Chest Clips on Infant Car Seat Carriers

Discussion in 'Baby Club' started by Saphira, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Saphira

    Saphira Well-Known Member

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    Could anyone explain to me what they're all about? I've noticed they seem to be standard in the US. I've never seen a car seat sold here with them so I'm curious! :huh:
     
  2. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    The point of the chest clips is they bring the straps together in the chest area, and the clips when tightened should be level with armpit area. The rationale is that in an accident the straps and clip impact would be in the sternum area, to minimze damage to organs that are not protected by ribcage. They are meant to sort of centralize the impact to that area, rather than having straps impacting all areas equally which could cause more organ damage.

    ETA: Although they SHOULD be placed in the chest area for this reason, I see soooo many people not using them correctly, or not even tightening straps for that matter. Drives me nuts.
     
  3. Saphira

    Saphira Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the explanation jd83, that makes sense! Is it required for all car seats to have these clips in the US?
     
  4. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    I don't know that its "required" but I don't think I've seen seats without them here. There may be, but I don't think I've seen any personally without clips.
     
  5. misspriss

    misspriss Well-Known Member

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    Actually, they are to go near the armpit area to ensure that in an accident, the shoulder straps don't separate and the child slip through them on the top. If the straps are not joined until the waist strap area, they could separate and the child slide out the top. They must not be placed too high or could damage the windpipe, or too low or could damage the organs, or also not serve their intended purpose and the baby pop out anyway.

    It is debated whether the risk of the clip being improperly placed and damaging the child negates the risk of sliding out. Obviously some countries go one way, others go the other...
     
  6. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    That also makes sense. I had only heard the reasoning of lowering risk to organs, but this is also another good reason for them.
     
  7. Marie000

    Marie000 Well-Known Member

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    From what I remember, these clips are mandatory in some countries because they are seen as beneficials, and forbidden in others because they are dangerous (could hurt the baby's chest during an impact, especially if not placed properly). It's really unclear whether they help or not. :shrug:
     
  8. misspriss

    misspriss Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I believe if they are properly fitted, and in the correct area, they increase safety. However, the risk of fitting them incorrectly is HUGE, and if they are fitted incorrectly they actually increase the risk of injury. :shrug:

    I'm very careful to ensure it's in the correct area every time I strap him in.
     
  9. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    Same here. I'm kinda OCD about making sure those clips are always placed properly and tightened correctly. There's too much risk if they aren't. Honestly, you'd think with how many people misuse them, and the added risks of misusing them, they'd do more to educate on WHY they need to be in a certain area, and HOW to properly use them.

    They do the car seat test in the hospital to ensure your lo can breathe properly in the seat for up to an hour, so IMO that would be the perfect time to explain how to use them and why. Just sayin...
     
  10. Scout

    Scout Well-Known Member

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    Maybe some hospitals are catching on because that is where I learned how to properly strap her in; otherwise, I'd not have known where the chest clip thingy went. Or perhaps I just got lucky and had a very informative nurse who liked to take the time to educate new parents. :)
     
  11. misspriss

    misspriss Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's in the manual for all my carseats. I should check...
     
  12. oboeverity

    oboeverity Mummy to Ted and Willem

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    We don't have them in the uk because, I think, it has to be possible to release baby with one cut, or one hand, in an emergency xx
     
  13. Saphira

    Saphira Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting, thanks for all the replies! I sometimes worry the straps aren't held together enough and find myself adjusting them a lot. Also, they get very loose after my daughter's settled into the seat as she slides down a bit so I always double check before the drive. I can see pros and cons to with and without. I wonder why crash tests haven't proven which way is actually safer! I'd like to know!
     
  14. misspriss

    misspriss Well-Known Member

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    I've done some research on it since reading this thread.

    Chest clips do nothing to secure the child in, they are a pre-crash positioner. They ensure the straps are in the correct spot in a crash. In theory, if the straps are tight enough, they will be anyway. I think my clip actually prevents me from getting the straps really tight, but that's just me. The clip is really big and holds the straps out away from his chest (but it's a 5-80lbs seat with the straps!).
     
  15. SjandPeanut

    SjandPeanut Well-Known Member

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  16. SaraEmily

    SaraEmily Mom of 2 girls

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    I personally think they should get rid of them in the US. Lots of my facebook friends have babies and I don't think I've seen a single person upload a car seat picture where it's used right. People tend to keep it around the bellybutton area, especially when strap covers are used.

    On my LO's car seat it says 'armpit level' right on the chest clip so I'm not sure why it's so difficult for people to figure out. I think a lot of people don't want their LO's to be uncomfortable and keep it loose and low.
     
  17. nevernormal

    nevernormal Mom to precious Levi

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    I think it's so easy to use them improperly because, at least on my car seat, it seems every time we clip him in again they are lower for some reason. So I always raise them to armpit level as part of buckling him in. DH is not so vigilant!
     
  18. amjon

    amjon Guest

    Those covers aren't supposed to be used if they didn't come with the car seat either. Most people make many, many mistakes with the car seats. I don't get why they seem to be so hard.
     
  19. SaraEmily

    SaraEmily Mom of 2 girls

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    I know, but other moms who don't spend time on parenting forums or do much research often don't know that. It's frustrating that this stuff isn't more publicized, because if you don't do your research then you have no way of knowing things like that, and it's a very common mistake. Most people would think that if strap covers are sold pretty much everywhere, then they must be safe, but sadly that's not the case, and there's no warning on the packaging.

    We need better car seat awareness. At the hospital I delivered at, they refuse to tell you if your car seat is installed correctly or not, I guess so they're not liable for anything, but I think pediatricians should spread more awareness at least.

    I read somewhere that 4 out of 5 car seats are installed incorrectly, with an average of 3 mistakes per seat! It's completely unacceptable.
     
  20. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    When I had ds1 they had a car seat installation station that you had to visit before being allowed to be discharged. They checked to make sure it was installed correctly and that you knew how to install correctly before leaving if it had been incorrect. I thought that was such a great idea, wish more hospitals were that proactive. Ds2 was born at a different hospital and they didn't check any of that.
     

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