The choice of car seat for your child is crucial to ensuring their safety on every car journey. There are several options available on the market, including the shield car seat and the harness car seat. If you're wondering which one to choose, this article will guide you in your choice. We'll look at the advantages and disadvantages of each option, to help you make the choice that's right for you.
The Shield Car Seat
What is an impact shield?
Shielded car seats are becoming increasingly popular with parents because of their ease of use. The shield is a shield-shaped cushion that sits in front of the child and is attached to the car's seatbelt. The shield acts as a shock absorber in the event of impact, making it a very safe option for children.
How does an impact shield work?
Impact shields work by absorbing the forces of impact during a collision. When a car is involved in an accident, the impact shield deforms to absorb the impact energy, protecting the child. Unlike traditional safety harnesses, which can cause internal injuries in the event of severe deceleration, impact shields distribute the forces more evenly, reducing the risk of serious injury.
The advantages and disadvantages of impact shields
Impact shields offer many road safety benefits for children. Here are some of the most important benefits:
- The bumper offers optimum protection in the event of a frontal collision.
- The shield is easy to use and can be adjusted to suit the size of the child.
- The shield does not compress the child's torso and can therefore be more comfortable.
- Car seats with shields can be more expensive than car seats with harnesses.
- Car seats with a shield are not recommended for children under 2 years of age because of the size and bulk of the shield.
- Car seats with a shield face the road.
- Covering part of the torso, the impact shield can be excessively hot, especially in summer.
Harness Car Seat
What is a harness car seat?
A harness car seat is a type of car seat that uses an integrated 3- or 5-point harness to restrain the child in the event of an impact. A harness car seat uses padded shoulder straps attached directly to the car seat to hold your child in place. The harness is a commonly used method of restraint for the baby cosy and rear-facing car seatsGenerally from birth until the age of 7.
How does a harness car seat work?
Harness car seats work by holding your child in place using the built-in harness. The harness is attached to the car seat, which means that if your car is involved in an accident, the child is held firmly in place. This reduces the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.
- A 5-point harness car seat uses a restraint system comprising two shoulder straps, two hip straps and a strap between the legs.
- A 3-point harness car seat uses a restraint system comprising two shoulder straps and a strap between the legs.
The effective use of harness car seats is also essential to ensure your child's safety. The harness must be correctly adjusted to fit your child's height and prevent excessive play. In addition, the seat must be correctly installed in the car to ensure stability in the event of an impact.
The advantages and disadvantages of harness car seats
3- or 5-point harnesses offer additional protection against side impact, as they keep the child in place in the event of a collision.
Harness car seats are suitable for children of all ages from birth
- Car seats with harnesses can be used for children of all ages, from birth to adulthood.
- Car seats with harnesses are often less expensive than car seats with shields.
- Car seats with a harness offer additional protection against side impact by keeping the child in place in the event of a collision.
- The best rear-facing car seats all use a 3- or 5-point safety harness.
- Harnesses can compress the child's torso in the event of impact, which can lead to injury.
- The harness must be tight enough to prevent the child from breaking free in the event of a collision, which could make the seat uncomfortable for the child.
Recommendations for use of shield and harness car seats
It's vital to choose a car seat that suits your child's age, weight and height, as well as your safety needs and preferences. Whichever you choose, make sure you install it correctly and use it in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to ensure your child's safety on every car journey.
Don't forget to check the condition of your car seat regularly and replace it if it becomes damaged or aged. Your child's safety must always be your top priority on the road.
At what age should I start using a harness or shield car seat?
- We recommend waiting until your child is at least 12 months old before using a shield car seat. Children who are too small or too thin may not be given enough support, while children who are too big may have the shield on their stomach rather than on their chest.
- Harness car seats are less of an issue, because even with small children or infants, the harness provides sufficient support for the child's hips and torso.
So, harness or shield?
Ultimately, the choice between a shield car seat and a harness car seat depends on the needs and preferences of each family. Both types of car seat offer adequate protection in the event of an accident, but each has advantages and disadvantages that can vary according to parents' needs and preferences.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use option that allows your child freedom of movement, the shield car seat may be a good choice. However, if you want to offer extra protection for your child's head and neck, the harness car seat may be a better option.
Whatever the case, remember to choose a car seat that is compatible with your vehicle and suitable for your child. It's also important to consult the crash test results and to keep your back to the road as far as possible for maximum safety.
|Criteria||Harness car seat||Shield car seat|
|Recommended weight||From birth to 18 kg||From 9 to 18 kg|
|Recommended age||From birth to 7 years approx.||1 to 4 years approx.|
|Installation||Quite simple, but requires precise adjustment of the harness||Quite simple, but requires correct positioning of the shield|
|Comfort||Good support for the child's body||Can be bulky and hot in summer|
|Security||Excellent, especially for smaller children||Very good, the shield absorbs shocks|
|Scalability||Suitable for children of all sizes||More suitable for older children|
|Prices||Often cheaper||Often more expensive|