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Safety Notices

FAQ

Q. Can a BRITAX child seat be installed in the rear center seating position using the lower anchors of the outboard seating positions?

A. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the exact LATCH anchor locations and seating positions (if equipped), information on use with a child seat, and for the maximum weight rating for the LATCH anchors.

Standard vehicle seat spacing between LATCH anchors is 11 inches (27.9 cm). MOST BRITAX child seats with flexible attachments can be used in a seating position with up to 20 inches (50.8 cm) of space between the LATCH anchors if the vehicle manufacturer allows.

The Marathon CLICKTIGHT, Boulevard CLICKTIGHT and Advocate CLICKTIGHT can only be installed using lower anchors in designated vehicle seating positions with LATCH.

Q. Can a car seat be installed in the front seat of a vehicle?

A. NEVER place a child seat rear facing in a front passenger seat that has an airbag, unless the airbag is off. If you need to place the child seat in the front seat, make sure the airbag is turned off and move the vehicle seat as far back as possible. DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY can occur if an airbag contacts the seat. (The airbag does not have to be switched off when the seat is placed forward facing in front of an airbag.)

Q. Can a locking clip be used with a BRITAX car seat?

A. Locking clips can be used with certain BRITAX car seats in certain situations. Refer to your child seat user guide to determine if a locking clip can be used with your BRITAX child seat. Locking clips are not recommended for use with BRITAX child seats that feature built-in lock-offs.

Q. Can a locking clip be used with a FRONTIER, FRONTIER 85, or REGENT since they do not have built-in lock-offs?

A. Yes, a locking clip can be used in certain situations for seats such as the FRONTIER, FRONTIER 85, HUSKY, REGENT, and COMPANION. Please refer to your child seat user guide as well as your vehicle owner's manual to determine if you require the use of a locking clip with your child restraint.

Seats with built-in lock-offs do not require the use of a locking clip.

Q. Can I install a child restraint next to a side curtain airbag?

A. BRITAX recommends that caregivers follow directions provided by the vehicle manufacturer for installation of child seats next to side impact air bags.

Q. Can I install BRITAX seats using both LATCH AND the vehicle seat belt?

A. No. Child seats should be installed using only one installation method – either the vehicle’s seat belt and car seat tether (if anchor is available) or LATCH. Parents should always refer to the car seat user guide with any questions.

Q. Can I install my BRITAX car seat in a seating location next to side impact air bags?

A. BRITAX recommends that caregivers follow directions provided by the vehicle manufacturer for installation of child seats next to side impact air bags.

Q. Can I use an inflatable seat belt to install my BRITAX car seat?

A. Yes. BRITAX has revised its recommendations and based upon an analysis of vehicle seat belt system testing results, the current Ford Motor Company (Ford and Lincoln vehicles) Inflatable seat belt system is approved for use with all BRITAX car seats made to date EXCEPT B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Marathon ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Advocate ClickTight. BRITAX will continue to evaluate information provided by automobile inflatable seat belt manufacturers and may revise these recommendations as new data becomes available. Please see our Inflatable Seat Belt Policy for our recommendations on installing an approved BRITAX car seat with a harness and a Ford inflatable seat belt.

Q. Can my BRITAX convertible (infant/child) car seat be tethered rear facing?

A. Yes. BRITAX convertible (infant/child) car seats, such as the ROUNDABOUT 55, MARATHON 70, BOULEVARD 70, BOULEVARD 70 CS, and ADVOCATE 70 CS may be tethered when installed rear facing. BRITAX recommends one of two modes of rear facing tethering:

Australian Method:
  • This method requires the tether hook to be attached to a tether anchorage located to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Consult the vehicle's owner's manual for tether anchorage locations.
  • Use the same tether anchors as designated for forward-facing child seats.
  • This method controls forward rotation of the child seat in front impact crashes.
Swedish Method:
  • This method requires the tether hook be attached to a location to the front of the vehicle.
  • Consult the vehicle's owner's manual for tether anchor locations.
  • Do not attach to a tether anchor that is on the same seat as the child restraint system.
  • Attach to a strong structural point of the seat frame in front, the non-moving track to which the seat in front is attached, or the safety belt anchor of the seat in front.
  • A D-ring connector strap (anchor strap) is provided with each BRITAX convertible child seat to assist with this installation, if needed.
  • This method controls rebound of the child seat in front impact crashes.
Please consult for child seat's user guide for illustrations of these two methods.

Q. Can you use a pool noodle with the ClickTight Convertibles?

A. Yes. A pool noodle can be used to get additional recline if needed.

Q. Do I need to use my lock-offs during installations?

A. It is recommended that lock-offs be used when installing the child seat. The lock-offs allow for a snug pre-crash installation. The built-in lock-offs on BRITAX car seats serve the same purpose as locking clips.

If you have a locking retractor on your vehicle seat belt and can get a tight installation, you can bypass the lock-offs. For more information on the type of seat belts you have in your vehicle and how to use the locking retractor with a child seat, contact the vehicle manufacturer or check your vehicle owner's manual.

Q. Do I need to use one or two lock-offs when installing my next generation convertible seat?

A. In the spirit of continuous improvement, BRITAX has revised the lock-off installation method for all BRITAX U.S.A. next generation convertible car seats (ROUNDABOUT 55, MARATHON 70, BOULEVARD 70, BOULEVARD 70 CS, ADVOCATE 70 CS), allowing you to use only the lock-off closest to your vehicle seat buckle instead of requiring you to use both lock-offs. This change applies to both rear- and forward-facing installations and eliminates the occasional convenience button interference issues that have been observed. This change only applies to U.S.A. car seats; all Canadian next generation child seats manufactured on or after August 1, 2010 were produced utilizing the single lock-off installation method.

The change was implemented in production on October 5, 2010. All seats with a manufacture date of October 5, 2010 or later should be installed using only the lock-off closest to the vehicle seat buckle. A kit can be requested free of charge for seats manufactured that instructed use of both lock-offs. To request a kit, contact BRITAX Consumer Services at 1-888-427-4829 with the serial number and manufacture date of your seat.

For more information on how to install your seat using either one or two lock-offs, please view these video instructions.

Q. Does BRITAX offer training programs on installation techniques?

A. Special training programs are not currently offered by BRITAX.

To have your installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician, visit one of our monthly car seat checking station events at our North American headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information about BRITAX car seat checking station events, visit the Checking Station page on our website. Or, to locate an inspection station in your area, visit www.safekids.org.

Q. How can I tell if my seat is properly installed?

A. It is important to follow the directions provided with the child seat AND the vehicle in order to achieve a proper installation. After installation, grasp the seat near the belt path to check for excessive movement. Excessive movement is described as movement of more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.

BRITAX encourages you to have your installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician. To have your car seat installation checked visit www.safekids.org to find an inspection station near you.

Q. How do I know what type of seat belt retractor is in my vehicle?

A. For details on the type of seat belt system in your vehicle, consult your vehicle's owner's manual.

Q. How should the Versa-Tether be stored?

A. When the Versa-Tether is being used to install the child seat in your vehicle, any excess webbing should be secured in the attached elastic strap. When the Versa-Tether is not being used to install the seat in your vehicle, it should be stored in the pouch on the back of the child seat. To avoid damage or injury, be sure that any excess webbing is contained within your vehicle at all times.

Q. How tight does the install have to be when using LATCH/Universal Anchorage System for the FRONTIER or FRONTIER 85 in booster mode - less than 1" of movement as in harnessed mode or just secure?

A. The use of LATCH/UAS to position the FRONTIER and FRONTIER 85 in booster mode is a convenience feature. The vehicle seat belt system is restraining the child in the event of an impact. While the 1" rule is not as important, BRITAX would recommend that you pull the LATCH/lower connector straps tight with reasonable effort and force to remove the slack in the straps (a.k.a. webbing).

Q. I have installed my BRITAX seat forward facing using the LATCH system. My child can reach the vehicle seat belt; I am concerned about them playing with it and becoming tangled up in it. Do you have any recommendations?

A. There is a growing concern about entanglement of children in lap-shoulder belts (with switchable retractors) and the potential risk of strangulation. There are many scenarios that could lead to a problem: one is when a child is in a child restraint installed with LATCH anchors, leaving the shoulder belt unused and accessible.

With respect to the seat belt in the seating position for a forward facing LATCH installation:
We recommend buckling the lap-shoulder belt behind the child restraint before installing with LATCH if this does not interfere with the use of the lower anchors and is not prohibited by the vehicle manufacturer.

With respect to the seat belt in a seating position adjacent to a child restraint:
We recommend to buckle and lock the lap-shoulder belt of any adjacent vacant seating positions to keep the seat belt out of the reach of a child.

Refer to your owner’s manual for your vehicle to determine how to lock your lap-shoulder belt.

Q. I have installed my car seat using the LATCH/Universal Anchorage System but the seat is moving left to right. Is this safe?

A. Excessive movement is described as movement of more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-back. Because LATCH/lower anchor bars in your vehicle are one inch (25 mm) wide, movement of the child seat would be less than one inch and is therefore acceptable.

The location of the LATCH/lower anchor bars in your vehicle (visible and pronounced versus hidden in seat bight) may affect the installation in your vehicle. Some tips that may help reduce the side-to-side movements include:
  • Use an anti-skid mat under base
  • Elevating the recline block being certain not to exceed level position

Q. I tried installing the FRONTIER or FRONTIER 85 in harness mode with the recline block in booster mode (towards the back of the seat) and got a good installation. Is this an acceptable install?

A. No. The FRONTIER and FRONTIER 85 were tested and certified with the recline block in the forward position for harness mode. Do not use the recline block in booster mode for a harness installation.

Q. Is it safer to use LATCH or the vehicle seat belt and car seat tether (if anchor is available) to install a car seat?

A. Installed correctly, both methods of installation are equally safe. Parents should use their child seat user guide and vehicle owner’s manual to determine the best way to install their child seat for their vehicle and for their child.

Q. My child seat doesn’t seem to be as secure now as when I first purchased it. What can I do?

A. The process of seating and removing your child along with the motion from your vehicle moving can shake your child seat loose over time. It is very important that you check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.

Q. Regarding tether use, what does BRITAX recommend?

A. Since the use of the tether increases the performance of a child safety seat during a crash, BRITAX recommends using the tether at all times for child restraints equipped with a tether. The tether should be used for both rear facing and forward facing child restraints installed using the vehicle seat belt or LATCH system. Consult your vehicle owner's manual for tether anchor locations.

Q. The base of the CHAPERONE infant car seat hangs over the edge of the seat when installed in my vehicle. Is this safe?

A. Historically, Child Passenger Safety curriculum has referenced an “80/20 rule of thumb” – which suggests that at least 80% of the child restraint’s base should be in contact with the vehicle seat.

Whereas this rule of thumb is a good starting point, changes in product design and materials among manufacturers have resulted in products that defy this guideline in both directions. Some products require 100% of the restraint’s base be in contact with the vehicle seat, while other products may allow for less than 80%. If limitations to standard installations exist – it should be well documented in the user guide.

BRITAX has extensively tested the CHAPERONE infant car seat under all configurations possible within the FMVSS-213 standard – with each result far exceeding the required standards.

Q. The buckle and buckle tongues are very hot against my child. What can I do?

A. In hot, sunny weather, check the fabric and buckle before placing your child in the seat. The belly pad has been provided to keep the buckle from directly contacting your child, though it can be moved out of position or removed. When parking in the sun for long periods of time, cover the child seat with a towel or blanket.

Q. The CHAPERONE’s anti-rebound bar is not making complete contact with the vehicle seat back. Is this okay?

A. The contour of the vehicle seat will affect the amount of contact between the seat back and the anti-rebound bar. Once a firm installation is achieved, the space is typically minimal.

Q. The FRONTIER and FRONTIER 85 user guides say that in booster mode the seat can be secured to the vehicle seat using LATCH and use the vehicle lap-shoulder belt to secure the child. The child must be over 40 pounds to use the seat in booster mode, and LATCH generally is used only up to 40 pounds (unless otherwise noted by the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation). Is this instruction conflicting?

A. When LATCH is used to secure a harnessed child seat in a vehicle and the harness itself is restraining the child in the child seat, in the event of a crash, then the load or force is applied to the LATCH system. In this scenario you would not use LATCH to secure or install a child seat with a child who weighs more than indicated by the vehicle manufacturer as maximum capacity of the lower anchors.

When LATCH is used in a booster mode, as allowable with the FRONTIER and FRONTIER 85, the LATCH system is pre-positioning the booster seat. The lap-shoulder belt is then used to secure the child. In this scenario, in the event of a crash the load is applied to the vehicle seat belt system as with any belt-positioning booster seat. Since the load is not applied to the LATCH system in this scenario, it does not contradict the maximum capacity rating of the lower anchors by the vehicle manufacturer.

Q. What differentiates the installation of the PARKWAY SGL from other LATCH-based boosters?

A. The PARKWAY SGL is the only booster seat that can be installed from the outside of the vehicle.

Q. When installed rear-facing, the car seat touches the back of the front vehicle seat. Is this ok?

A. After your car seat is securely installed rear-facing, you may move the front vehicle seat back JUST until contact is made with the car seat. The vehicle seat should not be pushed back so that the secure installation of the car seat is reliant on the front vehicle seat (“bracing”). However, some vehicle manufacturers prohibit any contact between a car seat and the front vehicle seat, so be sure to check your vehicle owner’s manual.

Q. Where is the safest place to install my child’s car seat?

A. The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. The center of the rear seat is preferable to outboard positions, as long as you can achieve a tight installation, because it is the furthest from a side impact. Research has shown that children under the age of 3 have a 43% lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat compared with the rear outboard positions. However it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re not able to install your car seat in the center position, a properly installed car seat in an outboard position will still provide excellent protection for your child during a crash. Make sure to check your child seat and vehicle user’s guides for available seating positions.

Q. Which rear-facing lock-off do I use?

A. In rear-facing installations of our Next Generation convertible car seats, the lock-off closest to where the vehicle belt is buckled should be used. In rear-facing installations of our previous convertible car seat models, it is recommended that the lock-off farthest from where the vehicle belt is buckled be used.

Q. Why can't I tether my BRITAX CHAPERONE child seat?

A. The CHAPERONE does not have a tether. The base has an anti-rebound bar that will assist to reduce rebound in the event of a frontal impact. To learn more about how an anti-rebound bar protects your child in a crash, visit the anti-rebound bar page in our Learning Center.

Q. Why is it important to use the tether when installing car seats?

A. The use of a tether can reduce the distance that your child’s head moves forward in the event of a crash (also called head excursion) by 4 to 6 inches, thereby minimizing the risk of injury.

Q. Why is there a gap behind the BRITAX Next Generation convertibles when installed in a vehicle?

A. With the addition of the integrated steel bars in the BRITAX Next generation convertibles, the plastic columns at the back of the traditional BRITAX convertibles are no longer required, which creates a small gap between the car seat and vehicle seat back when installed. We have added a second forward-facing recline position to allow the car seat to install closer to the seat back for those sensitive to this concern.

Q. Will pressure on SafeCells during installation cause them to compress inadvertently?

A. The force required to compress the SafeCells in a crash far exceeds the force to install the seat and therefore will not compress them inadvertently.