The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Carry handle or safety feature?

LIFESTYLE_CS_BABY-SAFE_PLUS_SHR_II_Dad_BR_2015_300dpiThe handle on your baby’s car seat is more than just a convenience, it is also a very important safety device! While it makes it easy to lift your infant seat in and out of the car, it is really important to check the instructions on your child seat.  Not all carry handles are placed in the same position in the car.   The instructions on the side of your seat will show the correct handle position. The handle is often required to be upright, or forward towards the baby’s feet when driving.  This is because your child’s seat can rebound in a collision, and having the handle in the correct position prevents this from happening.   What happens if the carry handle is at the back? If you were to have a collision, with the carry handle back by the baby's head, the seat may not protect your child adequately.  ......
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What is a top tether?

​When you buy or use an ISOFIX child car seat, it will have the two ISOFIX bars on the back of the seat, and almost all ISOFIX seats will then have a third point of anchorage. This third point of anchorage is very important, as it prevents the ISOFIX child seat from moving too much in a collision. The third point of anchorage will either be a support leg, which is a very popular option, or a top tether. This article is focusing on the top tether – how to use it, what it does and the benefits.

What is a top tether?

The top tether is the third point of anchorage on an ISOFIX child car seat. It is a length of webbing which is attached to the back of the child seat, with a hook on the end. The top tether strap must have a green indicator on it to show when it has been pulled tightly enough.

How do you use a top tether?

​The top tether will pass over the top of the vehicle seat, and hook onto the top tether point. The top tether point will either be in the boot, on the back of the vehicle seat, or it may be in the roof of the car.

Top tether points are normally indicated with the anchor logo, or your car handbook will tell you where your point is.

What does it do?

As we have already mentioned, ISOFIX seats tend to have a third point of anchorage, which reduces dangerous movement of the seat in a collision. The top tether hooks behind the child seat onto the bracket in the car holding it in place, along with the ISOFIX arms.

In a collision, a child seat will move forward, and the seat can pivot on the ISOFIX arms. To prevent this from happening, and to also absorb energy from a collision, the top tether point is able to then reduce movement in the seat along with the ISOFIX, and absorb crash forces.

It is very important to ensure the top tether is used, if it is supplied.

What are the benefits?

Many ISOFIX seats have the support leg which reaches into the floor well, and this leg does the same job as the top tether point. However, the support leg is not compatible with every vehicle, and cannot be used in conjunction with floor storage compartments.

For ISOFIX seats with a top tether, there are not so many constraints. Providing the ISOFIX seat with top tether is classed as universal, and your cars' ISOFIX and top tether point are approved as universal, you are able to fit the seat in the car.

Top tether seats also tend to take up less room in the car, as there is no support leg in the cab – this can make it much easier for other passengers to get in and out, particularly older siblings who may sit in the middle.

ISOFIX seats with tethers may also be lighter, and therefore quicker and easier to move from car to car, as there is no heavy leg attached to the base.

Finally, ISOFIX + Top tether seats have all the same features and benefits that you would expect, such as easy adjust harnessing, some seats offer longer rear facing, and some even swivel!

Anything to consider?

As with any seat you buy, it is very important to ensure the seat fits every car it will be going into. Not all cars have top tether points, so be sure to check each car. Many ISOFIX + Top tether seats are ISOFIX only, very few have an option belt the seat in the car.

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What is a car seat base?

This base may only be fitted with the seat belt.  A car seat base normally is used with group 0+ infant car seats.  It is sold separately from the infant seat, and normally remains permanently fitted in the vehicle - it then allows you to simply click the infant seat on and off the base. Some group 0+1 and group 1 car seats have a separate base, however at the next stage, seats are normally sold in one unit. What are the options? There are two options available for fitting bases - seat belt fitment, or ISOFIX.  Some seats will have only ISOFIX or seat belt fitment, but others have both options.   This base may only be fitted with the seat belt.   This base may only be fitted with ISOFIX.   This base may be fitted with ISOFIX or the seat belt. ISOFIX is considered safer than seat belt fitment, as there are indicators to show you that......
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The child car seat harness - Updated

Harness Use 3 overlayGenerally, child car seats come equipped with a 3 point or a 5 point harness in group 0+ seats, and a 5 point harness in a group 1 car seat. The job of the child car seat harness is to restrain the child in the child seat in the event of a collision.   Is there a safety difference between a 3 point and a 5 point harness? Group 0+ rear facing car seats may have either a 3 point harness or a 5 point harness. In a collision the child is pushed back into the seat, which spreads the force across the whole seat back - putting much less force on the child and better protecting their neck and spine. The job of the 3 or 5 point harness is to hold the child in the seat. A 5 point harness has additional hip straps to help spread the force......
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What is a car seat newborn insert?

Newborn Insert 1  Almost all group 0+ infant car seats come with a newborn insert. These are either a 'head hugger' and cushion (which is under the baby to lift them up) or just the head hugger on its own.   The purpose of the car seat newborn insert is to provide additional support and padding to a newborn baby when they are using the seat. The inserts also help ensure that babies fit in the harness, so they can be properly strapped in. The head hugger helps support the baby’s head, and if your seat comes with a cushion, it will lift the baby up to allow them to lie in a more natural position and will help prevent them becoming ‘scrunched over’. As time goes on and your baby grows, the newborn cushion and head hugger can be removed; this is generally between 5-6 months of age. If you take the car s......
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5 point harness

5 point harnessChild car seats normally come with a 5 point harness to secure the child into their seat.  Some rear facing infant seats come with a 3 point harness. The job of the harness is restrain the child in an impact. When forward facing, the harness spreads the force of an impact in 5 directions - across the shoulders, past the hips and through the crotch strap.  It is very important that a child rear faces for as long as possible, as when they are forward facing they are restrained by the harness, but their head continues with the forward momentum.  This puts stress and pressure on the neck that can result in serious injury or death. By being rear facing, the 5 point harness still restrains the child, and in an impact they are pushed back into the child restraint, which spreads the force of an impact through the back of......
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