5 tips for installing and securing your child car seat
Protecting the baby from all sorts of troubles and injuries falls entirely on the shoulders of the parents, because what can be more precious than the health and safety of your own child? One of the points of such protection is the purchase of a car seat for a child’s comfortable trips to shops or on vacation.
If the purchase of such an accessory has already been completed, it remains to figure out how to install and secure a child car seat in order to protect the child as much as possible in an accident. The article will talk about the various options for mounting car seats for all age groups. Following this instruction, you will be able to avoid installation errors and be 100% sure of the reliability of protection.
Read also: TOP 10 best car seats for newborns (Group 0+)
Installing an accessory according to the age of the child
See also: TOP 10 car seats from 9 months to 4.5 years – group 1-2 car seat ratingA booster seat can be a good alternative to a car seat. This compact seat with armrests and backless helps to lift the child to secure it with the car’s regular belts. I wonder how to attach a baby booster? Its installation in a car does not differ from the installation of a child seat: with regular belts or with isofix. The booster is suitable for children from 3 to 12 years old. For newborns, this option is unacceptable.
Increased emphasis on safety
The correct installation of the car seat in the car does not guarantee the safety of the child. After all, it is important not only to securely fix the chair, but also to choose the optimal location for it in the cabin.
Many users are inclined to believe that the seat should be behind the driver’s seat. This choice is motivated by the lack of inertia in frontal collisions. But what about side impacts?
Experts who specialize in crash tests of safety seats in cars helped resolve this dilemma. According to their opinion, the center of the rear seat is the most suitable place for installation, and here’s why:
- during an accident, the child will be protected from fragments of broken glass, because it is far from the windows;
- the baby will not be able to open the door, window while driving, which increases his safety;
- in the event of side collisions or deformation of individual parts of the car, the child will remain 100% unharmed.
When installing a child car seat in this position, you should pay attention to the belts. In no case should they be twisted or show signs of deformation. In order not to spoil the upholstery of the seats, it is better to purchase a protective mat before installation.
How to fix a car seat?
There are only three ways to install this accessory in the cabin:
1. Auto belts. This option is good for a car without ISOFIX. Its complexity lies in some of the nuances associated with the design of the car seat and transport seats. To avoid errors during installation, you must clearly follow the instructions. In addition, it is worth considering that the chairs of group 0+ and 0+/1 are fastened with straps to the seat, and the child is additionally fixed by the internal straps provided in the chair model (according to the cocoon principle).
In a similar way, the child is also attached to the stroller, which article will help you choose: TOP 10 best baby strollers
2. ISOFIX mount. Provided in copies for babies weighing up to 18 kg. It consists of rigid latches that snap into place according to the lock principle. It connects to the plates placed between the seat and backrest. Such an installation is considered more reliable than belts, but is not without drawbacks. So, with a very strong blow, the lock can unfasten, and the chair can tip over.
3. Latch и Super Latch. This is an improved isofix, which is developed and adopted as a standard in the United States. In this case, the chairs are fixed to the seat not with metal locks, but with special belts. This fastening reduces the vibration of the car seat on uneven roads and increases the level of safety in an accident. One of the advantages of seats with this system is light weight (1.5-2 kg less) and compatibility with any car with isofix.
Each mounting option has its own characteristics, pros and cons, which means that it is not entirely correct to navigate when choosing a car seat only at this moment. It is also worth considering the comfort of the fit, the height of the seat, additional elements of protection.
If you are looking for recreational vehicles for older children, read an interesting article: How to choose a children’s bike?
Car seat installation steps
As mentioned above, the installation process of the chair depends on the type of attachment with which it is equipped.
If this is a standard option with fixation with straps, then installation takes place in several stages:
- first you need to move the front seat so as not to interfere with movements;
- place the car seat in the selected location of the cabin;
- stretch the regular belt through all the grooves provided in the chair;
- check the design for shakiness and backlash;
- seat the child, fixing it, as for a trip;
- look at the location of the belts (they should not press, sag, be in the neck or too low).
If the vehicle and car seat are equipped with an isofix system, it is enough to connect the latches and click them into place. Armchairs with a base are installed in the same way. Is there a base included? It can be purchased separately. An example of a base for the BeSafeIZI GO X1 ISOFIX car seat.
Rules for placing a child in a chair
Long trips can quickly bore the little fidget. In this case, he will unfasten his belts, dodge, jump or pull the chair. To avoid such situations, it is necessary to stock up on interesting toys and ensure the correct fit on the seat.
You can achieve the latter by following a few simple rules:
- The distance between the fixing straps and the body is at least 2 fingers. This will provide the child with comfort during movement and minimize the jerk on impact.
- Adjust the height of the headrest and padding so that the protection is as close as possible to the shoulders of the small passenger.
- If the chair has a footrest or a table, you must use these elements.
Before directly placing the child in the seat, each time check the reliability of its fastening. Such manipulation will take a couple of minutes of time, but will provide confidence in the protection of the baby.
You can read about other recreational vehicles in the article: TOP 5 baby tricycles
Finally, 2 important tips for parents who guarantee the correct installation of the car seat:
- the back of the accessory should “grow” as much as possible into the stationary seat of the car;
- in vehicles with side airbags, the seat must be mounted outside the area of their effect.
By putting into practice these simple secrets, you can safely take your baby even on long car trips. The main thing to remember: “A properly selected and installed car seat is the key to the life and health of the child.”