Our car seats are among the safest you can buy, but they need to be fitted and used correctly for safe travel and maximum protection. Here are our top tips for car seat safety.
Always use a car seat, even on short trips
It’s obvious, and it’s the law, but we still sometimes see children travelling without a car seat. Accidents can happen, even on the shortest trips.
Avoid second-hand car seats
You can never be sure a second-hand car seat is a safe car seat. You don’t know if it’s been damaged in an accident, or has pieces missing.
Use the correct size car seat
It’s best to buy a car seat for your child’s current height and weight, then buy the next size up. Avoid seats that claim to cover all ages in one.
Install car seats correctly
- Baby car seats must always be rear facing.
- If you have ISOFIX in your car use an ISOFIX car seat, it’s easy to install the seat to the anchor points.
- If you don’t have ISOFIX you can use a seat belt installed car seat. Make sure you know how to guide the belt correctly and pull the car seat belt tight.
- Pull the car seat’s safety harness tight. If you can just slip one finger between the harness and your child’s chest, it’s tight enough.
- Read the car seat manual or watch the installation video and follow the instructions carefully.
Take your child’s coat off
A thick coat can make the harness less effective. If your child is cold, use their coat as a blanket over the harness.
Make sure the safety harness is at the right height and not twisted
The harness should be at shoulder height. Check there are no twists in the straps.
Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible
It’s safest for babies and toddlers to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old. It doesn’t matter if their legs stick out, but if their heads are higher than the seat shell, they need the next size.
Beware of activated frontal airbags
The safest place for a rear-facing car seat is on the back seat, passenger side. This avoids the danger of front airbags inflating against the seat. Deactivate the front airbag if you use your car seat on the passenger seat and place this seat in the rearmost position.
Keep loose items off the rear parcel shelf
In an accident, even small loose items can turn into dangerous projectiles. Tuck them away safely. Follow these tips and enjoy lots of fun, safe outings with your child.