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Safety Notices

Car Seat Installation Advice

 

Choose the best location in your vehicle to install the car seat.

The safest place for your child in any vehicle is the back seat. The center of the rear seat is the furthest from a side impact.
Some vehicles and car seats have specific requirements for where the car seat can be installed, so be sure to check your car seat and vehicle user guides for available seating positions.
In the event there is no available rear seat and/or you have no other option than to place a child other than an infant in a rear-facing child seat in a front passenger seating position, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you take the following steps:
 
  • Ensure the child is properly restrained according to their age and size,
  • Move the seat as far back as possible,
  • Make sure the child is not leaning out of position, such as leaning forward into the deployment path of the air bag and
  • Set the air bag ON-OFF switch, if available, to the OFF position.
 
 
Reminder:  Never place a rear facing child seat in front of a passenger air bag. Children should only be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. BRITAX recommends that you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your vehicle for installation of child seats next to side impact airbags.
 
 


Make sure the car seat is installed correctly.

Install your car seat using either LATCH or the vehicle seat belt system. You should not use both systems at the same time.
convertible car seat vehicle belt path
Here the belt path of the child
seat is identified; this is where
you should check for excessive
movement.
The car seat should not move more than one inch front to back or side to side at the belt path.
The harness straps should be threaded through the slots at or below the child’s shoulders on a rear-facing car seat or at or above the child’s shoulders in a forward-facing car seat.
The harness should be comfortable for your child but tight enough so that the straps cannot be pinched between your fingers. A snug strap should not allow any slack and should lie in a relatively straight line without sagging.
The chest clip should be positioned at your child’s armpit level.
 
 
Reminder: Several factors, including weather, seat compression, and the motion from your vehicle moving can cause your child seat to become loose over time. It is very important that you check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.
 
 


Get help with installation.

If you have difficulty installing your child seat securely, contact the manufacturer. Their customer service department should be able to assist you with achieving a proper installation. In addition, BRITAX offers installation videos on our website that may help you with installing a BRITAX car seat.
For in-person installation help, visit a car seat safety checking station. A Certified Child Passenger Safety technician will teach you the correct way to install your child seat, provide safety recommendations, and answer any questions you may have. To locate a car seat checking station near you, visit www.safekids.org.
Every month, BRITAX conducts car seat safety checks at our headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you live in the area, please stop by! For more information, including this year’s schedule and what you should do to prepare, visit our Checking Station page.


Follow best practice safety recommendations.

Do not use any aftermarket products (e.g., mirrors, sun visors, portable DVD players, toys attached to the seat, etc.) with your car seat, unless they have been approved by your child seat manufacturer. They could affect the performance of the child seat during a crash and could become dangerous projectiles in a collision.
If you are planning to fly, be sure to check your child seat before you leave for the airport. A child seat meets FAA requirements only if it is labeled, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”
If a child seat has been involved in a severe crash or is past its expiration date, the seat should be replaced.
Register your car seat with the manufacturer. You can usually do this by visiting the manufacturer’s website or by completing and mailing in the registration card that came with your seat. If you don’t register your seat, the manufacturer will not be able to contact you in the event of a recall or safety notice relating to your product.
Do not use a previously-owned car seat unless you are able to verify that the seat has not been involved in a crash, that all parts are included and attached appropriately, and that the seat is not involved in a recall.

  

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