The little warning labels on car seats are something that we might barely glance at. It shows how to clip the buckles correctly and where to place the chest strap. Many people just clip the bottom latch in and leave the chest strap wherever it happened to fall. As long as it is around the child, there should be no problem, right?
Ashley Kulm uploaded this picture to Facebook, and hundreds of thousands of parents are glad that she did. It turned out that a lot of people didn’t understand how extremely important that little chest strap was! As you can see, the chest clip is supposed to be placed high on a child’s chest.
Most people move it down because it bugs the kid, hitting them in the chin or making them sweat. But the reason it has to be so high? It sits directly on top of the sternum, which is the strongest bone in a child’s body, especially in infants when they haven’t yet developed strong bones.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at this picture of little 3-year-old. The child was in an accident, and the force of the crash caused bruising on the sternum from the chest harness. If it had been too high, the child could have asphyxiated, and too low would have caused severe organ damage. Instead of having a sore chest, this kiddo wouldn’t have survived.
The harness should be placed at armpit level, directly over the sternum. It just might save a life.