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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Now pass the adult shoulder belt through the shoulder belt guides, but beware! The belt may not necessarily go through every guide!
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.
Ensure the seat moves no more than 1 inch in any direction - if your child seat wobbles, seek professional help!
- 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.
- 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.