Older Children

Companies across the United States have responded to the problem of older children who do not fit well in seat belts by designing add-on devices that try to make the shoulder portion of the safety belt fit correctly. These products vary in design, yet all claim to solve the problem of poorly fitting shoulder harnesses. However, some of these products actually seem to interfere with proper lap and shoulder harness fit by positioning the lap belt too high on the abdomen and the shoulder harness too low across the shoulder and by allowing too much slack in the shoulder harness. Although in some cases these products may help shoulder harnesses fit as they were designed, the add-on products are usually tested only by their manufacturers, which allows manufacturers to make claims that cannot be substantiated by independent means.

parents should read their car owner's manual and child restraint device instructions carefully and test the car safety seat for a safe, snug fit in the vehicle to avoid potentially life-threatening incompatibility problems between the design of the car safety seat, vehicle seat, and seat belt system.

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