Young Style
Compass B500B

08-14-2006, 08:46 PM
That's a good point that we don't drive as fast as race car drivers! Race car drivers also wear helmets and have crash cages built into their cars... ;-)

Well, your dd 3 is really under the bare minimum weight to fit in any booster (they all have 30lb minimum weight limits). Definitely keep her in the harness as long as you can. Really, I don't think there's any need to replace the seat she's currently in unless she outgrows it and still isn't ready for a bpb.

Actually have you considered any of the Britax seats as an option? Either the Marathon/Blvd's or the Regents? Expensive, but they are safer than any of the bpb's IMO. The Sunshine Kids Radian or even the Cosco/Safety 1st Apex 65 might be options to consider as well. The Apex is the most economical choice but it needs to be fully supported by the vehicle seatback as the headrest isn't reinforced. As long as your car meets that requirement then it might be a viable choice for you as well. The Apex also converts into a nice booster so you wouldn't be buying another seat "down the road" (no pun intended lol).

I think all of these options are "safe", it just depends on how much you can fit into your budget. I'm sure buying for three all the time gets downright expensive!

08-15-2006, 09:38 AM
Oh btw, I had a Cosco AO and the instructions said when adjusting the harness higher and lower using the bar in the back of the seat, you can only use the very top slot to move the headrest up for bpb mode. That top slot isn't reinforced for use with the harness so in an accident the harness might pull right through the shell. I was just wondering about this because my ds is just about 1-1/2" taller than your dd is now and he outgrew the AO months ago by height because the 2nd from top slot on our seat was only 15". Just thought I would mention it. You might want to check your instructions in case they have changed things if she's already on the highest adjustment.


08-15-2006, 06:53 PM
Cheryl I really think I just didn't notice. It was by chance I was putting their seats into another car (rare thing) and I noticed they outgrew them. They buckle themselves so I just think I forget. I know - terrible Mom. I try though to do better. ;)