- What do I do if my vehicle model/year is not in the fitting list for a car seat?
Your vehicle not being in the fitting list could mean that the car seat does not fit in your vehicle but is not always the case – it may just mean that the car seat has not yet been tested in that particular vehicle. We recommend visiting a local retailer for a trial fitting of the seat to make sure that it fits correctly in your vehicle!
- Is it safe to use a second-hand car seat?
You should never buy a second hand child car seat – you often won’t know the history of the seat; it may have been involved in an accident or car crash that could have weakened the seat, or general wear and tear that might have an impact on future safety.
- Can I use my UK car seat abroad?
UK Car seats will all adhere to ECE R44 or R129 and are UN approved – these seats may be able to be used abroad, depending on your destination, this is something to research before you travel. If you don’t wish to travel with your own car seat or your car seat cannot be used where you are going, you can often hire car seats from car rental companies in your destination – it is worth checking this before travel and making sure you are happy with the car seats they have available.
- How long should I keep my child rearward facing for?
Under the new i-Size R129 regulation, children are required to stay rearward facing until they are over 15 months – however many global safety experts still recommend continuing past 15 months, up to 2, 3 or even 4 years old! We say ‘Look Back Longer’ and believe in extended rear facing – many of our car seats are ERF.
- How do I know when the harness on my child’s car seat is tight enough?
You should be able to fit 2 fingers between the harness and your child’s chest – ensure that your child isn’t wearing any padded coats/snowsuits when in the car seat as this can mean that the harness isn’t tight enough.
- My car doesn’t have ISOFIX connection – is this a problem?
No – although ISOFIX is generally classed as the safest and easiest option when it comes to car seat installation, there are many belt-fitted car seats available, belt fitting just requires you to be more careful when installing to avoid problems and to ensure correct installation.
- Is it safe for my child to sit in the front seat?
It is much safer for your child to travel in the rear seats – we generally advise to put your child in one of the rear passenger seats.
If still using the front passenger seat, you must de-activate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing car seat in this position; if this is not done it could be incredibly dangerous in the case of an impact.
- How do I avoid buckle crunch?
Buckle Crunch is when the seat belt buckle lies across and comes into contact with the frame of the child car seat – this means that it will be under pressure and may break open in an impact; only the seatbelt webbing should be in contact with the car seat.
Using an ISOFIX or i-size seat will avoid the problem of buckle crunch, as a seatbelt isn’t involved in the installation process; it will also be much easier to fit and generally more secure in your car.
If ISOFIX isn’t an option in your vehicle, you will need to use a belt-fit seat – as with any car seat, you must ensure that your vehicle is on the fitting list for your particular car seat, then ensure that you follow the manufacturers instructions carefully and that the seat belt is fitted correctly through any guides. Installation videos and having your car seat installed by a trained member of staff at a local retailer can be incredibly useful – they will also be able to teach you the best way to avoid future installation problems.
- What age/height does my child need to be in a car seat until?
Children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old, or 135cm tall – whichever comes first, and car seats can specify either weight or height.
i-Size (R129) is the term used for height based seats and ECE R44 seats are weight based