Did you know that all children under 12 must travel in a child seat while in a car? Also, a correctly fitted car seat can reduce injuries by 95-99% for rear facing seats and 60% for forward facing child car seats. To ensure your kids are fully secure while driving, here are your top questions answered.
What type of car seat does my child need?
This all depends on what your child weighs, rather than their age. For babies up to 13kg/29lbs, you need a rearward facing baby car seat. For children between 9-18kg/20-40lbs, a forward facing child seat is required. At 15-25kg/33-55lbs, a child upgrades to a booster seat, before finally a booster cushion for 22-36ks/48-79lbs.
How do I know what car seat is right for me?
Talk to family and friends about their experiences of buying child car seats and select a retailer with a reputation for being helpful and knowledgeable. Ask the retailer to try fitting the sample car seat in your car to ensure it suits the length of seat belts and anchor points – not all cars are the same! Find out about return policies in case the car seat doesn’t suit your needs. Look out for the E mark which guarantees the latest EU safety standard.
What if my car has air bags?
A rear facing car seat should never be fitted in the front passenger seat if there is an air bag. Ensure it fits in the back seat instead.
How do I fit a child or baby car seat?
Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The car seat should be resting firmly on the seat, with little room for movement at the front or back. Ensure the seatbelt passes through all corresponding guides on the car seat and check the seat buckle is not resting on the frame of the car seat. Now push your weight into the car seat while tightening the seatbelt. If correctly fitted, there should be no slack. If using a forward-facing car seat, ensure it is positioned as far back as it will go to reduce chances of injury.
How tight should the harness be?
It should be quite tight; only one or two fingers should fit between the harness and your child’s chest.
For more details, check out this downloadable PDF guide that we developed together with our friends in Mummypages.