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Extended 5-Point Harness

I ERF'ed until DD was 2-1/2 years old. She turned 5 in February and is still in a 5-point harness. Her carseat is good using the harness through 65 pounds and I fully intend to keep her in the harness until that point. I believe it's the safest way for her to travel in a car and I just don't see a negative to it. With that being said, I have never thought wrongly of anyone who turns around or uses a seat beat as soon as human possible on their kid.

Yesterday I was talking to a woman who has a son the same age as my daughter. We were on a charter bus without seat belts and I mentioned how DD is probably loving it because she's always so restricted in her harness in the car. The woman looked at me like I was the most stupid person in the world and said "You still have her in a harness? Why?"

I had to literally bite my tongue not to come back with a smarta$$ comment (which if you know me at all, you'd know that wasn't easy). I have heard so many times people judge others for what they consider less safe than the alternative...or at the very least try to convert by throwing out safety statistics...but never have I had anyone judge me for what they should consider more safe than the alternative, whether they practice it themselves or not.

Anyone else experience something like this?


Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 8:20 PM on May. 13, 2011 in Parenting Debate

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Answers (12)
  • My sons will be 6 and 9 next month and they are both in a Graco Nautilus. My almost 9 year old is in it as a high back booster, and since it goes up to 100 pounds, he will be in it for a long time to come. My almost 6 year old is in it with the 5 point harness, and since he's only 45 pounds and it harnesses up to 65, he will be harnessed for a long time still. No one has said anything to us, although no one ever rides with us so I don't know how out of the ordinary that is. I don't care, either. I'm most comfortable having my kids safe, and they're perfectly happy this way, too. My almost 6 year old jumps in and buckles his harness just like he would a seat belt. I don't see why I wouldn't do it this way.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 12:36 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • my son is 6 years 7 mos and still in a five point harness. He is annoyed at times but I've also shown him videos of what happens to car seats & kids in accidents. I want him to know he's my treasure and that his carseat cost more than all my shoes. His safety is more important to me that any stares or comments.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:27 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • the only real grief I've gotten is from my mother in law (bitch) and I said to her I'd rather hear strife about it now that condolences later on. She tried to tell me that must hurt his crotch, chest, etc but he explained to her it does not.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:28 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • My 4 year old is tiny she is not even 30lbs and she will probably stay in a 5 point harness for awhile. I don't mind and she doesn't mind. If you have to use any type of safety restraint they why does it matter if it a car seat or a booster? I don't see why things like this bother other people.


    Answer by lilysmom2607 at 10:53 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • As long as DD fits in the seat with the harness, she will stay in it for safety. No need to move her until she is safer without the seat.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 11:34 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Both of my kids have been in a booster seat since they were about three. They're tall and I didn't move them until the made the minimum weight. They just looked cramped in the 5-point harness carseat.

    That being said, I have the HARDEST time getting my father to cooperate with MY rules in the car. He would refuse or "forget" to grab their carseat/booster even though it was sitting by the front door for him when he'd take the kids anywhere. He thinks that I'm being overprotective and anal about them being in a safety seat while in a vehicle. I'm even more so when the ride with him, he drives a pickup truck with NO backseat.

    It drives me CRAZY and I only let them ride with him as little as possible. I will forever be his baby that can't think for herself. But that's a whole different can of worms.

    If it works for YOU, then who cares what anyone else says?

    Answer by Rosehawk at 8:41 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • I surely would have taken the opportunity to educate her on my choice to keep my child in a 5 point harness for as long as safely possible. But yes, I have experienced it with FAMILY, which makes it that much more of a b*tch.

    Answer by nepenthe429 at 10:22 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • I would have said, because I like my children alive thank you very much. I ERF with my youngest until he was about 2, he's now 5 and still in a harness. He's still in a britax roundabout, the smallest of the britax seats if that gives you a clue of how petite my kids are lol. He's only about 28 lbs. My oldest son is 10 and just started using a seat belt without a high back booster. He's just hit a growth spurt this year and gained about 12 lbs so he's around 50 lbs now. And my 7 yr old niece is taller than him. He's still small enough to use a booster, when I got my new car a few months ago I just never put it back in. If we go anywhere far ill make him use it, but we never go anywhere.

    Answer by Astraea_79 at 11:46 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • no way would I judge you for that.. however you'd be just the type of mom I'd want to question for the best car seat solution for my 4 month old lol. (Obviously I have to get another car seat because she is 20lbs and the baby seat she is in only holds 22lbs.. ) well her sisters seat is rear facing and forward facing. So I can either give her her sisters seat and buy my 3 year old a new seat (that will eventually convert to boaster) or buy a new seat for the baby.. I'm just debating which one will be better as far as money well spent. because I want baby to be RF as long as possible and my 3 year old to still be in a 5 point harness.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 1:30 AM on May. 14, 2011

  • Shakes head @ nurse_maya. Seriously? You take my post asking if someone who does as I do to rant and rave about why you do not? Wow. Maybe you need to read the last sentence in my first paragraph before you get on your sinking soap box again.

    DD is as protected as she is in my car because I have had people close to me in serious accidents. My brother hit a culvert pipe head seat belt...his face smashed into the steering wheel and split it open down the middle. It was in ICU for days. My mom had a head-on collision with someone who didn't have enough room to pass the cars coming her way on a 2-lane road. She had a seat belt on, but the steering wheel came up at her and smashed her face leaving her nose and many facial bones in fragments. 15 years and many painful surgeries later, she still feels the pain.

    Comment by AllAboutKeeley (original poster) at 12:21 PM on May. 15, 2011