Proper Harnessing | Car Seat Safety Tips | Diono US

Harnessing

Properly secure your child in the car seat using the right cushions, position and harnessing techniques.

Securing Child in the Harness

Infant Cushions
You will find Infant Cushions with the box of a radian rXT, radian r120, and rainier convertible car seat. You can purchase a set of infant cushions for a radian r100 convertible seat.

How long do I use the Infant Cushions?
There are no minimum or maximum height and weight requirements to use the infant cushions. They help fit smaller children in the harness. Use your judgement based on the size of your child. As they grow and “fill out”, they will not need the cushion unless they tend to be small in stature.

Large Harness Pads

All current Diono model convertible car seats come with large harness pads. Using these pads are optional for rear-facing. They are mandatory for using with a forward facing harnessed child because they are tested with these types of harness pads and show enhanced safety performance during crash testing.

While older model Radian seats did not come with the larger harness pads, they still meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 213. Parents may call our Customer Care Team and order the larger harness pads, if they prefer (optional). Some parents choose this option, as the pads provide a little more comfort and keep a child from pulling the chest clip down out of position.

The Buckle Pad should always be used as it provides comfort and keeps potentially hot or icy cold buckle parts from touching a child’s body.

Rear Facing

Harness straps should be at or just BELOW child’s shoulders.

Place straps over shoulders and over thighs Insert metal buckle tongs into the buckle.

Pull the harness strap from behind the back of the car seat to remove the slack, making the harnesses snug and comfortable on your child’s body. Be sure harness pads are down and not pushing into the harness slots at your child’s shoulders.

Pull the adjuster strap located on the front of the car seat in between your child’s legs and remove the rest of the slack.

Pull harness pads (optional) up and connect the chest clip. Place chest clip at arm pit level.

Forward Facing

Harness straps should be at or just ABOVE child’s shoulders.

Place straps over shoulders and over thighs Insert metal buckle tongs into the buckle.

Pull the adjuster strap, located on the front of the car seat in between your child’s legs, downward and remove the slack out of the harness. Pull harness pads up and connect the chest clip.

Place chest clip at arm pit level.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Harness should fit snug and comfortable on your child, at the collar bone. Gently try to pinch the webbing at the collar bone with your thumb and index finger, as if you are massaging their shoulder. If you can pinch too much webbing, snug the harness some more. Even if you have a tight harness, you will be able to get your hand under the chest clip and near the stomach. Checking at the collar bone will give you the correct indication the harness is fitting correctly.

Chest Clip

While the chest clip is not a regulated part of the car seat it can help keep the harness properly placed on the child’s shoulders. Therefore, they are a positioning device, but not necessarily an essential piece of the car seat. In fact, chest clips are not even allowed on car seats in Europe as regulations require a “one step” process to remove a child from a harness.

Regardless, Diono does recommend the use of the chest clip at armpit level on its US & CA car seats. The chest clip should be the last step in securing your child in the harness. Once the harness is adjusted and snug, raise the chest clip up to armpit level and connect both ends.

A harness needs to fit close to the child’s body when adjusted to a snug and comfortable fit.

Placing a child in a thick, puffy winter coat before harnessing can pose some danger. First, it gives a you a false sense that the harness is actually snug enough on your child. It also makes it difficult to make it tight enough and can prevent proper placement of the chest clip at arm pit level. This may cause the straps to come off the should during a crash and partially or totally eject your child from the seat.

If you live in colder climates, we realize coats are a necessity. Check out our blog post, What’s the Fluffing Problem for suggestions on how to accommodate for these situations.