Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What car seat fits my car? Do you have a list of what seats fit what cars?
A: It is ALWAYS advisable to try a seat in your car before buying it. There is no universal car seat. With Isofix seats, the car seat manufacturers have a compatibility checklist for seats they have tested in particular cars. However, advice is still to ALWAYS go to a reputable retailer who will try the seat in your car before buying as there are many factors that can make it incompatible such as: the length of the seatbelt, the length of the buckle ends, the shape and angle of the car seats, the fabric of the car seats, the amount of space available within the vehicle, the position of the Isofix points, and whether the car has under floor storage compartments.
Q: Is my child ready to move up to the next stage seat?
A: It is important to make maximum use of each stage of car seat and not rush to move your child on to the next stage too early. So check the maximum weight and height for your child seat and do not move your child onto the next stage until they have exceeded one or the other. See chart for Choosing the Right Seat.
Q: I have been involved in a collision, should I replace the children’s car seats?
A: After a collision, the child seat(s), seat belts and airbag may need replacing. Minor scrapes at parking speeds may be fine. But even a collision at relatively low speeds of 20 mph or so can damage car seats. The best advice is to replace all car seats and seat belts as a precaution. This should be covered by your car insurance.
Q: Is Isofix safer than seatbelt fit?
A: No, assuming all seats in question are compatible with the vehicle, a correctly fitted seatbelt fit seat is every bit as safe as an Isofix seat.
Q: How tight should the harness be?
A: The harness should be tight. To test whether you have the correct level of tightness slide a couple of fingers under the harness on the child’s collar bone. You should only just be able to fit two fingers under the harness. If you can fit more fingers under the harness it is too loose. It is important to tighten the harness correctly for two reasons; the child could remove their arms from the harness or even escape from the seat, the child could be ejected from the seat in a collision.
Q: Can I put a forward facing car seat in the front with an active air bag?
A: Check your vehicle’s handbook as some car manufacturers recommend against it. But in many vehicles it is possible to have a forward facing seat on the front passenger seat. Slide the seat back a little to ensure your child is away from air bag deployment zone. DO NOT USE A REAR FACING CHILD SEAT IN THE FRONT WITH AN ACTIVE AIR BAG.
Q: What is buckle crunch?
A: This is where the point at which the seat belt buckle clips into the buckle end is bent around the frame of the seat so the buckle is not in a straight line (see photo below). If it is bent around the seat frame at the point where it comes together it puts the seat belt under strain. The force of a collision could then make it pop open, causing the seat to become unrestrained.