Child car safety FAQs
Q: What should I look for when choosing a baby seat?
A: One that is suitable for your type of car, comfortable for your child, and fulfils the legal requirements.
Q: What do I need to think about when buying a second-hand baby seat?
A: Don’t buy a second-hand baby seat unless it is a relatively new one. Baby seat design has evolved quickly and modern seats are much safer than old ones. Make sure that any seat you buy is undamaged, has the right type of approval label and that all its fittings and instructions are supplied with it.
Q: Is a strapped-in carrycot a safe alternative?
A: No. The carrycot may be fitted in place but the baby inside it will not be properly restrained.
Q: Why must babies travel in rearward-facing seats?
A: A baby’s head is large and heavy in relation to the rest of its body and its neck is still far from fully developed. If the baby were to travel in a forward-facing seat, its neck would be very vulnerable to the forces unleashed on it in the event of a frontal collision.
Q: How long should we go on using the baby seat?
A: The most important thing is that the seat used should be suitable for the size and weight of the baby at the time, to give it the support it needs. When the baby has grown so its head reaches the top end of its baby seat or beyond, the time has come to move it to a rearward-facing seat for a larger child. Ensure you conform to the relevant child restraint laws.
Q: What should I do if my child doesn’t want to sit in the child seat?
A: Stop and take a break. It can be a good idea to take a brand-new child seat in to the house and let the child get used to it at home first.
Q: What should I do if my child falls asleep with its head hanging at a sharp angle?
A: If it appears not to bother the child, it probably looks worse than it is. If it bothers you, you can always stop and prop up the child’s head with a pillow or cushion.
Q: When a child moves to a booster seat, how do you position the safety belt correctly?
A: The diagonal belt should go down across the shoulder, close to the neck. It doesn’t matter if the belt is partly on the child’s neck. What is dangerous is if the belt is worn too far out on the shoulder. In the worst-case scenario, the child could slide out over the belt in an accident. For the same reason, you should never let your child wear the diagonal belt under both arms.
The lap belt needs to be worn in front of the hips, across the tops of the thighs. There should be no slack present with the diagonal or the lap belt. Remove any slack after you fasten the child’s belt.
For more information see Restrain the right way