To coincide with Road Safety Week we have teamed up with the In Car Safety Centre, to share some useful information on travelling safely with children.
Installing and using your first stage seat correctly
TIP: Use a travel blanket to keep your baby warm when secured in the seat. Avoid using jackets and coats as these affect how tight you can adjust your harness to.
Newborn babies require the best protection for every eventuality. Infant Carriers are typically from birth – 13kg / birth – 15 months with options for Isofix and Seatbelt installation. In Car Safety Centre only recommends using a quality and tested infant carrier that exceeds the regulations.
Infant carriers are installed rearward facing only and babies weighing 6lb and under should only use an infant carrier installed with the vehicle seatbelt and not isofix. They allow the safe movement of your child to and from your vehicle. The infant carrier harness should have shoulder pads that drop from the top of the shoulders. Your baby should not have thick layers of clothing on such as jackets while in the harness of the carrier, use a blanket to keep baby warm. The harness should be tightened so you can fit two fingers under the shoulder pads. Early use of the infant carrier should be limited to short journeys and when using on longer journeys frequent breaks should be factored into your travels. For more information on Infant carriers, please visit: https://incarsafetycentre.co.uk/by-type/infant-layflat-carriers
Swivel 360 Seats and Reward Facing
Top Tip: Look for seats that offer an anti-rebound bar feature on a 360 swivels. These offer stability as well as increased safety.
Swivel 360 seats, also available from birth, offer a practical solution as well as keeping your baby/child rearward facing for longer.
Rearward facing is considered the safest way for your child to travel. Typically installed with isofix support leg and the seats built-in anti-rebound bar, a secure and safe fit can be achieved.
The seat remains fixed in your vehicle and is not removable like an infant carrier. Newborn inserts are easily removable as baby grows, and a recline feature allows for comfort positioning particularly when baby is sleeping.
Although most swivel options allow forward facing, we recommend you use the seat rearward facing for as long as possible – even until your child has reached its weight/height limits which are typically 18kg or 105cm. Manufacturers guidelines vary.
Extended Rear Facing
Top Tip: If your child isn’t familiar or aware of forward facing, maximise rearward travel. In the event of a frontal impact, by travelling rearward your child’s head and neck and better protected versus a forward facing restraint.
Its important to opt for rearward facing for as long as possible. You can opt for a seat that will allow usage to 25kg – this could be up to 6 years of age!
Typically installed using the vehicle’s seat belt and using the child restraints lower tethers and support leg.
Your child’s body is not fully developed like adults and therefore opting for rearward facing for longer offers the best level of protection in the event of a frontal impact. Your child is pushed back into the seat significantly lowering the forces on your child’s neck head, and body.
Forward Facing Seats
Top Tip: If choosing a forward facing restraint opt for a seat that offers enhanced safety features. Many cheap and poor quality child restraints are available to purchase. By choosing a quality and safety tested forward facing seat it can significantly reduce injury or worse.
Some families may not be able to consider rearward facing options (for example restraint suitability for vans or multiple car options). The In Car Safety Centre can provide the very best advice and options when it comes to forward facing. Advanced technology and testing by reputable manufacturers ensure the highest standards of forward facing travel.
Isofix and seatbelt (or both) options are available for installation as well as enhanced safety features such as a top tether. Secured by the seats 5-point harness some forward facing options will convert into a highback booster offering extended use.
High Backed Boosters
Not to be confused with the booster cushion and the very last stage of seat your child will use.
Top Tip:Use a high back booster rather than just a cushion base. Having side and head, protection in the event of an impact greatly increases the safety of your child secured within the seat.
For further information visit In Car Safety Centre