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). 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.
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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. When can I move my child from a harnessed seat or booster seat to the vehicle seat belt?
A. Requirements for car seat use vary depending on the state or province in which you reside. BRITAX recommends that you follow the laws of your state/province as the minimum requirements for restraining your child while traveling. Additionally, BRITAX recommends that you continue to use the child seat system - convertible car seat, youth seat, or booster seat - to the upper limits of its recommended use, or until your child can fit properly in the adult seat belt.
For adult seat belt use, as a minimum follow your state/province requirements. The following are additional best practices recommended by BRITAX. To be able to fit an adult seat belt, a child must:
Also, please keep in mind that state/province law does not always represent best practice. We recommend that you follow the laws of your state/province as the minimum requirements for restraining your child while traveling.
- Be tall enough to sit without slouching
- Keep his/her back and buttocks against the vehicle seat back
- Keep his/her knees completely bent over the front edge of the vehicle seat
- Keep his/her feet flat on the floor
- Be able to stay comfortably seated this way, AND
- The vehicle seat belt must be positioned correctly across the child's hips and shoulder/middle of the chest.
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.
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