In the first place we must follow the instructions provided with the seat. Every model is different so it important to follow the instructions carefully ensuring that the seat is correctly installed.
You must also follow the instruction manual for the car, many of which include a section on baby seats.
There is also a set of general tips, which can be adapted to the model of child seat we are going to use.
Baby car seats - installation advice
Before anything else we must ensure that the baby car seat is in good condition and has all of the parts including the instruction book.
We must never use a seat that has been involved in an accident either major or minor. If it may have been involved in a small collision, check that the seat is in perfect condition.
We must always ensure that the seat is not too old. Most manufactures recommend that you do not use a seat over 6 years old.
With regard to which one, it is important to always choose an approved seat suitable for the weight and height of the child.
The easiest way to check whether the seat has become too small is to check that child’s head is not above the back of the seat, if it is then it’s time for a new one or a move up a group. This way we can avoid any possible injury to the head, neck and spine.
It is worth remembering that the seat is not totally responsible for child safety, where it is placed in the car is very important too.
The back seats are the safer than the front seat. The middle of the back seats is the area furthest away from any point of impact in a head-on or lateral accident.
If we should be using a child or booster seat, always check that the seat belt has 3 fixings. If it has only 2 then the booster seat must be placed on one of the side seats where it can be properly fixed using a 3-point seat belt.
Installation of the seat into the car is very important when travelling, the ISOFIX system (should the car be fitted with it) makes installation much more simple.
Whatever the installation, using ISOFIX or the seatbelt always check that the seat is correctly installed, give it a good pull to be sure it cannot move backwards or forwards or side to side before seating the child in it.