Lizzie is 5 years old, around 45 inches tall and between 45-50 pounds. She is tall and skinny. And she is precious to me so I always make sure she harnessed in my car. September 16-22nd is Child Passenger Safety Week and when I think of safety, the name Britax comes to mind immediately. Britax is safety. In fact, browse the Britax Facebook page this week. There are a ton of super helpful photos and tips listed that I hope you share with your friends.
This is Lizzie in the Frontier 85 seat. I drive a 2003 Acura MDX and it fits perfectly and easily in my car. (Please read further in my post to see the mistakes I made and how you can avoid them). What I love about the Frontier 85 is that it is made for Lizzie’s sizeand beyond!
She is a growing girl. To keep her in a 5 pt harness and eventually a high-back booster, I needed a seat made for a tall, big girl.
The Frontier 85 safely holds in the harness children up to 85 lbs and 57 inches tall (or 20 inches seated shoulder height). The high back booster protects up to 120 lbs and 65 inches tall. Lizzie is staying in this seat for quite awhile.
You can read about all their outstanding safety features – the side impact protection, energy-absorbing tethers, tangle free harness, and more – but something I’m really excited about are those pieces of rectangle around the shoulder strap clips. You can see them in the picture below.
They are the Harness Ultra Guard System (HUGS™). Basically, these add friction to your child, preventing more movement in a crash. This is pretty genius and I wonder when they will start selling them so I can use them on my seat belt too.
And that arrow I drew on Lizzie’s pic is pointing to another favorite feature of mine. I do not have to re thread her entire car seat to adjust her harness!! So the fact that her straps are below her shoulders because she grew like a weed is not difficult to change.
I honestly wondered if I was going to share this picture with you. I was never able to find a local Child Passenger Safety Tech who was willing to set up a meeting with me to check my car seat before this post was due. (I emailed a few local ones that either didn’t respond or kept saying “sure” but refused to set up an actual date).
So I did it myself. And this is how it turned out. Not too bad, (her chest clip is in the right spot!) but there are a few mistakes I am remedying. And after watching the super helpful videos on Britax, I am confident that Lizzie is safe and when I find a car seat check they will pass me with flying colors.
Please! If you have a Britax, visit their user guide section. Read the manual. Watch the videos. Make sure you follow it all precisely. Britax focuses on every minute detail to make sure your child will be safe and failure to follow the directions could lead to a catastrophe.
Frontier 85 installation mistakes:
- Incorrect shoulder straps position. Lizzie’s shoulder straps are a tiny bit below her shoulders. All forward-facing children should be harnessed at or above their shoulders.
- Failure to attach the versa-tether. I thought, incorrectly, that I only needed to use the seat belt. However I saw in the videos that the versa-tether must always be used, whether the LATCH is hooked or the seat belt is hooked.
- Head rest/side impact is too low. According to her user manual, her ears must not be above the top of the head rest. Right now, they are not, however they are really close.
Thankfully, these are the only mistakes I found. So far. I am going to re-watch all the videos again as I install it. And in the video they continually state “adjust the shoulder straps to your child prior to installation.” So I am going to do that too. I will have her sit in the seat here in the living room floor, make sure it is perfect, then install it in my car.
If you have other questions about car-seat safety, I interviewed 2 CPSTS (Child Passenger Safety Technicians) last year and they gave me some valuable car seat tips.
And read this amazing post from my friend Sili of My Mamihood. She reminded me to find a car seat checking station this Saturday, the 22nd! “Car seat inspection stations nationwide will provide car seat checks and hands-on advice to parents and caregivers about selecting the right car seat for a child’s age and size as well as installation tips.” Thank you Sili!!
Thank you Britax for supplying this seat for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please find a Child Passenger Safety Technician to make sure you are using your seat correctly. Get it check out today!