Even the best and most expensive car seat is not safe if it incorrectly anchored to the car. This is still a problem, even now, as many drivers and parents are still unclear as to how the seat should be installed.
Nowadays there are three methods for fixing a child seat to the car seat: using the seatbelt, a combined system using the seatbelt and the isofix anchors and only using the isofix anchors.
In practise, no system is better than the other so long as the seat is correctly installed although certain systems that use the car’s seatbelt are more complicated, above all if you are not familiar with the seat and haven’t installed it previously, making it easy to install it incorrectly.
Using either system, the seat cannot be correctly installed using only the seatbelt or only using the isofix anchors (you must read carefully the instruction manual for each type of seat).
Depending on the type of seat, it may be equipped with a third anchor designed to stop the seat from tipping when accelerating or braking hard. This third point can be the handle, a strap or upper belt or a leg.
Seats designed to be used backward facing usually have an anti-tipping safety handle which should be lowered until it is pressed against the seat back.
Seats designed to be forward facing can use the top tether or the leg.
Formerly the cord or upper strap had a clip to fasten it to the headrest supports. These days this system has been standardized and is known as the Top Tether, which is a strap fixed to an anchor in the seat back or behind it.
Depending on the manufacturer, instead of the Top Tether there may be an extendable leg, which must be adjusted until it is firmly supported on the floor of the vehicle.
When installing the seat in your vehicle never forget to use this third anchor to provide optimum protection for your child. If the seat is properly installed it should not be loose or move about at all.