- Installing a child seat
- Where to install the car seat?
- Mounting methods and scheme
- How to fasten a child with seat belts?
- How can you tell if your child can be fastened with a regular seat belt?
- Rules and recommendations for the safety and placement of the child in the chair
Much has been said about how important it is to use a car seat when transporting children. Basically, it should become an integral part of the motorist, such as refueling the car or changing the oil.
At first glance, there is nothing difficult in installing a chair. At least that's what most drivers think. Of course, someone can succeed the first time, and we invite everyone else to read the detailed and understandable instructions that we will describe in this article.
Before proceeding with the installation, we recommend that you inspect the interior of your car and make sure that it has special fastening devices to hold the seat. Note that they began to appear in most vehicles since 1999.
And one more important point, which I would like to say in the preface. When buying a child seat, do not try to save money. Instead, choose the device that will provide maximum safety for your child, taking into account his anatomical features. Equally important is the correct installation and adjustment of the seat for your baby. Take this as seriously as possible, because the life and health of the child is in your hands, and here it is better to "overlook" than "overlook".
Most motorists install a car seat in the rear right seat. Moreover, drivers often move their seat back to make driving more comfortable, and if a child is sitting in the back, this is problematic.
Scientists have long been supporters of the position that the safest place to install a child car seat is the rear left. This is explained by the fact that in times of danger, the driver automatically turns the steering wheel so as to save himself - the usual instinct of self-preservation works here.
Recently, scientists from a specialized American university conducted a study that showed that the safest seat is the rear center seat. The numbers say the following: the rear seats are 60-86% safer than the front ones, and the safety of the rear center is 25% higher than the side rear seats.
It is known that in infants the head is much larger in proportion to the body than in adults, but the neck, on the contrary, is much weaker. In this regard, manufacturers strongly recommend installing a car seat for such kids against the direction of the car's movement, that is, with their head towards the back of the car. Please note that in this case the chair must be adjusted so that the baby is in a reclining position.
Correct installation and adjustment of the device in a position facing backwards, maximally supports the neck in the event of an accident.
Please note that the car seat for child categories 0 and 0+, i.e. up to 13 kilograms, is recommended to be installed exclusively in the rear seats. If, due to certain circumstances, you are forced to place it next to the driver, be sure to turn off the appropriate airbags, as they can cause significant injury to the baby.
When your child is a little older, the car seat can be turned according to the movement of the car, that is, so that his face is looking at the windshield.
Often, car owners tend to deploy the seat as early as possible. This desire is fully explained by the fact that looking ahead will be much more interesting for the child, and, accordingly, his behavior will become less capricious.
It is very important not to rush with this issue, since the safety of the baby depends on it. At the same time, there is a second side of the coin - if the child has grown a lot, you need to see if the time has come to completely replace the car seat. If the baby's weight is not critical, feel free to turn the device over.
Basic instructions for installing the infant carrier
Here are the basic rules for installing a car seat (infant seat):
- Install the carrycot in the opposite direction to the direction of the vehicle (back to the front of the vehicle). The front passenger airbag is deactivated (if the carrycot is installed on the front seat).
- Following the operating instructions (included with the carrycot), fasten the seat belts. Pay attention to the seat attachment marks (most often they are blue). These are the places where the straps are threaded to fix it. The cross strap should fix the bottom of the carrycot, and the diagonal strap is threaded behind its back.
- After fixing the child seat, the backrest angle must be checked. This indicator should not be more than 45 degrees. Many models have a special indicator on the mount that allows you to determine the position of the backrest.
- Secure the baby in the carrycot with belts. It is important that the shoulder straps are as low as possible and the clip is at armpit level.
- To avoid chafing the seat belts, use soft pads. Otherwise, the child will behave restlessly due to discomfort. If the belt buckle is not equipped with a pad, a towel can be used.
- Adjust the belt tension. The child should not slip out from under them, but do not tighten them tightly. You can check the tightness by sliding two fingers under the belts. If they pass, then the child will be comfortable during the trip.
- Make sure the air conditioner vents point away from the cradle.
There are three options for installing car seats on the seat. They are all safe and can be used by you. Before proceeding directly with the installation, we recommend that you read the instructions for your car and the car seat itself. This will give you as much background information as possible.
All types of car seats can be fastened using the standard belt of your car. It should be noted that for groups "0" and "0+" the three-point belt secures the seat only to the passenger compartment, and the child himself is fastened with an internal five-point belt. In the older groups, starting with "1", the child is already fastened with a three-point belt, while the seat itself is held in place by its own weight.
In modern car seats, manufacturers began to color the belt passages. Red if the device is facing forward and blue if it is facing back. This greatly simplifies the task of installing the chair. Please note that the belt must be guided through all the guides provided for the design of the device.
It is also worth remembering that fastening with a standard car belt does not allow the chair to be rigidly fixed, but strong wobbles must not be allowed. If the backlash is more than 2 centimeters, you will have to do everything again.
- Position the front seat so that there is enough room for the car seat. However, make sure that there is enough space for the front passenger.
- Pull the car seat belt through all the holes provided in the car seat. As mentioned above, color marks carefully left by the manufacturer will help you with this.
- When the belt is tightened according to all instructions, snap it into the buckle.
- Check that the car seat is not loose. Let's say a backlash of no more than 2 centimeters.
- Place the child in the car seat after removing the inner harnesses. After - fasten all the locks.
- Tighten the straps so that they do not twist anywhere and hold the baby tightly.
The unambiguous advantage of this type of fastening can be attributed to its versatility, because there are seat belts in every car. It is also worth highlighting the favorable price and the fact that in this way the car seat can be installed on any seat.
There are also drawbacks to fastening with a three-point belt, and not small ones. At the very least, it is difficult and time-consuming. Also, you have every chance of encountering a lack of a regular belt. But the main point is the lower level of child safety when comparing indicators with Isofix and Latch.
The Isofix system provides the best protection for the child due to its rigid attachment to the car body, which is confirmed by the corresponding crash tests from year to year. At the moment, most cars are equipped with such a system. It is the European standard for fastening car seats. Finding the Isofix mount on a car seat is quite simple - it is presented in the form of two brackets symmetrically located along the edges of the restraint.
- Locate the Isofix mounting brackets located under the seat backrest and remove the protective caps from them.
- Pull the brackets out of the car seat to the desired length.
- Insert the car seat into the rails and press down until it clicks.
- Secure the anchor strap and adjust the abutment leg if provided by your car seat.
- Sit down the child and tighten the belts.
The advantages of Isofix are obvious:
- Such a system is quickly and easily installed in a car. It is virtually impossible to make a mistake.
- Rigid installation eliminates the "rolling" of the car seat forward.
- Good protection of the child, which is confirmed by crash tests.
However, the system also has disadvantages. In particular, we are talking about high cost and weight limit - no more than 18 kilograms. It should also be borne in mind that not all cars are equipped with Isofix. And the last point - you can install car seats only on the rear side seats.
If Isofix is the European standard for attaching child seats, then Latch is its American counterpart. Since 2002, this type of fastening has been mandatory in the States.
The key difference between Latch and Isofix is that the former does not include a metal frame and brackets in the car seat design. Accordingly, the weight of the devices is significantly reduced. Instead, it is secured with sturdy straps that are secured with carabiners to the braces provided on the rear seat.
- Find metal brackets in your car. They are located at the junction of the back and seat.
- Pull out to the maximum length the Latch-straps, which are fastened to the sides of the car seat by default.
- Place the seat on the seat of the car where you plan to attach it and attach the carabiners to the mounts.
- Press down on the chair and tighten the straps tightly on both sides.
- Slide the anchor strap over the seat back, tighten and attach to the bracket.
- Try moving the car seat to make sure it is securely fastened. The maximum allowable backlash is 1-2 cm.
The main advantage of the mount is its softness, which protects the child from vibration. Latch chairs are much lighter than Isofix - by 2 or even 3 kilograms, and the maximum permissible weight, on the contrary, is higher - 29,6 kg versus 18 in Isofix. Child protection is reliable, as proven by crash tests.
Of the minuses, it is worth noting that in the CIS countries, cars with Latch systems are almost not represented. The cost of such mounts is quite high and there are no budget options. The geography of installation is also limited - only on the outboard rear seats.
How to fasten a child with seat belts?
When fixing a child in a car seat with seat belts, it is important to consider two rules:
- The diagonal strap should run over the shoulder joint, but not over the arm or near the neck. Do not let it pass at hand or behind the child's back.
- The transverse seat belt should firmly fix the child's pelvis, not the belly. This position of the belt will prevent damage to internal organs even in a minor collision of the car.
These basic safety requirements apply not only to children, but also to adults.
How can you tell if your child can be fastened with a regular seat belt?
The physical development of children occurs in different ways, therefore, at the age of 13, a child's height may be less than 150 centimeters, and vice versa - at the age of 11, he can already be taller than 150 cm. When determining whether a child can be transported in the passenger seat and fastened with a regular seat belt, pay attention to its location in it. Children should:
- sit straight, resting your whole back on the back of the chair;
- reach the floor with your feet;
- did not slip under the belt;
- the transverse strap be fixed at the hip level, and with the diagonal strap - at the shoulder level.
Correct position of the child in the passenger seat
When a teenager sits in a passenger seat, his feet should not just reach the floor with his socks. It is important that while driving, the child can rest with his feet, leveling the inertial effect on him during a sharp change in the speed of the car.
It is important for parents to make sure that their teenager sits confidently in the seat, fully resting on the back. For safety, it is recommended to use the car seat until the child reaches the required height, even if, due to his age, he can sit without an additional device.
Incorrect position of the child in the passenger seat
The child is sitting incorrectly in the passenger seat if:
- the back is not completely attached to the back of the chair;
- legs do not reach the floor or the bend of the knee joint is on the edge of the seat;
- the diagonal strap runs close to the neck;
- the transverse strap runs over the abdomen.
If at least one of the above factors is present, it is imperative to install a child car seat.
Before placing your child in the car seat, make sure that all latches on the device are in order and that there are no scuffs on the belts.
The kid should be securely fixed in the chair to avoid "throwing" around the turns. Just feel the measure so as not to "nail" it to the back. Remember that the child should be comfortable.
When placing your toddler in the car seat, give most of your attention to protecting your head.
If the car seat is installed in the front seat, be sure to deactivate the airbags so that they do not injure your baby if they deploy. If they do not turn off, move the chair to the back seat.