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Safety Notices

Anatomy of an Infant Car Seat

infant car seat parts

Infant car seats are seats that can only be used in the rear-facing position, have a carry handle and come with a base that stays in your vehicle.  

infant car seat handle

1. Handle
Infant car seats include an adjustable handle that allows you to easily transport your child in the infant car seat. Be sure to consult your infant car seat user guide as some manufacturers have specific instructions on how the handle should be positioned when the car seat is being used in your vehicle.

energy-absorbing foam

2. Energy-Absorbing Foam
Energy-absorbing foam lines the seat shell and helps to absorb crash forces.

chest clip or retainer clip

3. Chest Clip
A plastic clasp that holds the shoulder straps together over the child's chest at armpit level, the chest clip is a positioning device intended to keep harness straps in position on the shoulders.


five-point harness

4. Five-point Harness
A five-point harness has five attachment points to the restraint: two at the shoulder, two at the hips, and one between the legs. A five-point harness is designed to make contact with the strongest parts of the body – the hips and shoulders – and to distribute crash forces over those strong parts of the body. The harness is composed of harness straps and a buckle.

anti-rebound bar

5. Anti-Rebound Bar
The anti-rebound bar is attached to the base of the infant car seat and works to stabilize the car seat during the event of a collision by minimizing rotational forces associated with front and rear collisions. For more information about how an anti-rebound bar works, visit the Anti-Rebound Bar page in our Learning Center.

harness adjuster strap

6. Harness Adjuster Strap
The harness adjuster strap tightens the internal harness of the child seat.

recline adjustment knob

7. Recline Adjustment Knob
The recline adjustment knob on the car seat base allows you to adjust the angle of recline to ensure that the car seat is installed at the appropriate angle.

built-in lock-off

8. Built-in Lock-off
Built-in Lock-offs are are a built-in belt-locking feature on the child seat that works with certain types of vehicle seat belts. Lock-offs can be used when installing a car seat using the vehicle seat belt.

lower LATCH connectors

9. Lower LATCH Connectors
The lower LATCH connecters are attached to the car seat base, and are used to install the seat using the LATCH method.

infant car seat canopy

10. Canopy
Most infant car seats include an adjustable canopy to block harmful UV rays from your child’s sensitive skin and to keep the sun out of her eyes.

infant car seat release handle

11. Release Handle
The car seat release handle is a mechanism that allows you to release the car seat from the base to remove it from your vehicle.

infant car seat shell

12. Shell
The shell is the molded plastic structure of the car seat.

level indicator

13. Level Indicator
The level indicator is a visual aid used to indicate when the car seat is installed at the correct angle. The level indicator can be on the base, the carrier, or both.

infant car seat base

14. Base
Most infant car seats come with a detachable base. The base is installed in your vehicle and then the car seat easily attaches and detaches from the base. This allows you to use the car seat to transport your child outside of the vehicle without having to install and uninstall the car seat each time.

Note: Not all features listed above are found on all infant car seats; some features may be found only on BRITAX infant car seats.

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