The Car Seat Has Been Recalled
Recalled seats have defects that have been determined to be unsafe, so if your seat is affected by a recall, stop using it right away and follow the manufacturers instructions for repairing or replacing the seat. You can find the latest recalls at NHTSA.gov/recalls, or sign up for recall alerts on your phone.
When To Stop Using A Booster Seat
Step 1: Check the weight/height limitation of your seat
If your booster seat is approved to ECE R44-04, you have to stop using your seat once the maximum weight has been reached, which is 36 kg based on the regulation.If your booster seat is approved to UN R129, you have to stop using the seat once the maximum height has been reached, which is 150 cm based on the regulation.
Step 2: Check your national laws
Each country has own regulations regarding until when a child car seat has to be used. In the UK you are required to use a child car seat until your child is either 12 years old or 135 cm tall whichever is reached first. In Ireland, children are required to sit in a child car until either 12 years old or 150 cm tall.
Step 3: Check how your child sits in the car without a child car seat
In addition to step 1 and 2, you can do the 5-point check to see if your childs body would be ready to sit in your car without a child car seat. If one of these 5 points is not reached yet, your child should still sit in a booster seat:
When To Switch Car Seats
Its a good time to be a kid in a car. Cars and car seats both continue to get safer, and child vehicle fatalities are down. Much of the effectiveness of a car seat rests in its specificity: A car seat needs to be the right fit and size for the kid and their developmental stage. But with so many car seats out thereand often numerous possible configurations, depending on the childs ageit can be daunting to choose which seat to get and when to get it. Most families will use three different seats as their child grows: an infant seat, a convertible seat, and a booster seat. Heres a rundown of the different types of seats, as well as the checklists to follow when youre trying to determine whether your kid has outgrown their current seat and is ready for the next one.
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Recommended Car Seat Use For Children Under 12
A car seat is one of the most important newborn essentials. One of the biggest questions parents have is when to change car seats for their children. Car seats for children under 12 can be broken down into four types. Each kind of car seat has unique features and comes with specific guidelines for use. Read on to figure out which one is best for you!
Checking To Make Sure The Seat Belt Stays In Place
With your child in the booster seat and the seat belt fastened:
- pull out about 15 cm of the shoulder belt to give it some looseness, and
- ask your child to move their bottom forward and lean forward into the shoulder belt until there is no looseness
If the shoulder belt crosses the middle of the shoulder and the lap belt is snug against the front of the hips, your booster seat fits! If it doesnt, choose another booster seat.
Note: Young children who are new to booster seats can benefit from having the seat belt locked in place. You can usually do this by pulling the seat belt out until you hear the ratchet engage, then slowly let it rewind until it is snug. This prevents the belt from becoming too loose if your child wiggles in the seat. Show older children how they should snug up the belt if they notice it has become less snug.
- Always use both the lap and shoulder belt with a booster seat
- Never allow your child to travel with the shoulder belt behind his or her back
- Never install a booster seat in a seat location that has only a lap belt
- Always buckle up an empty booster seat or take it out of your vehicle
- A loose seat and other loose items could hurt someone in a crash or if you stop suddenly
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Your Child Has Reached Either The Height Or Weight Limit On Their Car Seat
Upgrading a car seat usually means moving up to a style meant to accommodate a bigger, older child. Once your child has hit the maximum height or weight for her seat , its time for a new one. A seat thats too small wont adequately protect her in the event of a crash.
To find your seats height or weight limit, check the seats tag or manufacturers instructions. That said, here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind from the American Academy of Pediatrics :
When To Move Your Child From A Forward
Even if your provincial or territorial regulations allow the use of a booster seat, children should keep using a forward-facing seat until they outgrow its weight or height limits. Many forward-facing seats have weight limits up to 30 kg .
The harness of a forward-facing seat is designed to fit the narrow shoulders of children. This helps protect children in front, side and rear impact crashes. The harness holds your child back and spreads the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of your child’s body.
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The Dreaded Motion Sickness Won’t It Help To Turn Around My Child
The long and short: most kids do not puke less when forward-facing compared to rear-facing.
Weve got lots of information on motion-sickness over here including an explanation of why it is believed to occur, things you can do to decrease the chance of your kid puking, and how to minimize the mess and clean up if your kid does puke.
Car Seat Safety: Newborn To 2 Years
Babies are at greater risk of injury in crashes. This is because babies’ spines are developing and their heads are large for their bodies. In a crash, if your child is riding forward-facing, her spinal cord may stretch, which could result in serious injury or death. However, when your baby rides rear-facing in a child safety seat, her upper body head, neck and spine is cradled by the back of the child safety seat in the case of a frontal crash, which is the most common type of crash.
According to research studies, children up to 2 years of age who are placed in forward-facing child safety seats are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than same age children who are in rear-facing child safety seats. Watch the video to learn more about which car seats are appropriate for your baby and how to install them.
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Are There Any Other Safety Tips
- Many seat manufacturers have online video tutorials that can help.
- Some local community resources offer car seat clinics. There may be someone who has been trained to help with installation or check that you have installed the car seat correctly.
- If you use an infant carrier outside of a vehicle:
- Always keep your child buckled.
- Do not put the seat on a raised surface because it may fall.
- Always take your baby out of the car seat when you arrive. A car seat is not a safe place to sleep.
The Car Seat Has Been In A Crash
Whether or not you need to replace a car seat after a crash depends on the severity of the crash. In a minor crash, you generally dont need to replace the car seat.
But how do you know if your crash was minor or major? Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a specific list of what a minor accident looks like. If the vehicle and passengers are not hurt or damaged, there is a good chance you can still use the car seat.
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Where To Install Child Car Seats And Sit Children In Cars
When youre choosing and installing your child car seat, its important to know the minimum legal requirements for where children can sit in motor vehicles. This will guide where to put car seats in your motor vehicle.
These are the legal requirements for where children can sit in motor vehicles with 2 or more rows of seats:
- From birth up to 4 years, children must not sit in the front row.
- From 4 years up to 7 years, children can sit in the front row only if theyre in an appropriate car seat and only if all other rear seats are occupied by children under 7 years.
- When children are aged 7 years and older, they can sit in the front row using an appropriate booster seat or properly fitted and adjusted lap-sash adult seatbelt.
There are some exceptions to the requirements above for motor vehicles with only one row of seats:
- Children can sit in the front row if theyre using an appropriate car seat thats installed correctly according to the manufacturers instructions.
- If the vehicle doesnt have a top tether strap anchorage point to attach the top tether strap, children can use only untethered boosters.
- If the vehicle has a passenger airbag, children can sit in the front row only if theyre old enough to use a forward-facing car seat. You must not use a rear-facing car seat in the front row if theres a passenger airbag.
When To Change The Earliest From An Infant Carrier To A Toddler Seat
We at BeSafe recommend you to use an infant carrier for as long as possible, as it gives you as a parent flexibility and offers your baby great side protection. However, you might consider changing to a toddler car seat earlier. In these cases, we recommend you to only change to a toddler car seat when your baby can sit by themselves, as toddler car seats typically are more upright and give a bit less stability than infant carriers.
Depending on which toddler seat you are choosing, make sure that your child has reached the minimum requirement of that seat. Based on its regulation, this can either be a minimum weight or a minimum height.
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Determining Car Seat Fit
If you think your child is outgrowing their harnessed car seat, first be sure that you’re checking the right signs to judge the fit. Most children outgrow harnessed car seats by height long before they outgrow by weight, particularly with the 65-pound seats. When your child is forward-facing, the harness slots should be at or above the child’s shoulders. When the shoulders are above the top slots, it’s time to change seats.
A forward-facing car seat is also outgrown by height when the tops of the child’s ears reach the top of the car seat shell unless the manufacturer states otherwise in the instructions. When checking the weight limits of the car seat, be sure you’re looking at the forward-facing harness weight limit, not the booster weight limit .
There are many harness-to-booster car seats available today with a higher harness limit that later become booster seats. These can be a good option because they allow you to avoid buying another car seat and then a booster. Look for a car seat with a higher harnessed weight limit and a higher top shoulder strap height. This will allow the seat to be used longer in car seat mode .
The range of car seats available today means no family should struggle to find even a budget model that allows their child to remain safely harnessed to a minimum of age five, and most likely far beyond that.
How Long Does My Child Need To Use A Car Seat By Law
The law requires child seats to be used until the child is 135cms tall or 12 yrs old in the UK, this is different in some other European countries. Before you stop using a child seat, look at the placement of the seatbelt on the child. Is the lap part of the belt sitting across the child’s hip bone and the diagonal part across the chest? You might find that in one car the seatbelt placement is fine but another its not. It is preferable to use a highback booster until they are 150cms, just to be safe.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you have any more questions.
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Checking To Make Sure Your Forward
Try to install your child car seat as tightly as possible, to keep your child safer in a sudden stop or crash:
- Grab both sides of the child car seat where the seat belt or UAS belt is threaded through the child car seat
- Try to move the child car seat from side-to-side and front to back. It should not move more than 2.5 cm
The Different Fitting Standards
Just to make things that little bit more confusing, there are currently two regulations running along side each other which different car seats abide by. There is the group system and the i-Size system.
Lets look a little closer at the two regulations
The Group system regulation is categorised into groups depending on the weight of your child. This is how the categories are determined and act as the guide to when your child should move up to the next stage car seat. Each group has an upper weight limit, when your baby reaches this limit it is time to move them up to the next stage.
There are also age guides in each group, however we advise to only use these as a guide and focus more on the weight of your child. The size of your child is more important than his age. This is because some babies grow faster and gain weight more quickly than others of the same age. Girls and boys also grow at different rates.
The group categories are
Group 0+ – birth to 13kg
Group 1 9-18kg
Group 2 15-25kg
Group 3 22-36kg
Until recently, this was the only system for car seats in the UK and many seats are still sold under the group system. But, with the recent introduction of the i-Size regulations there are now two regulations running along side each other.
The I-Size categories are
First stage birth to 75cm
First & Second Stage birth to 105cm
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Checking The Fit Of The Booster Seat
Even if a booster seat meets Canadian regulations, the seat you choose needs to fit your child, and your vehicle. A booster seat that fits will better protect your child during a sudden stop or a crash.
The lap belt must fit snuggly on the hips. This will help the seat belt bring your child to a stop during a sudden stop or crash and helps protect your child from injuries.
The shoulder belt should sit in the middle of your childs shoulder because:
- this is most comfortable for your child
- this makes it less likely for your child to wiggle out of the belt or put it behind him or her
- this makes the belt less likely to slip off your childs shoulder during a sudden stop or crash
Try the booster seat in your vehicle before you buy it, if possible. Otherwise, ensure that the seat can be returned if it does not fit your child and your vehicle.
Check provincial or territorial regulations to make sure that your child meets the age, height and or weight requirements for a booster seat.
What Is Booster Seat Age
Booster seat age refers to the age of a child at which they are ready to move from a car seat to a booster seat. The appropriate age is generally at least 4 years old, but for various children may be a few years older. In fact, it’s safest for most kids to remain in a 5-point harness car seat until age 5 or 6.
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