In the first place, approximately 22% of child seats were found to be incorrectly installed in vehicles. An incorrect adjustment of the anchors, wrongly positioned seats or even facing the wrong way are just a few of the most common mistakes. If you make a serious mistake in installing the seat such as forcing it through 90º from its correct position it can completely destroy the seat. To avoid errors while installing it, read carefully the instructions and practice fitting it until you are sure how to do it. On the other hand the latest cars are equipped with the ISOFIX system, which allows easier and safer installation. However as we will see it doesn’t guarantee the installation 100%.
Common mistakes when in use
The first serious mistake, even before getting in the car, to choose the wrong seat, one not suitable for your child’s age or weight. Choosing the wrong seat or one too small doesn’t afford the same protection to the child and can cause serious injury in an accident.
Something else to be avoided is the child leaving the seat too quickly. Sometimes at 10 years of age children don’t want to use a child seat anymore but in reality it is obligatory until they are 135cms in height and ready to use the car seatbelt.
Once a child is seated in a correctly installed seat, it is necessary to check they are properly secured. Approximately 35% of children are not properly secured in the seat. This can happen when the seatbelt slips below their arm or when using a booster seat and the lower belt is too tight and covers the abdomen instead of the pelvis. The child not being properly secured causes a risk of injury to the thorax and abdomen so recommend that you monitor the clips and belts are properly fastened.
Using a child seat with the ISOFIX system facilitates the installation of the seat and reduces the percentage of incorrect use (from 40% to 20%). Although they are designed for easy installation it isn’t always done properly. The differing designs of each vehicle can make installation more difficult with variations in the depth and accessibility of the anchors. To be sure of a perfect installation the ISOFIX system includes an indicator that changes to green when the seat is properly anchored.