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No Wonder Chest Clips on Car Seats are Illegal!

A child car seat has one primary role, to protect the child in the event of a collision whilst travelling in the car. Child car seats, that are homologated to UN ECE R44 regulations, are prevented from using the chest clip.

The chest clip covers many fragile organs on a child. Child car seat manufacturers position the chest clip over the steel bolt for crash testing purposes!



  1. Dangerous localised loads generated in the event of a collision (E.g. Viano & KingYong Han, Jun Ouyang, Koji Mizuno, Anguo Cang)
  2. Many examples of chest clips breaking and posing a laceration and choking hazard (product recalls)
  3. Children unbuckle the chest clip (Research from Yale University and Gavyn Wilkens)
  4. Children can easily move the clip upwards / downwards
  5. Toddlers asphyxiated due to the chest clip
  6. An extra buckle, in addition to the complex two part crotch buckle, has resulted in carers fastening just the chest clip with tragic consequences

Child car seat manufacturers, although not required by law in the USA, incorporate the chest clip as a “pre-crash positioner”. The USA recognises that the gap under the harness enables toddlers to lever the harness off their shoulders by pushing their arms under the harness. After discussions with most of the car seat brands it was evident that they did not fully understand how the child exploited the design flaw, nor the consequences of their chest clip solution, particularly in the event of an accident.

Dangerous Localised Loads

Placing an object such as a chest clip or buckle directly over an infants rib cage will generate huge loads and trauma on the heart, lungs, aorta artery or abdomen in the event of a collision at just 30mph. Crash tests indicate that 3 year olds experience loads of 55-60g, which will result in huge chest deflection and internal viscous compression. These injuries are not measured by the homologation crash mannequins. Disconcerting results from recent research on impact shields further supports concerns on viscous injuries arising from the chest clip. This research paper concludes that “Severe internal organ injuries (lung contusion, coronary artery laceration, liver laceration) were found for the CSR with
an impact shield. It is concluded that it is likely that the internal organ injuries without rib fractures could occur
to child occupants sitting in the CRS equipped with an impact shield.”

For more information on viscous injuries please read Viano’s and King’s research in Biomechanics of Chest and Abdomen Impact, as well as other research within the area.

Although the technology exists, none of the regulations around the world utilise the sensors that could measure the dangerous loads arising from the chest clip and compression. The image below shows the Q3 crash dummy.

Despite the chest clip being forbidden under UN ECE R44 regulations, car seat manufacturers lobbied for the removal of the clause prohibiting the chest clip during the writing of UN ECE R129.

A Better, Safer and Easier Solution

The 5 Point Plus Anti-Escape System won awards for safety in both the UK and Germany at industry trade events. The 5 Point Plus is more effective and is without the risks of the chest clip. Child car seats fitted with our Anti-Escape System ensures the seat performs as intended in the event of a collision. Find out how the 5 Point Plus Anti-Escape System works.