The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

Floor storage and child car seats

Floor storage compartments – What are the risks?


When it comes to floor storage and child car seats, many owners of people carriers who have gone car seat shopping will have come across “this seat isn’t compatible with your car; you can’t rest the leg on the lid of the floor storage box”.  It is an issue that plagues owners of vehicles with floor storage compartments, as many ISOFIX, and a few seat belt fitted restraints, have a support leg that must be used.

 

FLOOR STORAGE 1

 


But why, exactly, is the support leg and the lid of the floor storage compartment not compatible?

 

Why can’t you rest a support leg on a storage box lid?


The concern is that if a child restraint has a support leg that rests on the lid of the storage box, it could go through the lid from the force of a collision.


FLOOR STORAGE 2

 

So what would that do?


If the support leg did go through the box, it would compromise the stability of the seat, and it would not work how it is supposed to in a collision, potentially not protecting your child adequately.

 

What can you do?


If you have read this blog post and realised that your child’s car seat has a support leg resting on the lid of the storage box, don’t make another trip out in the car until you have confirmed if the seat is a safe fit or not.

If you have these floor boxes and you are looking for a child seat to fit your car,  be aware that there may be some seats that will not be compatible with your vehicle.

If you have three full size vehicle seats with 3 x 3 point seat belts, you could fit the seat with the support leg in the middle seating position to avoid the problem, as the leg will miss both of the boxes.

 

FLOOR STORAGE 3

 

How can you confirm a safe fit?


Child car seats that have a support leg are classed as a “semi-universal” restraint.  As the seat is a semi universal restraint it must have a vehicle fitting list.  If your car is listed, you may use the seat with support leg in your car, if your vehicle is not listed; do not use the child seat.  Some manufacturers will advise you to have the fitment checked by a professional, as fitment may differ between each car – even if they’re the same model!

You can find the fitting lists on the manufactures website, or it will come with the instruction booklet provided with the child seat.

 

What if I fill the floor storage box?


Here at Good Egg, we would only recommend you fill the floor storage box with an official filler from your vehicle manufacturer, rather than use a DIY filler.  Not all manufacturers have a filler available, and a DIY filler has not been tested, so it has no guarantee of doing the job you need it to.

 

Can’t I put the leg in the box as long as it reaches the floor?

 

FLOOR STORAGE 4


If the leg of your seat fits down into the bottom of the box securely, it is often said to be a safe fitment. However, you do need to double check with your child seat manufacturer if they recommend this for their seat.

 

Is it OK if I have a floor box, but the leg misses it?

 

FLOOR STORAGE 5


As with the above situation, this is often said to be safe, but to be sure contact your child seat manufacturer for their advice.

 

Floor Storage and child car seats


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What is ISOFIX?

ISOFIX is an international standard of fitting child car seats.  In most modern cars, and even some older cars, there are ‘D’ shaped hooks in the base of the back seats on either side (some vehicles may have ISOFIX points in the middle or front seat) to find out if you have ISOFIX, either put your hand in the join between the passenger seat base and the back and run your hand along it until you feel them, or check your manual.



Isofix 1



ISOFIX is considered safer than a seat belt fitted child seat as the risk of fitting the seat incorrectly is very small.  An ISOFIX child seat is also quicker to fit, easier to fit and is attached to the chassis of the vehicle.



isofix 2


ISOFIX seats also come with other safety features like an impact leg or a top tether.  These devices must be used, if supplied, as they reduce the rotational and forward movement of the child and the seat in an impact.



Caution

If you have a car with passenger floor storage boxes you cannot use a seat with an impact leg, as the floor isn’t strong enough to support it in an impact


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Can I have my child's car seat in the front seat?

Rear facing restraints


It is illegal to have a rear facing child car seat in the front seat if the air bag is active.  This is because when the airbag is deployed it comes out at a very high speed; if that were to hit the back of your child’s car seat the consequences would be devastating.  If you want your child to be in the front with you then make sure the air bag is turned off, some cars have to go to the manufacturer; on others you can do it yourself.  You should also push the front seat back as far away from the dash board as possible, as when in the front seat the child is being put closer to the force of the impact.



airbag caution

 

Forward facing restraints


There is no law regarding deactivation of the airbag when a child is forward facing in the front of a vehicle, however you must check your vehicle manual to see if the airbag must be switched off and positioning of the front seat.  Some vehicles do not allow a child under 12 years or less than 135cm in the front of the car - so it is very important to check the car manual.  The information will be in the child seat section.

 

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