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Your-Common-Car-Seat-Safety-Questions-Answered

Your Common Car Seat Safety Questions Answered

Do all car seats fit all cars?

No, not every seat fits every car so check its compatibility using the car fitting list on the Maxi-Cosi website. Always take your car with you when choosing your new car seat so that you know it fits in the vehicle and can be shown how to install it securely.

How do I know my child is secured properly in their car seat?

Before each journey, use the 2 finger test. Put two fingers onto the chest of the child and pull the harness tight until it is firm against your fingers. It should be tight enough for your baby to be comfortable but leave a gap of no more than 1cm between your child’s chest and the harness.

What is i-Size?

 

i-Size is part of the latest European car seat safety standard that was introduced, called R129, and currently applies to new car seats (installed with ISOFIX) for babies and young children up to 105cm (approx. 4 years). R129 aims to increase the safety of children in cars by bringing the safety performance of car seats to a new, higher level. i-Size car seats offer improved protection of the head and neck for frontal and side impact, mandatory rearward-facing travel up to 15 months, use ISOFIX to avoid incorrect installation and are classified by height instead of weight for easier car seat selection.

Why is rearward-facing travel safer?

It is very important for a newborn baby to stay rearward-facing for as long as possible. This is because a newborn does not have a fully developed bone structure or adequate muscle strength and therefore cannot prevent its relatively large and heavy head from being thrown forward during an impact. When rearward-facing, a baby’s head and neck is fully supported by the car seat, and the forces of an impact are spread over the whole back instead of just the head and neck

What is ISOFIX?

An international standardised fitting system which provides the safest, easiest and quickest way to i nstall a child car seat correctly without the need of vehicle seat belts. An ISOFIX base provides a rigid, permanent connection between the child car seat and the car chassis and indicates when the car seat is fitted correctly.

What is a Top Tether?

ISOFIX car seats use two standard anchor points located at the base of the seat, plus an anti-tipping forward device: either a support leg or top tether. The top tether can be located at the back of the rear seat, at the bottom of the boot or on the ceiling. In most new cars this anchor point is highlighted with the top tether logo (displaying an anchor). The top tether hook of the car seat needs to be firmly attached to the hook, to secure the third ISOFIX point.

What is Buckle Crunch?

When car seats are fitted with the adult seat belt, the webbing of the seat belt must be holding the seat in place, not the seat belt buckle. If any part of the plastic seat belt buckle casing is on or over the plastic frame of the seat, it is an unsafe fit, which is called buckle crunch.Buckle crunch is dangerous, because the plastic casing of the seat belt buckle is bent on or over the plastic of the child seat. This puts pressure on the casing, and in a collision, the casing could shatter – causing the car seat to not be safely restrained.

Can I use a second-hand car seat?

No, it might be financially tempting but you can’t be sure a second-hand car seat hasn’t been in a crash. Any car seat or base involved in a collision MUST be replaced as its structure could be compromised even if there is no visible sign of damage. Additionally, second-hand car seats often do not come with their instruction manuals and therefore you cannot be sure you are fitting it correctly.

Why can’t my child wear a Winter coat in the car seat?

The padding of the coat creates a gap between your child and their safety harness affecting the tension of the harness. In a collision, the harness isn’t as close to your child’s body as it needs to be to allow it to properly restrain them. I recommend using a Maxi-Cosi footmuff or a blanket instead.

This article has been sponsored by Maxi-Cosi.



 

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