These frequently asked questions will help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a child car seat.
1. What is buckle crushing?
Buckle crush, the so-called “buckle crunch” occurs only in the case of car seats with fastening in the vehicle’s seat belts. Ideally, the belt is the one that holds the car seat and not its buckle. In some vehicles, the buckle is oversized and may be crushed by the seat of the car seat. This incident is called “crushing the buckle.” The buckles must be positioned in a straight line with the fabric of the belt, not crushed by the seat of the car seat, as this could lead to the seat opening in the event of an accident. If we test a car seat on the car and find that the belt has a buckle too high, we will try to position the seat elsewhere in the car, or we will test another car seat.
2. What do we do if the car has a storage compartment under the floor and the car seat has a support leg?
Some vehicles have a storage compartment located under the floor. At the car manufacturer there are special kits with which these compartments can be filled, so that the floor can support the foot of the car seat. The correct way of fixing the seat must always be checked on the car seat manufacturer’s website and in the vehicle manual. If the car manufacturer does not have special kits for filling the compartment under the floor, you must give up the car seat with fixing foot.
3. Can I install a car seat next to a curtain airbag?
Side airbags are also called curtain airbags. They swell in front of the window to protect the area of the rear passenger’s head in the event of a side-on collision and do not pose a danger to the child in the car seat..
4. Can I install a car seat in the right passenger seat?
A Rear-Facing seat (with its back to the direction of travel) is installed on the front passenger seat ONLY if the front airbag is deactivated.
A Front-Facing seat (facing the direction of travel) is installed if it is fastened in seat belts (because there is no Isofix in the passenger seat), without deactivating the front airbag, but pushing the passenger seat as far back as possible.
5. What is a Top Tether belt ?
The so-called “top tether” is a third anchor point for a car seat with Isofix. It is a belt attached to the back of the car seat, provided at the end with a hook. This belt is attached to a special seat behind the seat or in the trunk. The vehicle manual clearly indicates where this special seat is located (if your car is equipped with something like that). On some car seats, this additional “top tether” belt has a green indicator that shows us if the grip is correct.
6. If the car has no anchorage for the Teher Strap?
For car seats in the Extended Rear Facing category, the additional belt must be attached to a part of the vehicle structure. Usually, the attachment is made by the driver’s seat, or by the passenger’s seat on the right. If the car is a Scandinavian one (Volvo or Saab), the attachment points are the D-rings located at the front seat slide. For other car brands, you need to check for a structural bar under the front seats.
7. Can I use a belt extension?
Belt extensions extend the length of the vehicle’s belt. These extensions have not been tested with car seats in the impact tests and are therefore not recommended.
8. What happens if I can’t install 3 seats in the car?
Installing 3 car seats in the back seat can be complicated and each situation must be approached differently. First of all, you have to check the vehicle manual to see if there is this option. In the case of certain cars, the manufacturer does not allow the car seat to be installed in the middle of the seat or in the front passenger seat. One of the problems may be that the middle position of the rear seat may be narrower compared to the side positions.
Here you can find out more about how can you transport 3 kids by car safely.
9. How can I keep the little one from unbuckling their belts?
First, we need to make sure that the belts are fastened in the correct position relative to the child’s shoulders. Ideally, the belts should be at the level of the child’s joints, because a lower position can cause the belt to slip. The belt must be properly tensioned, so that there is only a space of 2 finger widths between the belt and the child’s collarbone. If the problem persists, you should look for a special belt retention device.
10. How do I know when to change my child’s car seat?
In general, car seats are classified according to the child’s weight and height, so what is written on the car seat label will help you choose the right one.
Another way to guide us is to check the distance between the child’s crest and the top edge of the seat headrest. If the little one’s crest has reached the top edge of the car seat headrest, then it’s time to change it.
11. For how long does a child need to use a car seat?
The road legislation recommends that all children under the age of 12 and / or less than 135 cm in height should ONLY travel in car seats.
12. Do you find that the feet seem uncomfortable in your Rear-Facing chair?
Children are very flexible, and their bones begin to calcify only around the age of 3, so the joints are much more mobile, and the proportion between the head and the rest of the body is higher, the child’s natural tendency is to sit with legs crossed, or bent, like a frog. This does not mean that the seat is too small, or that it does not feel comfortable, but it is exactly how the little ones choose a comfortable transport position.
14. How can I estimate how long my child will use a car seat?
Children grow at a different pace, and the car seat classification guidelines are based on 50 percent of the growth curves, so in the blue of each child, we must follow his growth curve and estimate when he will reach the maximum weight or length. supported by the respective car seat. If the child’s growth curve is towards the 90th percentile, you can estimate that he will use the car seat one year less than indicated on the label, and if the curve is at 25 percent you can estimate that he will use the seat one year more than it is written on the label.
15. My child is too tall for a seat with his own belt, but does he not have the necessary weight for a backrest lift?
Look for an evolving car seat that covers more age groups and has more seat belts. Usually, such seats are used with their own belts up to 25 kg and can be used by taller children. Another solution is the seats with impact shield, which can also be used for taller children.
16. What if I had a car accident and the seat was installed in the car?
If a car seat was installed in the car at the time of an accident (even if the child was not in the car at that time), the car seat must be replaced, even if there are no visible signs of impact on it. It is possible that the seat has suffered some internal structural deformations, which do not make it safe in case of a new impact. It is very difficult to judge how serious an impact it was, but the manufacturers recommend replacing the seat if:
- The collision occurred at a speed higher than 5 km/h
- Or was strong enough to bend a portion of the vehicle body
17. Is it safe to use a (second-hand) used chair?
The manufacturers recommend “a child-a chair”. It is best not to use second-hand chairs because you do not know whether or not they have been involved in an accident. In addition, foam and other materials degrade over time, so they no longer provide the necessary protection.
18. What is the maximum time a child can spend in the car seat?
For children under 4 weeks, the maximum duration of a car trip is 20 minutes. Then, as time goes on, we gradually increase the duration of the car trip to 2 hours for children under 1 year. After the child moves from the shell to the next group of car seats, there is no longer a time limit. However, it is recommended that in case of long trips we take frequent breaks to let the little one die.
19. Cleaning the covers?
Car seat covers can be washed with cold water, but not before checking the instructions on the label. The covers can be easily removed, but we recommend that you take pictures according to the way the parts of the cover were initially attached, in order to put them back in the same way. Belts and headrests should NEVER be washed with detergent or chemicals as you may damage their structure, thus affecting the safety of the seat. The only way they can be cleaned is to wipe them with a cloth soaked in water.
20. What is the difference between a Universal and a Semi-Universal seat?
The Universal mention on the label of a car seat means that that model of seat fits (in theory) on any car. However, this must be verified in each case, because in practice there are many exceptions.
The Semi-Universal marking indicates that that type of seat must be checked in a car seat installation center.
21. Do car seats have an expiration date?
Child car seats do not have an explicit expiration date, but their components degrade over time. An old chair will no longer offer the same degree of protection as a new chair. In principle, we do not recommend using a chair for the second child that has already been used for 5 years.
22. What is the Plus test?
This is an additional test performed by the authorities in the Scandinavian countries, a test that measures the forces exerted on the neck during an accident. This test applies ONLY to Rear-Facing chairs.
23. Are there car seats that can be installed in the plane?
Some car seats have a special label that certifies that they can be used on an airplane.
Our recommendation is to contact the airline in advance to obtain their clear confirmation of acceptance of the car seat on board.
24. What is i-Size?
i-Size is the new European safety standard in the field of car seats, a standard that came into force in July 2013, as part of the R-129 regulation. The purpose of Regulation R-129 is to increase the safety of transporting children in the car.
i-Size is the first phase name of the R-129 regulation and refers to the seats used for small children, from birth and up to a height of 105 cm (approximately 4 years), seats that are installed using the car’s Isofix system. This standard will run in parallel with the R44 / 04 standard.
25. What are the differences between Safety Standards for R44.04 and i-Size?
When checking if a car seat is suitable for a child and using the R44 standard, we take into account the child’s weight, and when using the i-Size standard we use the age and length (height of the child).
For Isofix seats, the I-size standard requires that they be tested for side impact.
I-size seats must be used with the back in the direction of travel until the age of 15 months.
26. Do I have to give up the old chair and buy an i-Size chair?
Not! If the chair you have now is suitable for your child, it remains a chair that can be used legally and safely as long as it is properly installed.
27. Has the car seat been impact tested on my car? Where can I find this information?
All child car seats are impact tested, but not necessarily on every type of car. Car seat manufacturers use the data provided by car manufacturers to indicate whether or not a seat fits in a particular car.
28. Why is RearFacing safer?
The most dangerous collisions are frontal collisions. These represent accidents produced at very high speeds and which give rise to immense forces. When a child is positioned in a chair facing the direction of travel, his body is pushed between the chair and his belt, resulting in a very high pressure on the neck area, spine and internal organs. Placing the child in a chair with his back to the direction of travel counterbalances this movement forward, thus protecting especially the neck area (cervical spine).
29. What if I can’t fit a Rear Facing car seat because I don’t have enough space in the car?
There are ultra-compact models of Rear Facing chairs on the market, which do not take up more space than a shell.
30. How do I communicate with the child in the car?
A driver must be focused on the road and not worried about what the child is doing in the back. However, there is a solution, namely special mirrors which allow you to see your child and at the same time allow the child to see you.
31. Will the child get bored of traveling with his back to the direction of travel?
In a chair mounted facing the direction of travel, children can see only a little of what is outside, looking out the side windows. If they travel with their back to the direction of travel, they can see much more through the rear window of the vehicle, so the chances of getting bored are much lower.
32. What happens if the seat is RearFacing mounted and the impact is from behind?
The rear impact occurs much less frequently (only 5% of accidents), and the speeds at which it occurs are much lower than in the case of a frontal impact. This means that the risk of moving the child’s body and implicitly the neck is much lower.
These Frequently Asked Questions may pave the way for other questions that you may have and to which we want to provide you with the most appropriate answers.