Traditional five-point harness or RollFix™: What should I choose?
How many times do you put your child in and take them out of their car seat throughout the day? It’s probably more than you think.
Kids can either love or loathe car rides depending on the car seat they are using. For them, it’s all about comfort, but for parents, safety is just as important as their child’s comfort.
Parents spend a lot of time researching which car seat they should choose for their child, but they may not spend a lot of time thinking about how the harness will affect the experience of using the seat for both the child and themselves.
The harness is easily the most important part of the child car seat, so make sure you invest time comparing harness solutions before purchasing a seat.
Car seat harnesses are only safe if used correctly
All toddler car seats sold in Europe today are approved in accordance with UNECE R44 or UNECE R129. Up to the age of 4-5 years – but preferably for as long as possible – the child should be secured in a rear-facing child car seat with an integrated harness. Child car seats and car seat harnesses are safe if used correctly.
The problem is; they’re often not used correctly.
That’s because when parents are in a hurry or dealing with a fussy child who doesn’t necessarily want to be strapped into a car seat, they can sometimes fail to tighten the straps of the car seat adequately. This can leave the straps too loose.
Other times the child simply relaxes or falls asleep, leaving once-tight straps slack and loose. If the child is wearing certain clothes, during the car ride the clothes can settle against the body and cause slack to appear in the straps.
Research shows that incorrect tightening of a car seat harness is the most common mistake among parents and others who fasten a child into their car seat.
In this article, we address some of the most common challenges parents face when putting their child in and taking them out of the car seat and fastening the harness. We will look at the differences between a traditional five-point harness and a Holmbergs RollFix™ safety system to make it easier for you to decide which solution to choose for your child.
What’s the difference between a traditional 5-point harness and a Holmbergs RollFix™ safety system?
As the name implies, a traditional 5-point harness system has five points where straps attach to the harness. Two of those straps go over the child’s shoulders, two of them over the child’s hips, and one is positioned between the child’s legs.
To tighten a 5-point harness system, you need to manipulate the central adjuster and/or the crotch strap adjuster to get everything tightened properly.
Holmbergs RollFix™ does not have a central adjuster or a crotch strap adjuster. Instead, it has two specially designed retractors integrated into the car seat that prevent the straps from becoming loose. Simply pull the straps upwards towards the back of the seat to make sure they are tight enough before you are on your way.
When the buckle is unbuckled, the shoulder straps can move freely in and out of the slots. When the buckle is buckled, the shoulder straps can only move inward, tightening them. They cannot move outward to loosen them.
Holmbergs RollFix™ prevents loose straps
One of the most common mistakes parents make is not tightening the harness straps properly. If the harness does not fit tightly around the child’s body, it will not provide optimal protection in the event of a collision. This can have very serious consequences.
A traditional five point harness relies solely on the parent to tighten the straps and there is no real indication of when the straps are tight enough. There is also no way to prevent a child from loosening the straps with their movement and fidgeting throughout a car ride.
A child car seat with Holmbergs RollFix™ solves this problem. Holmbergs RollFix™ has active retractors that help you fasten your child in their seat properly. As you feed the straps into the slots at the back of the car seat, Holmbergs RollFix™ makes a clicking noise for each little step the harness straps are tightened. When the clicking stops and you cannot tighten the straps any more, you know they are tightened enough.
The system is also designed to actively tighten the straps if any slack appears, so you can feel confident that your child is safe throughout your car journey.
Simple and effective
Parents and others who have travelled with children by car know it can be a challenge, both because the child might not want to be buckled into their car seat, and also because the car’s back seat may be cramped. This can make it difficult to tighten the straps of a traditional five-point harness enough.
When you are buckling a child into a traditional five-point harness, you have to pull the crotch strap adjuster and possibly the central adjuster several times to ensure everything is snug. This can be difficult when bending over and trying to do this in a cramped back seat.
Holmbergs RollFix™ is designed to simplify this process. Car seats with Holmbergs RollFix™ integrated into them don’t include a crotch strap or central adjuster. Instead, the system has a locking buckle and retractor mechanism. When the buckle is lifted into an upright position, it locks the retractors into “tighten only mode.” That means the shoulder straps cannot be pulled back out of the slots at the back of the car seat. They can only be fed into the slots, thus tightening them.
Only when the buckle is in the downward position can the shoulder straps be pulled out from the slots and loosened.
That means once the harness is buckled up, the parent/caretaker only needs to pull the shoulder straps up to secure a tight fit.
The special retractors ensure that the harness is tightened when the shoulder straps are fastened in the buckle and pulled up towards the back of the seat. This makes fastening the harness quicker and easier and it’s more suitable for tightening in the cramped space in the backseat of a car.
As an added bonus, the retractors continuously pull on the straps to help reduce small amounts of slack that can creep into the straps during a car ride.
Security for parents
The key function of a car seat harness is to ensure that a child is secure throughout the entire journey. If the harness is correctly fastened, it also ensures that force is distributed evenly over the strongest areas of the child’s body in the event of an accident. Therefore, many parents worry that the harness is not fastened correctly, both when the child is strapped in and during the car ride.
Holmbergs RollFix™ has been developed to increase your child’s safety by simplifying the fastening process. The retractors are designed to tighten the straps if slack appears. Such a need may arise, for example, if the child falls asleep and their body relaxes more.
Which harness is the best for your child?
A child car seat with Holmbergs RollFix™ may require a slightly larger investment than a car seat with a traditional five-point harness. However, Holmbergs RollFix™ is easier to use, and it gives parents and others traveling by car with children extra reassurance that the harness is tight enough and the child is safe throughout the car journey.
For more information on Holmergs RollFix™ or any other Holmbergs products, please contact us.