The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

What happens at a child car seat checking event?

 

Good Egg Safety is the leading child car seat initiative here in the UK checking more child car seats than any other UK organisation - over 22,000 since our campaign launched in 2001!

We offer free child car seat checking events because we feel that we cannot tell parents their children are in danger from poorly fitted child car seats, yet not offer them a solution!

 

So what happens at a Good Egg child car seat checking event?


Our Good Egg child car seat checking events are always run by a Good Egg Safety Expert.  These are highly trained and dedicated individuals who are able to check a wide range of child car seats.

The checking events normally run 11am - 4pm, although check your local event as times can differ!

The expert arrives early to the event to get set up, and we have a fun height chart for children to measure themselves, as well as a supply of stickers and our FREE Good Egg Guides.  

 

 

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How do we check a car seat?


When we check a car seat, we are checking for 4 things:

 1. That the child seat is compatible with your child

 2. That the child seat is compatible with your car

 3. That the child seat is fitted correctly, either ISOFIX or belt fitment

 4. That the child seat harness or seat belt is used correctly


Finally, we will also give any other useful advice - such as strapping non ISOFIX boosters in when not in use, and the importance of removing puffy clothing.



 

What happens if you've done something wrong?


We strive to ensure that we do not make you feel guilty, or judged if your car seat is incorrectly fitted.  It is very common to see errors on child car seats so it is nothing to feel ashamed about, and you've done the right thing by having your seat checked!

If your car seat is incompatible to your car or child, we clearly explain to you why it is not suitable, and what type of seat is required.  Although this may mean buying a new child car seat, it is not that often that we come across an incompatible seat.

If your child seat is fitted incorrectly, we will explain what the errors are to you, and show you how to put them right.  If your seat needs to be taken out and re-fitted, we will show you how to fit the seat properly, and then ask you to fit it yourself, so you can be fully confident the next time you need to fit your seat.

We also check that your child is strapped in properly, and for this we are ensuring that the harness or seat belt is at the correct height, and that the harness is the correct tension.  If your harness needs adjusting, we are able to show you how to do this.

 

What are the consequences if your seat is found to be incorrectly fitted?


At Good Egg, we always say that it is MUCH better to find an error on your car seat at a checking event, then during a collison.  A car crash would be a very bad time to find that you have an error on your child's car seat!

If you do have an incorrect seat, we will show you how to put it right.

We do not report parents for incorrectly fitted seats - we are more concerned that you are confident to fit the seat correctly in future.

 

 

Having your car seat checked is nothing to worry about, and it may save your child's life.

 

 

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Child car seat features

Buying a new car seat can be very confusing, it can be difficult to figure out which stage seat your child needs, particularly when there may be several suitable stages to choose from.  Not only that, but you also have to make sure the seat fits the cars it will be used in, as well as your child.


Group Stages 2014-01

Once you have figured out what stage seat you require, the choice can still be confusing, with large differences in price and different child car seat features.

This blog looks at those features of a car seat, what they do and why they’re useful.

 

Child car seat features

 

Seat belt or ISOFIX


ISOfixbelt fit

Child seats can come as either belt fitted, or ISOFIX – sometimes they have both options!  While both ISOFIX and seat belt fitment is safe when the seat is correctly fitted, ISOFIX is considered easier to fit and it reduces the risk of incorrect fitment.

 

Seat belt tensioner

 


TOBI tensioner

 

Seat belt restrained seats may have a seat belt tensioner, which will help you to achieve a tight fit.  A slack seat belt is a very common error, so a tensioner is a useful tool to help you ensure the seat is firmly fitted.

 

Support leg or top tether


supportlegtoptether

ISOFIX seats tend to have a third point of anchorage, the first being the ISOFIX attachment itself.  The third point of anchorage can come in the form of a support leg or a top tether.  A support leg is more commonly found, however these generally cannot be used on top of a floor storage box lid.  A top tether attaches to an approved top tether point behind the vehicle seat.

The purpose of the third point of anchorage is to reduce the pivotal movement of the seat and absorb energy in a collision.

 

Head support


head support

 

Some child seats will come with a headrest within the seat and this helps to support the child’s head and neck when they are asleep.

 

Easy adjust or re-thread harness

  

easy adjust

 

An 'easy adjust' car seat harness

 

re thread harness

 

A 're-thread' car seat harness



Seats with an integrated headrest also tend to have the harness attached via the headrest, so to adjust the harness, you simply ‘click’ the headrest up or down to gain the correct height.  Other seats may have a re-thread harness, which requires you to take the harness out of the seat and re-thread it at the desired height, which can be quite time consuming, and also carries the risk of the harness being re-attached incorrectly.

 

Are these features essential?


The features described above are present on many car seats, and  car seats without them are certainly not unsafe or dangerous.  The features are designed to make the child seat simpler to use, so if you are not confident fitting a seat, or changing the harness, they are certainly worth looking at!

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5 steps to strap your child into their car seat correctly

Although strapping your baby in might sound like an easy task, the truth is, it is one of the most common misuses on child car seats.

The harness on a child’s car seat is there to restrain your child, and to absorb the energy from a collision – this blog looks at what you need to do to get it right in five easy steps:



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Step 1:


SNOWSUIT NANIA

 

Remove any thick, puffy or bulky clothing.  Puffy jackets or padded snowsuits – even very frilly tutus or dresses can interfere with the way the harness sits on your child.  The harness needs to sit close to your child’s body to work to the best of its ability, so ensure you remove anything that gets in the way.  To keep your child warm, tightly tuck a blanket around them once they are strapped in or dress them in thin, warm layers.

 

Step 2:


Too low

 

Ensure your harness is at the correct height for your child, an incorrectly adjusted harness will not only be uncomfortable for your child, but potentially dangerous too.  The straps must be as level with their shoulders as possible.

Rear facing : just below the shoulders

Front facing: just above the shoulders

 

Step 3:


twisted harness

 

Ensure your harness is straight and untwisted.  A twisted harness may not absorb the energy from a collision as well as it should do, so it is important to keep an eye on the straps and untwist them as soon as you notice they are not straight.  To untwist your harness, follow this guide:



untwist harness

 

Step 4:


chest pads

 

Pull the straps over your child’s shoulders, and ensure the chest pads are level.

 

Step 5:


tension

 

Pull the harness snug to your child’s body – the straps should be tight enough that you can just slip two fingers flat between your child’s body and their collar bones.

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How to fit an ISOFIX car seat

ISOFIX car seats are considered safer than seat belt fitted child seats, because the risk of them being incorrectly fitted is reduced.  However, not all ISOFIX seats fit all vehicles, and mistakes can still be made.



fitting ISOfix

 

Here are some tips to help you fit your child’s ISOFIX car seat


 

Tip1

You must check the vehicle compatibility list to ensure your ISOFIX car seat is compatible to your vehicle.  Not every ISOFIX seat fits every car, so it is important that the child seat manufacturer confirms that it is a safe fit. You can find the fitting list on the child seat manufacturer’s website.

Don’t forget!  The seat must also be suitable for your child!


 

Tip2

Once you have bought your seat, read the manual thoroughly.  This will not only give you specific instructions on how to fit your seat safely, but you will also find information which is essential to your child’s continued safety.

 

Tip3

To begin fitting your seat in the car, locate the ISOFIX points in your vehicle and attach the ISOFIX guides if required.  Once you have done this, release the ISOFIX arms, so they are extended, and ensure the support leg is away from the seat base.

 

Tip4

Attach the ISOFIX arms to the ISOFIX points in your vehicle, you should hear an audible ‘click’ and the indicators will turn green.  You may now have to push the child seat firmly into the vehicle seat back to secure the fit.

 

Tip5

Now lower the support leg to the floor, so that it fits firmly, but is not pushing the base of the seat upwards.  If your seat uses a top tether strap instead, pass this over the back of the vehicle seat as instructed by your manual, attach to the tether point, and pull firmly – there should be no slack in the tether strap.

*please ensure you attach your tether strap to a top tether point, indicated in your manual – and not onto a luggage hook.

 


fitting isofix seat

 

If your child seat fits using a separate ISOFIX base, you can now click the seat into place.  Remember to follow your manuals instructions - some combination ISOFIX seats require you to fit it in full recline!  Once you have clicked the seat unit into place, check that all of the indicators have turned green.



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Common car seat fitting errors and the risks

 

The peril of incorrect fitment and why you should get your car seat checked


An incorrectly fitted child car seat will not work to the best of its ability in a collision, if at all.  Here are some of the more common car seat fitting errors we come across, and the potential risk associated:

Loose harness



Loose harness OL

 

A child car seat harness is there to keep your child in their car seat in the event of a collision. It also helps to spread the force of the crash, further protecting your child.  A loose harness will not be able to restrain your child properly, and they are at risk of travelling too far forward in a collision.  This could cause them to impact the interior of the vehicle, or come out of the harness altogether if it is very loose.

To fix: Remove all puffy and thick clothing from your child, and pull the harness tight enough to allow you to slip two fingers flat between your child’s chest and the harness, at collar bone level.



Incorrect harness height



Incorrect harness height OL

 

Child car seat harnesses must be adjusted as your child grows to restrain them properly, and we often find harnesses on group 1 car seats to be too low on children.  On forward facing children, this is particularly a problem as it can cause the harness to sit incorrectly on the child, causing a risk of the harness slipping off their shoulders and not restraining them.  It may encourage them to remove the harness due to discomfort, which is extremely dangerous in a collision.

To fix: The correct harness height is for the straps to be level with a child’s shoulders, at the point they come out of the child seat.  If you cannot get them at the same level as their shoulders, then they may dip below when rear facing, or sit just above the shoulders when front facing.


Slack seat belt



tight seat belt OL

 

On child car seats fitted with the adult belt, it is important that there is no slack on the belt, and that the belt is straight and untwisted.  A slack seat belt will cause the child seat to travel too far forward in a collision, potentially hitting the seat in front or the interior of the vehicle.

To fix: When fitting your seat, push your knee firmly into the seat, whilst you are doing this, pull the adult belt tight and lock off with the appropriate guides.



Incorrect seat belt routing



Incorrect Belt Route OL

 

We often have to demonstrate the correct routing of the adult belt as many people become confused with the fitting instructions.  An incorrect belt route carries a risk of the seat moving too much in a collision, to it not being restrained at all and exiting the vehicle altogether.

To fix: Read your manual carefully, watch manufacturer fitting videos, seek professional help and get your child seat checked.


High back booster adjustment



Incorrect head rest height OL

 

The headrest on high back boosters are often not increased with the child as they grow, which causes the adult belt not to sit across their shoulder safely.  In a collision the chest part of the belt will not be able to restrain their upper body correctly.

We also see younger children being allowed to use older siblings' seats as a ‘treat’ – to use another group stage seat a child must first be a suitable weight and height for the seat.  If the child is not big enough for the seat, they should not use it, and if they fit into their own seat, they are safest using that.  If they are the correct weight and height, then the booster head rest should be adjusted to suit the child’s height.

To fix: Most high back boosters have a squeeze handle at the top of the head rest.  Squeezing this handle will allow you to increase the height of the headrest to suit your child.

Watch our video on common car seat fitting errors.



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What is i-Size?

 

Over the past year or so, we have seen lots of advertisement for i-Size car seats.  But what exactly are they, and what is i-Size?



RF harness height

 

i-Size is…

 

    • A new regulation, called R129, within R129 is i-Size.

 

    • It will eventually replace R44.03 and R44.04 child car seats.

 

    • R129 was launched in 2013, and is proposed to be fully implemented by 2018.

 

    • It aims to keep children safer in the car, by making seats easier to choose, fit and use.

 

    • ISOFIX seats are being addressed first, then belt fitted seats will be addressed.

 

What are the key changes?

 

    1. New test dummy – the new crash test dummy, the Q dummy, can measure far more points of force than the old P series dummy. This will give more information as to how a seat can reduce the force a child is subject to in a collision. This information will allow safer seats to be made.

 

                    dummies

 

    1. Mandatory rear facing to 15 months – Under the R44 regulation, children can legally forward face when they weigh 9kg. Young children have very heavy heads and weak necks however, and it is very dangerous for them to face forwards.  The current R44 regulation could allow children to legally face forward before their neck is fully developed. i-Size seats require children to be rear facing to at least 15 months old, a point when a child’s neck is stronger and more able to cope with the forces applied during an impact when facing forward.

 

                15 RF OL




    1. Side impact test – you may be surprised to read that side impact testing isn't already mandatory. The R44 crash test doesn't legally require child car seats to undergo a side impact test, although many manufacturers test their seats to ensure they do protect in a side impact.  i-Size has taken this a step further and now legally requires car seats to provide side impact protection.




    1. Seats selected by height – child car seats are traditionally selected by a child’s weight, then height, with an age guideline. However a child’s weight is often unknown and the age guideline is used instead, which can mean the child may not be big enough to use the seat, even at the right age. i-Size seats change this to make seats selected by height, then age.  Weight limits will still be in place, however these will be specific to the child seat and clearly advertised.

 

                       height OL




    1. Better compatibility - i-Size seats address the problems of R44 ISOFIX seats not being compatible with all vehicles. New vehicles can now have an i-Size approved seating position, which an i-Size child seat will be automatically compatible with – no fitting list will need to be consulted. This is achieved by the vehicle manufacturers making the interior of the vehicle to approved specifications.  For the child seat to be approved for i-Size, its external geometry must fit within a set sized ‘envelope’ and the support leg must meet the specified geometry and adjustment.

 

              isizse




    1. Child seats will be easier to use – The internal dimensions of an i-Size seat will be specified. The seat harness must allow a 95th percentile child to fit within it, the harness must be simple to adjust and the cover easy to remove.  The harness must be made so that it cannot be removed from the child seat to reduce misuse.



FAQ


Are R44 seats still legal?

Yes, R44 seats are still legal to use, and you are not legally required to buy an i-Size seat.  In 2018 i-Size will be fully implemented, however you will be allowed to use R44 seats for some time after 2018 – the two regulations will run alongside each other for some years yet. (*please note, only R44.03, R44.04 and R129 seats are legal)

What about seats that don’t fit within i-Size?

Some seats will not fit within i-Size – such as larger extended rear facing seats.  These seats will still be able to achieve R129 approval, just not the specific i-Size approval.

Will booster cushions become illegal?

It is still unknown if booster cushions will be made illegal.  As R129 includes a side impact test, and booster cushions cannot pass a side impact test, it does look like they will not be able to gain the approval.  However, it may be that booster cushions will be for older children only, with the vehicle providing protection for the child.

Why is it rear facing to 15 months?

Young children are safer rear facing as their head is very heavy, and their neck very weak – this is not a good combination in a collision.  By rear facing for longer, the neck is protected.  The minimum age for rear facing is 15 months, however many i-Size seats currently available allow rear facing to 4 years old – 105cm.  The 15 month limit may increase in the future.

Can i-Size seats be used in cars that aren't suitable?

Yes, i-Size is backwards compatible and can be used on a cars standard ISOFIX.  However you will need to ensure that your vehicle is on the fitting list for the i-Size seat.

Will I need to buy new seats in 2018?

No, R44.04 seats will still be allowed to be used for some time after this point.



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What is a car seat base?

 

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 the seat belt.

This base may only be fitted with ISOFix.

 

This base may only be fitted with ISOFIX.

This base may be fitted with ISOfix or the seat belt.

 

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 the base is fitted correctly, when you have a newborn baby this gives you much needed peace of mind!

 

Is it safer to use an infant car seat with a base?


Infant seats are safe whether they are on a base or not, provided they are compatible to both the car and child; as well as fitted correctly on every journey.

Bases are considered safer as these generally remain fitted in the car, either with the seat belt or using ISOFIX.  Your infant seat will click on and off the base, with indicators to show it is fitted properly, which reduces the risk of incorrect fitment and misuse.

 

Fitting issues


Car seat bases experience fitting issues the same as any other car seat, and it is important that you check your base is compatible with your vehicle before you use it.  ISOFIX bases will be listed on a compatibility list, but it is also advantageous to visit a retail store in person that has properly trained staff members to check your base and seat fitment.

 

Should you buy one?


If your budget allows it, and there is a base available to suit your child seat and your car then it is a good choice to buy a base for the car seat.  Not only does it give you peace of mind and makes your life easier with not having to fiddle with seat belts, but it has the added bonus of keeping the seat belt away from the little one's knees as they get older.

Seat belt fitted infant seats normally route the lap belt over the baby's lap, through two blue guides and the chest belt routes around the back of the seat.  Whilst this gives a secure fit, it does mean an older baby or toddler may experience the seat belt pressing on their lap.


Elena SC

 

This is not unsafe or dangerous, however it doesn't look very comfortable and it can be a trigger to move the baby up a seat stage too early.


0+ Car Seat

 

Both little ones are 100% safe whether they use a base or just the seat belt.

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VAT on child car seats

What do you think the VAT rate is for child car seats?


0%?

jodiekidd1



Child car seats carry a VAT rate of 5% on them – according to Halfords that costs parents £31 million a year.  That’s an extra addition for parents to pay for an essential piece of baby equipment – one that is a legal requirement.

 

The Law


The law states that all children under the age of 12 years or 135cm in height must legally use a child restraint suitable for their size and weight when travelling in a car, van or goods vehicle.  There are very few exceptions to this law – to read more on the exceptions click here.

 

Why should parents pay extra?

 


jodiekidd2

 

You can’t put a price on your child’s life.  Ask any parent and they will do everything they can to keep their child safe in the car, however the cost of child car seats can seem prohibitive to many parents, which is why so many are buying online or second hand.

Good Egg Safety has checked more child car seats than any other organisation and from 10,000 car seat checks, we have found an average incorrect fitment rate of 54%.  This has risen over the last 3 years - along with the increased trend of buying online, but also second hand.  Increasing numbers of parents are accepting hand me downs and buying from auction sites, as they want to get their child a good quality seat, but at an affordable price.

 

What would it mean to parents and carers?


Not having to pay VAT on car seats essentially means more money in your pocket – but it also means that parents and carers may be able to afford to get a better seat, or two seats so they don’t have to swap between cars, which carries a risk of incorrectly fitting the seat.  It may mean parents and carers will be able to afford to visit a store for advice, rather than having to purchase online to get an affordable seat, which in turn will help keep their children safer.

When you think of how much you spend on seats through your child’s car seat years, 5% off each purchase would soon add up!

 

What’s happened so far?


Halfords have launched a campaign to have VAT removed from child car seats, and have written to the Treasury to raise this issue.  The Treasury responded to inform them that the 5% VAT rate on child restraints is not an option to remove, as VAT changes are dictated by the agreement of all EU member states.

Yet this tax costs parents in the UK £31 million a year.  That doesn’t include grandparents and other carers who may also purchase seats for children they look after.  Halfords have responded to the letter with the following statement:

“We understand that the EU has a deliberately complex process to prevent the introduction of any new zero rates, however we believe it’s unfair that families are being charged VAT for essential safety equipment and we’re standing up for all families currently paying more than they need to” – Emma Fox, Commercial Director, Halfords.

 

What can you do?


Halfords are running a Zero VAT campaign, they have a petition set up here.  You can sign the petition link to join the call for the 5% VAT rate on a legally required piece of baby equipment to be removed.

 

 

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Child car seat exceptions

"A child under the age of 3 can travel with no child car seat, if there are two occupied car seats which prevents the fitment of a third."

 

PebbleRubi OL

 

FICTION!


Let's have a look at what the law says in regards to under three's travelling with no child car seat:

"All children under the age of 12 years old or 135cm must travel in an appropriate child restraint. 

Exceptions for children under 3 years of age:

May travel unrestrained in the rear of a taxi or private hire vehicle."

There are no other exceptions that apply to under 3s.  If you have to get three children in your car, they must all be in a suitable child car seat.  It is also vital that the child car seat fit into the car and are fitted correctly.  If you can't get three suitable child car seats in the car,  the children cannot travel in the car.

 

Exceptions for over threes


Over 3s may travel in the rear of the car, and must wear the adult seat belt in the following situations:

    • Two OCCUPIED restraints prevents the fitment of a third.

 

    • When travelling in a taxi or private hire vehicle.

 

    • On short, unexpected journey's of ABSOLUTE necessity.



In all other situations, children must use a suitable child restraint!

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New parents guide to choosing your first baby car seat

Parents to be


Are you a new parent or parent to be?  We've got together all the information new parents need to know when choosing and using their first baby car seat.  Whether you’re a first time expectant parent, or have children already, it’s well worth a read!

 

The Law


The law requires all children under the age of 12 years old or 135cm/4’5’’ to travel in a suitable child restraint.

For kids under 3, there is only one exception to this rule, and that is in taxis.  Babies and children under 3 may travel unrestrained in the back of a taxi – at any other time, they must use a suitable restraint. Of course that doesn’t make holding your baby in the back of a cab safe!  Every effort should always be made to use a child seat, the exception is there for convenience only.

The law requires you to use a suitable child car seat, so what options do you have?

 

Child seat options for your first baby car seat


There are currently two regulations running along side each other, and they will do for some years to come.  Regulation 44 has been around for many years, and R44.04 is the latest amendment to that regulation.  There has been several amendments to R44 - R44.01 and R44.02 are no longer allowed to be used.  An R44.03 seat may be used, but it is very likely the seat will be old.   R44.04 testing focuses on ease of use, fitting, stress testing on components and the crash test is a frontal impact (32mph), rear impact (18mph) and a roll over test.  To select the appropriate stage R44 seat for your child, you must go by their weight first, then their height.

There are three seat options available for your first baby car seat under R44.04: Group 0, Group 0+ and Group 0+1.  Each option offers something different, here’s a comparison:



First Baby Car Seat Comparison

i-Size

There are not many i-Size child car seats currently available from newborn, however they are becoming more readily available.  Some i-Size car seats have a base, which the infant seat can attach to and when the baby is outgrowing the infant seat, you can then buy the i-Size seat to fit to the base.

An i-Size child seat utilises the ISOFIX in your vehicle, and babies must rear face to 15 months in them by law.  i-Size car seats have also gone through mandatory side impact testing and an improved roll over test.  They are also chosen based on your child's height and stature, rather than their weight.

 

What to look out for


The infant seat - group 0+


cabrio

    • Deep, padded side wings.

 

    • A base option.

 

    • A newborn wedge and head hugger that is easily removable.

 

    • Easy adjustment of the harness.



The infant and child seat - Group 0+1


dualfix

    • Deep, padded side wings.

 

    • Easy seat belt routing or ISOFIX.

 

    • A good, reclined position when rear facing.  Some 0/1 seats are too upright for a newborn.

 

    • A newborn insert that gives a more natural lying position, head support and torso support.

 

    • An easily adjusted harness.  This will save lots of time and frustration and is a safer option than a re-thread harness, which carries the risk of the harness not being adjusted correctly or re-threaded incorrectly.



Compatibility

 

Not every child car seat fits every car!


This is very important to remember with every car seat, no matter what stage you are at, whether you are using ISOFIX or the seat belt - there are many fitting issues that can occur.  If you are opting for an ISOFIX 0+1 seat, or just using the seat that comes with the pram, it is essential to ensure the seat not only fits your car, but every car it will be used in. You can find out if your seat fits your car buy visiting a retailer that offers a fitting service to buy your car seat.

 

Warnings!


The '90 minute rule'

If you opt for a group 0+ car seat that fits to your pram, it is essential to know that your baby should spend as little time in their car seat as possible when it is used on the pram.  Infant seats ‘scrunch’ a newborn over, causing their oxygen saturation levels to drop – this leads to a whole host of potential risks, from increased SIDS risk, flat head syndrome, through to ADHD in later life.  It can also effect their spinal development and cause problems in later life.  The website www.babybwell.co.uk has lots of links and information where you can read up on the risks of excessive car seat use.  Wherever possible, use the lie flat part of your pram, not the car seat!

**NOTE: Your baby must ALWAYS use their car seat in the car, even if the journey exceeds 90 minutes.

AIRBAGS

You should never install a rear facing car seat to a seat with an active frontal airbag. Even in low speed crashes the airbag can deploy, smashing into the back of your child’s car seat, giving a very real and high risk of fatal injuries.

 

Taking the baby home


This will probably be the most nerve wracking drive of your life! The best way to ensure you are as relaxed and focused as can be on that first drive is by making sure you are confident with the safety and protection you are giving your new baby in the car.  The first step is to ensure the car seat is compatible with your vehicle, then you need to know how to fit the seat properly – it’s not always as easy as it seems!

Practice fitting the car seat as much as you can before you are due to give birth.  Make absolutely sure everyone who will be fitting the seat is comfortable with it – even if you have bought an ISOFIX seat.  Also check the positioning of the carry handle if you opt for a group 0+ car seat – the handle often needs to be upright or towards baby’s feet to act as a re-bound bar.

Silver Cross OL

The next thing to get right is strapping your baby into the seat. Many parents get this bit wrong, as they are often worried the straps are too tight on the little one and unintentionally put them far too loose as a result!

 Harness use


Newborn Insert 1

 

The harness needs to be level with or just below your baby’s shoulders and tight enough that you can get two fingers flat between your baby’s chest and the harness strap.

 

Clothing


how to correctly restrain a newborn 013

 

It can be tempting to wrap your baby up tight when they first go in their car seat, but it’s very important that all blankets, jackets and snowsuits are removed before your baby is strapped in. To keep them warm, dress them in thin layers, then add a thin blanket once baby is strapped in. This blanket should be no higher than armpit level.

 

Remember – your car will soon heat up, and a heavily swaddled or wrapped up baby will soon be an overheating, unhappy and sweaty baby!

 

Accessories

 

Mamas-and-Papas-bed-wrap-around-toys-Activity-Spiral-Stroller-and-Car-Seat-Toy-Ladybug

 

We all love cute accessories, and you may want to add some cute toys to your baby’s seat, or interactive toys as they get older. This is fine to do, but ensure the toys are securely attached, and that they do not interfere with the seat, the fitment or use in any way and also make sure they are soft. In a crash, all loose items in the car become projectile – loose toys can become lethal.

 

Mirror

 

302846800 Brica Car Mirror 1


This is an essential accessory for any Mum, Dad or Grandparent! See me mirrors are ideal for helping to calm those nerves and can keep you focused on driving. They let you glimpse the baby in the rear view mirror so you can drive knowing that your baby is safe and well in their seat.



first baby car seat - top tips

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