Please take a look through the following common errors made by parents when using a car seat:
- Make sure that your child’s bottom/lower back is pushed right into the child seat before fastening him in. If a child is placed in the car seat in a “slumped” position then this can create slack when the child moves during the journey.
- The shoulder straps should be level or above his shoulders (assuming forward facing seat). Again this can create slack and enable a child to lever the straps off their shoulders.
- Ensure that the straps are pulled tight. It should be possible to insert only a couple of fingers under the harness. When the straps have been pulled tight please check the straps for any slack / twists and then tighten further, but not too tight as this can be uncomfortable. Manufacturers recommend being able to slide two fingers under the harness.
Unlike adult car seat belts, child car seat harnesses do not pretension prior to an accident so there should be minimal slack for them to be effective. The straps must be tight to restrain the upper part of the body, otherwise the chest could push the shoulder straps apart allowing greater movement of the upper part of the body in the event of a collision, risking impact with the seat in front or side windows. At just 30mph a child can experience forces of up to 60g in the event of a crash, hence the need for them to be very secure to minimise severe life threatening head injuries.
With respect to fitting the 5 point plus, make sure that it is not fitted back to front. The washing label should NOT be visible when fitted to the car seat and Velcro tabs should be on the inside against the child’s body and not easily accessible by the child.