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Quirk

Lap belt only? H Harness safety?

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Quirk

Hi there

We have a 5 seater Nissan Patrol with a lap only belt in the middle of the back seat.

 

Our children are:

7 yo - 23 kg - 133 cm tall (yes, very tall and very skinny).

9 yo - 36 kg - 148 cm tall

15 yo - 42 kg - 165 cm tall

 

We have been given a quote of $7,000 to install a lap sash seatbelt. I have heard so many bad stories about H Harnesses that I am really reluctant to use them. We haven't had the car that long and stupidly, didn't even realise it only had a lap belt in the middle until after we had bought it, otherwise we never would have.

 

Our other car has 5 proper seatbelts so if we all need to go somewhere, we use that. However, we bought the Nissan to go for a holiday as a family, which is now looking like it isn't possible until we come up with a solution.

 

Am I right in thinking the H harness is not safe? Or is there a way that it can be used safely? If it can't be, then our only option is to sell the car as I just can't and won't compromise safety.

 

Would love any ideas or help, we live in WA.

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Veritas Vinum Arte

H Harness COULD be used with a booster seat like the HiLiner but only if the anti submarine clip is being used.

 

The issues with H Harness is it puts extra stress on the body and has the potential for submarine. So using an SnS booster seat with Submarine clip is your best option.

 

After that you just use an H harness in preference to a lap only belt, but a child using front seat with lap sash is preferable to this.

 

TBH I would be selling the car unfortunately as at 133cm you probably only have a year or 2 before they are too tall for the booster.

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Chief Pancake Make

Why on earth would a H harness not be safe? DD has one on her booster and I understood it was safer and she needed it til she got to a certain height.

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just roses

Why on earth would a H harness not be safe? DD has one on her booster and I understood it was safer and she needed it til she got to a certain height.

They’re not recommended, unless all you have is a lap belt. With a booster, it’s safer to use a lap sash belt WITHOUT a H harness.

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~Jolly_F~

My 14yo uses the lap belt in the middle of our 4wd. We have travelled thousands of kms in the car.

 

To be really honest, I have never considered it an issue. It’s whats in the car, so it’s what we do.

Edited by ~J_F~
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Quirk
My 14yo uses the lap sash belt in the middle of our 4wd.

 

 

Do you mean lap belt? Or lap sash belt? If it was a lap sash, then that is fine. Our issue is with the lap only belt.

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~Jolly_F~

 

 

Do you mean lap belt? Or lap sash belt? If it was a lap sash, then that is fine. Our issue is with the lap only belt.

 

It’s lap only, sorry.

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~Jolly_F~

Well considering no belt at all is illegal and we have no other options. Lap belt it is.

Edited by ~J_F~
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just roses

Well considering no belt at all is illegal and we have no other options. Lap belt it is.

A H harness might be safer. Or get the car modified?

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~Jolly_F~

With what? The cobwebs blowing about my wallet.

 

And a H harness isn’t an option as there in no anchor point in the middle and not too many teens would be keen to wear one!

 

I know it’s always simple for EB and you should just spend thousands on modification or a new car but reality isn’t quite like that, as much as we all wish it was.

Edited by ~J_F~
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SplashingRainbows

I get you OP. You must have been so dissapointed when you discovered it wasn’t a lap sash belt on the middle.

 

Selling the car and purchasing a similar one will be far cheaper than $7k so that’s what I’d do.

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Caribou

Not sure selling the car is an option seeing you’d lose thousands right away, probably just as much as installing a new seatbelt.

 

Honestly, given your kids ages, I’d just leave it. The risk of an accident is incredibly low.

Edited by Caribou

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HolierThanCow

You could look at a Type G seat for your 7 year old, but I'm not sure how hight the height markers are. I suspect 133cm would be pushing it even though many say they have their kids in them until age 9-10.

 

Are they going to be in the car all together often? Could the 15 year old just go in the front seat and an adult with the lap only belt if all seats are in use and you're not comfortable having one of the kids use it?

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Hands Up

Why on earth would a H harness not be safe? DD has one on her booster and I understood it was safer and she needed it til she got to a certain height.

 

I googled to see what an H harness is and the first few links were pretty damning.

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Hands Up

 

Are they going to be in the car all together often? Could the 15 year old just go in the front seat and an adult with the lap only belt if all seats are in use and you're not comfortable having one of the kids use it?

 

Yep I’d put the adult in the back too.

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Chief Pancake Make

DD booster has a red anti submarine clip- or crotch strap whatever you want to call it.

 

That is how it is reccomended to be used. If you choose to use a device not as intended then it will be dangerous.

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born.a.girl

Not sure selling the car is an option seeing you’d lose thousands right away, probably just as much as installing a new seatbelt.

 

Honestly, given your kids ages, I’d just leave it. The risk of an accident is incredibly low.

 

I think relative risk is often forgotten. (Thinking of J_F's comment, too.)

 

The risk of driving the car on the road at all is probably 1,000 times higher than the relative risk relating to an accident severe enough for it to matter.

 

We all do things every day which are much higher risk, but because there's no relatively safer way to do it, accept the risk. Some of these are completely optional, yet we still do them.

 

 

ETA: I think it's worth noting that in another 30 years, some of our regulations will have changed so dramatically that we'll wonder how our kids survived, but you can only do the best with what you've got at the time.

Edited by born.a.girl
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just roses

DD booster has a red anti submarine clip- or crotch strap whatever you want to call it.

 

That is how it is reccomended to be used. If you choose to use a device not as intended then it will be dangerous.

It’s safer to use a booster with a lap sash belt than the H-harness

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Milly Molly Mandy

Is the mentality behind swapping the adult and teenager because of size/weight or because the adult is more expendable?

 

Genuine question because a lot of 15 year olds are bigger than their mothers. My 14 year old is the same size as me but some of his friends......they are giants, one is taller than my 6 3 husband!

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Soontobegran

I know people do not have infinite funds and have to make do, we did.

When we bought a Landcruiser that had one less lap sash than we needed we did get another point put in to take an H harness used with a booster which at the time was regarded as a safe option.

It was in the years after this that we learned that the H harness was unsafe and certainly it worried us.

 

Now they are not recommended but thought to be better than nothing as long as they are used in conjuction with an anti submarine device.

 

https://www.vicroads...afety-harnesses

 

 

 

 

I could not in good conscience now allow any of my grandchildren to drive in my car without a lap/sash or a legal car restraint.

Sure I survived my childhood without them but many didn't. I thinking dredging up what was okay in the past is silly.

We have learned better and we know better.

 

The talk of risks being low is all good until you are actually a statistic.... it doesn't always happen to someone else.

Edited by Soontobegran
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SplashingRainbows

Not sure selling the car is an option seeing you’d lose thousands right away, probably just as much as installing a new seatbelt.

 

Honestly, given your kids ages, I’d just leave it. The risk of an accident is incredibly low.

 

It would not be a new car with a lap only belt in the middle. A second hand car will not have depreciated thousands in a few months.

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Carmen_Sandiego

DD booster has a red anti submarine clip- or crotch strap whatever you want to call it.

 

That is how it is reccomended to be used. If you choose to use a device not as intended then it will be dangerous.

If your car ONLY has a lap belt then some car seat manufacturers say to use a H harness with a booster if that's what you mean by recommended? But If your car has a normal seatbelt in then NO, you should always use the lap/sash seatbelt across her body and no H harness. Noone recommends using a H harness instead of the normal lap/sash (across the body) if the option is there.

Edited by Carmen_Sandiego

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Chief Pancake Make

According to the NSW guidelines a type C2 harness should be used for children age 7-10 with lap only seatbelts.

 

NSW regulations state children 4-7 must be in a approved forward facing restraint or booster seat. Dickie seats must have a lap sash, or lap belt in combination with a harness.

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Cheesy Sanga

OP can you get any more quotes for installing a full lap and sash belt? If the prices aren't any lower then I would seriously consider selling this vehicle and buying another.

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