The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

The hidden projectile in your car - Booster seats

The hidden projectile in your car - Booster seats

 

When children are younger, they use a child car seat that contains a harness to restrain them. This seat is fitted into the car, where it normally stays strapped in, so even when your little one is not in the car, their seat remains restrained.

 

  

 

The next stage seat - boosters

When it comes to your child moving up to a booster seat, both the seat and the child are restrained with the adult seat belt.

 

GRACOBRITAX PICS 005

 

This means that unless you buy an ISOFIX booster seat, you need to remember to strap the booster in when not in use.

 

Why?

An unrestrained booster will multiply its weight by the force of a collision, so if you have a crash when your child is not in the car, but their booster is sat on the back seat - you have a very heavy projectile waiting to hit someone!

  

Spot the Error!

 

Spot the error! Take the above child seat, the Britax Adventure. This seat is known for being lightweight and portable, so it is easy to move between vehicle's. This child seat weighs just 3.9kg. In a 30mph collision, the seats weight will be multiplied, and when the seat flies forward, it will hit whatever it impacts with a weight of 117kg - or 18.4 stone! If you have a little one sat next to the seat that is flying around, or a passenger in the front, or even if the seat is behind you as a driver - 18 stone hitting the back of the seat, or a person is not good news! So for the safety of all, remember to strap in your non ISOFIX booster seat!

 

ISOFIX Boosters

 

KIDFIX_II - edited

 

ISOFIX boosters don't need to be strapped in when your little one is not in the car, because the ISOFIX provides a rigid attachment to the vehicle. Just one of the great benefits of ISOFIX! Both ISOFIX and non-ISOFIX booster seats offer great protection for a child, but remember to strap in the non-ISOFIX booster when your child isn't out and about with you!

 

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Top 10 Child Car Seat Safety Tips

1. Maximum safety!


Many parents are keen to move their child up to the next stage car seat as soon as they are ‘big’ enough, not realising that it is a big step down in child car seat safety!

The children in the pictures all fit in the next stage car seat, but they are much safer staying in the lower stage car seat.  The first child is safer being rear facing as opposed to forward facing and the second, older child is safer in a harnessed car seat then a booster with the adult seat belt.

 

                          Child Car Seat Safety Tip 1aChild Car Seat Safety Tip 1b

 

Keep your child in the lower stage car seat until fully outgrown by weight or height.  The chart shows when each group is outgrown:

 


Pic5

 

2. Escape artists!

 

It is extremely frustrating when your child learns that they can slip their arms out of the harness and it is also very dangerous!

 

There are a number of thing’s that you can do to stop your child escaping from the harness:

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 2

 

3. Harness height

 

The correct height of the harness can be confusing!




    • If a seat is REAR FACING the harness should be level with or just BELOW the child’s shoulders.

 

    • If a seat is FORWARD FACING the harness should be level with or just ABOVE the child’s shoulders



4. Harness tension

 

Lots of parents travel with their children’s car seat harness too loose, and it can be tricky to get right.  Harnesses should be tight enough on the child that you can just get 2 fingers between the child and the harness – with your fingers lying flat against the child’s collar bone.  When you take the little one out of the seat, loosen the harness off before you unclip the buckle – that way, when your little one next goes in the seat you can just pull the harness tensioner and get the perfect fit!

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 4

 

5. Car seat clothing

 

Children should travel lightly dressed when in the car, what they would be wearing if they were playing indoors.   Certainly take them to the car wrapped up!  But once you put the child in their seat all puffy and thick jackets should be removed.  You can keep your child warm with a blanket. Babies should also be lightly dressed then a blanket wrapped tightly around them once the harness is secured and tensioned.

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 5a

 

 

 

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 5c

 

6. Wobbly seats!

 

A very common mistake is the seat belt not being pulled tight enough when the child seat is fitted.  The child restraint should not wobble or move more than 1 inch.  If you have pulled the belt as tight as possible and the seat still moves about, it is possible it is not fitted correctly or compatible with your vehicle.

 

7. Getting the right fit!


Child seats have blue guides if they may be used rear facing, and red guides if they may be used forward facing.  Make absolutely sure the seat belt passes through the correct guides – it doesn’t necessarily go through every guide!

 

8. Using the back on a booster


Booster seats should be used with the back support in place as long as possible – head rests on a majority of high back boosters will raise up to accommodate your growing child.



Child Car Seat Safety Tip 8

 

9. Buckle crunch:

 

The plastic casing of the seat belt buckle should not sit on or over the frame of the child seat, if it does, it may not hold in an impact

 


 Child Car Seat Safety Tip 9

 

10. Most important child car seat safety tip!


Not every seat fits every car!  Whether seat belt or ISOFIX, it is essential to ensure your vehicle and child's car seat are compatible and that the seat fits correctly.  If a seat is not fitted correctly it will not be able to protect your child properly in an impact.


 

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