The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Tips for fitting a child car seat with a seat belt

Fitting a child car seat can be notoriously tricky, so we have put together our top tips to help you along the way!


The key thing to remember with child car seats, is that not every seat fits every car.  It’s easy to think that a belt fitted seat will fit with any seat belt, but there are many potential problems that can undo all your hard work and cause your seat to be fitted dangerously.  Our blogs can help you learn about the dangers of buckle crunch, floor storage boxes and the most common fitting errors.

It is important to seek help when choosing your child car seat, to ensure it is compatible with your car, and every car that the seat will be used in.

Don't forget!  It also has to be suitable for your child!

 

Top 10 tips when fitting a child car seat with an adult seat belt


 

Tip1


Rear facing seats have blue guides, and forward facing seats have red guides.

 

Rear facing seats have blue guides, and forward facing seats have red guides.


If your seat is able to fit rear facing, you will need to follow the BLUE guides.  If your seat is able to fit forward facing, you need to follow the RED guides.

 

Tip2


 

The child seat manual is in many languages.

 

The child seat manual is in many languages.


Read the manual – Although the manual looks very thick and daunting, it is actually in many languages.  The section you need to read is in fact very small, and contains lots of life saving information to help you keep your child safe.   Also, familiarise yourself with the child safety section of your car manual, here you will find lots of information about how to best keep your child safe in your car.  The car manual is also where you need to look for advice about putting your child in the front.

 

Tip3

Watch a fitting video a couple of times before you attempt to fit your child car seat – a majority of manufacturers have fitting videos for their products on their website.

 

Tip4


 

Some vehicles have very sculpted seats, which can cause fitting issues.

 

Some vehicles have very sculpted seats, which can cause fitting issues.


When you place the child car seat in the car, the shell and base of the child seat must be in contact with as much of the vehicle seat as possible. It is possible for the shape of the vehicle seat to cause your child seat to be incompatible!

 


Caution

Resist tipping your baby’s infant carrier seat further back to give a better recline, as it leaves a big gap underneath the seat – this negatively impacts the performance of the seat in a collision.


 

Tip5



Lap Belt OL

A vast majority of child car seats must be fitted with the 3 point adult seat belt. Pull out a length of belt, and pass the lap belt through the lap belt guides, then click the belt in.  Once you have clicked the belt in, firmly pull the shoulder part of the belt, so that it tightens the lap belt.

 

Tip6


Shoulder belt OL

Now pass the adult shoulder belt through the shoulder belt guides, but beware! The belt may not necessarily go through every guide!

 

Tip7



007

Take a moment to check the whole seat belt, at every point – ensure it is flat and untwisted.

 

Tip8



Knee in seat OL


Now push the child seat firmly into the vehicle seat, whilst you are doing this, pull the shoulder part of the belt again to make sure there is no slack in the seat belt (as demonstrated in picture above) - both the lap part of the belt and the shoulder belt should be tightly fitted over the child seat.

 

Tip9


Lock off clips hold the seat belt tight, and tension systems help the seat belt to fit more tightly.

 

Lock off clips hold the seat belt tight, and tension systems help the seat belt to fit more tightly.


Activate any lock off clips or tension systems on your seat.

 

Tip10

 

Ensure the seat moves no more than 1 inch in any direction - if your child seat wobbles, seek professional help!

Essential knowledge!



  • When fitting an infant seat, check the position of the carry handle. It is rarely pushed back behind the baby’s head, and is often upright or towards the baby’s feet.

 

  • Silver Cross OL

 

    • If you have an extended rear facing seat, fit the tether straps before you begin fitting the seat




    • When fitting a forward facing group 1 seat, it can make fitting the seat easier to put it in full recline. It gives you more room to pass the belt through the guides on lots of seats.




    • If the vehicle headrest causes a gap between the child seat and vehicle seat, or impairs the fit of the child seat, remove it.

 

head rest removal OL



Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on how to fit ISOfix seats!

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What is a Group 0 car seat?

 

The group 0 car seat is the very first stage and has the lowest weight range.

 

Car seat stages can be confusing at the best of times and trying to understand which seat does what and what that group number means can be very frustrating!

 

Child seats are grouped based on the weight of the child that they can accommodate.

 

As an example:  A group 0+ seat is suitable from newborn to 13kg rear facing, a group 1 seat can accommodate a child between 9-18kg forward facing or some rear facing.  Therefore if you wanted a seat that could carry your baby from newborn right through to 18kg, it would be referred to as a 'group 0+1' - as it covers both weight categories!

 

A group 0 car seat is suitable from newborn up to 10kg – approx. 6 months old.

 

These seats are generally lie-flat carriers, but there are some old rear facing infant seats and some  0-1 seats that only rear face to 10kg – so it’s very important to check your seat for its weight limit!

 

You can find your seats weight limit on the orange sticker (below), which will be on your restraint.


Group 0 car seat label

 

Benefits of a Group 0 car seat

 

Not only is the lie flat carrier suitable for use in the car, they also clip to the pram chassis – like the more common rear facing infant carrier does.  The big benefit that this has over the rear facing infant carrier is that there is no time restraint on how long baby can be in the seat.

 

As the group 0 car seat lies flat, it keeps the baby’s spine in the most natural position and also helps keep their lungs open, so they can breathe freely.  Due to this lie flat position, they are particularly good for premature or tiny babies.

 

Lie flat carriers can also double up as a day bed or as an over night travel bed – so they are very versatile!

 

The fitment of the seat places the baby’s head in the center of the car – the safest place.

 

Things to consider

 

Lie flat carriers can be much heavier than infant carriers so popping into a shop carrying the baby in the seat won’t be a frequent occurrence!  The seat will really need to either stay in the car or be put on the pram chassis.  Some of the seat options are also on the large side, making them too bulky to carry comfortably.

 

These seats can also be trickier to fit than rear facing infant carriers.  They generally have clips that attach to the adult seat belt, which then clips to the seat, securing it tightly in place (see below).  Some lie flat carriers may have an option of an ISOFIX base.

 


 Group 0 car seat belt




Lie flat carriers take up 2 seat spaces in the car.  This needs to be considered if you regularly take passengers in the back of the car or if you have other children.



Group 0 car seat


 

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