Correct Harness Positioning
Using the correct harness position is a key part of using your car seat safely.
General car seat harness saftey tips
- The straps should be snug with no slack to pinch. If you can pinch 'em, tighten 'em.
- Straps below shoulders in rear-facing position; straps above shoulders in forward-facing position.
- Don’t forget the straps going over your child’s thighs need to be snug also!
- If you’re not loosening the harness in order to take your child out of the seat, you’re definitely not tightening the harness correctly.
- Chest clip at the armpits. (it's a CHEST clip!)
- Remove bulky coats before buckling.
- Check your straps aren’t twisted as that could reduce the effectiveness of the harness in a crash.
Rear-Facing: Position shoulder harness below child’s shoulders
For all rear-facing car seats - not just Orbit Baby's - the correct positioning of the shoulder harness is at or below your child’s shoulders (see illustration to the right). Correct shoulder harness height is critical to reducing your child’s movement being fully secured in the event of a sudden stop or impact. The less movement occurs, the less violent forces the child feels in the collision.
The most common car collisions are front impacts as the car is moving forward. A harness slot above the child's shoulders will allow the child to move upwards in a frontal collision. As you can see in this illustration, a harness belt that is too high potentially allows for the child’s torso to travel twice the distance compared to the proper positioning below the shoulders. Many new parents don’t realize that leaving shoulder harnesses positioned too high for their child has a similar effect as not fully tightening the harness.
The harness straps are anchored snugly below a rear-facing child’s shoulders, and better restrain the child from sliding upwards.
As a responsible car seat manufacturer, we have designed our infant car seat and toddler car seat to accommodate children both above and below average in size and seated torso height, which is why we have slot positions to accommodate a very wide range of body shapes.
We also recommend that you keep your child in the rear facing position as long as possible.
Front-Facing: Position shoulder harness above child’s shoulders
In a frontal collision, a child will move forward with sudden force against the shoulder harness. For all forward-facing car seats - not just Orbit Baby's - the correct positioning of the shoulder harness is at or above your child’s shoulders (see illustration to the right). The proper positioning of the harness reduces the amount of forward movement in a frontal collision. The less movement occurs, the less violent forces the child feels in the collision.
Please note: The best thing you can do to make sure you are using your Orbit Baby car seat safely is to follow all product instructions, and regularly refer back to your car seat's manual.
360 Degrees of impact protection
Nothing is more important to us at Orbit Baby than the safety and well-being of children. While we believe all car seat companies prioritize safety, we believe that Orbit Baby uniquely prioritizes real-world safety. For example, our Car Seat Base with SmartHub provides your baby with impact protection from multiple directions.
- Orbit How: Harnessing Position video
- Car-Safety.Org, Why Rear-Facing is Safest
- Car-Safety.Org, Car Seat Basics
- Need additional help inspecting or installing your car seat? Certified technicians across the country can help inspect your car seat for proper installation. To find a child safety seat inspection station near you, use safecar.gov's Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator.