A child car seat can be a difficult thing to install - especially if you are a first time parent! However, fitting your car seat properly is integral in ensuring your precious new bundle of joy is safe-and-sound while travelling in the car.
If you are having some trouble trying to install your new car seat, you’re not alone! In fact, studies conducted by VicRoads have found that around 70% of child car seats are fitted incorrectly. That means roughly three out of four children are at an increased risk of injury every time they get in the car!
But really, is it any wonder? There are so many things to think about when installing a car seat! There are latches to anchor, belts and buckles to secure, angles to consider – it’s no surprise that so many parents get it wrong!
To help make the installation process a little less daunting, we have put together some tips on setting up your child car seat safely without going crazy!
Have your car seat fitted by an expert:
Car safety experts strongly recommend having your child’s car seat fitted professionally by an accredited installer, at least for the first time. Having your car seat fitted professionally offers two key benefits:
- You’ll ensure your car seat is installed safely and correctly; and
- You can learn from the expert.
If possible, watch the car seat fitting expert carefully while he fits the car seat and ask lots of questions. Reputable car seat retailers will have an accredited installer who can install your car seat when buying it. Some motoring organisations and safety bodies, such as KidSafe and Australian Red Cross will also check or fit seats depending on which state you live in.
Read the instruction manual carefully and keep it handy:
To some this may seem like common sense, but the importance of reading the instruction manual carefully can not be emphasised enough. Almost everything you will need to know for successful installation is in the manual and by not reading it you are setting yourself up for failure. Keep the instructions handy as you will need them again if you move the seat!
Consult your vehicle’s manual:
You will find that the car itself has some rules about where and how the child car seat can be installed. The owner manual will provide you with this information.
Position the car seat in the back seat:
The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. There is a slight safety advantage to installing your car seat in the middle seat as it is the furthest from a side impact however ensure you can achieve a tight installation. If not, the side seats are also safe when used properly.
The easier it is to install properly, the better!
ISOFIX is an easy to use system to secure a car seat in a vehicle and trust us, it makes life a WHOLE lot easier when it comes to installing your car seat. Developed in 1997 by Britax in collaboration with Volkswagen, instead of using a standard seatbelt, the ISOFIX systems locks the base of the car seat to a bracket in the adult seat. The top tether strap anchors the seat from the top. When it comes to baby capsules, you can’t go past the Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity™ ISOFIX from Britax. Britax’s most advanced baby capsule yet, the Unity™ ISOFIX is integrated with CLICK & GO™ Adaptors that make transferring your sleeping baby from car to stroller or out and about an absolute cinch.
Remember: only use 1 installation method, seat belt or ISOFIX, not both. Not all cars in Australia come with ISOFIX anchor points. In newer vehicles, ISOFIX low anchorages should either be visible or their location clearly marked with the ISOFIX symbol. If you are unsure you can check your vehicle's manual or contact the manufacturer.”