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Installing a child seat: mounting and installation diagram, models, features and reviews
Installing a child seat: mounting and installation diagram, models, features and reviews

When going on a family car trip, parents simply have to worry about the safety of the child. In many countries, a prerequisite for transporting children in a car is the presence of a specialized seat. But it's not even about obeying traffic rules. The he alth, safety and comfort of the child, in this case, is paramount.

It's not enough to buy a good device. It still needs to be fixed properly. Installing a child seat is not an easy task. Depending on the model, year of manufacture, fastening systems and other parameters, car seats have many differences. Of course, the easiest way is to seek help from specialists. Or you can carefully study the rules for installing a child seat and do the work yourself.

universal car seat group 1/2/3
universal car seat group 1/2/3

Why do you need a child seat

The world around us is moving faster and faster every year. Children from the very first days of life become its active researchers. Safe transportation of a child in a car is the responsibility of responsible parents.

Installing a child seat in a car takes very little time. However, this step will save your baby from many dangers. A comfortable design, specially designed for the size of the child, built-in additional seat belts, a comfortable headrest - all this will protect the baby as much as possible in the event of an accident.

When creating child car seats, manufacturers focus not only on the comfort of the baby, but also on the convenience for parents. Installing a child seat in a vehicle should be easy, quick and effortless. The upholstery should also be easy to remove. In this case, it can be washed, providing the child with the necessary level of hygiene.

You need to use a car seat right from the birth of the crumbs. For this, special devices are provided. Some parents argue that the child receives the best protection if he is in the arms of his mother while moving. This mistake can cost the baby he alth, and even life. The fact is that in a sudden collision, the weight of the child's body instantly increases by 20–25 times. Therefore, even if your baby weighs only 4–5 kg, at the time of the accident, mom will immediately have at least 80 or even 120 kg in her arms. Keeping that weight is almost impossible. Therefore, the installation of a child seat is not just a whim of the traffic police, but a vital necessity.

Child seat benefits

Main advantages of car seats:

  • keep the child from chaotic movements inside the car;
  • securely fix the baby and do not allow him to be injured at the time of an accident or sudden braking;
  • allow the driver not to be distracted from driving;
  • enable other passengers to free their hands and ensure their own safety;
  • easy to install and no special skills required;
  • are small and do not take up much space in the car;
  • relieve fines and unnecessary questions when dealing with the traffic police.

Cons of car seats

However, these devices also have disadvantages:

  • children, especially little ones, don't like traffic restrictions too much;
  • require selection taking into account the age, weight and height of the child;
  • need frequent replacement as baby grows fast enough;
  • Some seat models require a special mount in the car;
  • True quality car seats for kids are expensive, and given the fact that you have to change them several times, the purchase falls out of the budget category altogether.
correct installation of the child seat
correct installation of the child seat

What are baby car seats

Installing a child seat in the back seat is not that difficult. It is important to choose a device that will suit your baby in terms of age, weight and other indicators. There are several types of car seats. For convenience, they are clearly divided into several groups.

Group "0". Suchdevices are used for the smallest passengers, weighing up to 11 kg. They are a special cradle equipped with additional seat belts, with which the device is attached to the back seat. The infant car seat is equipped with additional protection for the baby's head, and before starting to move, it must be fastened with special strong, but flexible straps.

Group "0+". Such a device looks like a bowl and is designed to carry passengers weighing up to 15 kg. Most often, these models are incredibly functional. They are used as a car seat, rocking chair for a baby, a chair or a cradle. And if you put such a device on wheels, you get a full-fledged stroller. For ease of transportation, the car seat "0+" is equipped with a sturdy handle. Install it on the seat against the movement of the car.

Group "0/+1". This car seat is used for transporting children weighing up to 17 kg and up to 3.5 years of age. While the child is small, it is installed the other way around, like the previous version. For an older child, the seat can be turned over and secured in the direction of the car.

Group "1". This option is used for babies who can confidently sit on their own, from 10 months to 3.5-4 years. There is a rigid base, backrest with adjustments, durable seat belts. So that the child does not get bored on the road, many models are equipped with a work table, toys can be placed on it. The weight of the baby that this model is able to hold is from 8 to 17 kg.

Group "2". The chair can be used up to the age of five. It is capablewithstand weight up to 24 kg. However, it is important to take into account the individual size of the child. This is especially important in the cold season, when the child is securely "packed" in warm overalls. A large child may simply feel cramped, while a relatively small child will sink deep into the seat.

Group "2/3". This is a fairly versatile option. Suitable for children from 5 to 13 years old, weighing up to 38 kg and up to 160 cm tall. There are already not internal, but external seat belts, and the back has a slight anatomical slope. A feature of such models is a detachable booster - a special seat that can be used separately for older children.

Group "3". This model does not have a back and headrest and consists only of a booster. It looks like a regular pillow with armrests. This car seat should not be used until the child weighs 23-25 kg.

Group "1/2/3". The most versatile model that can transform as the child grows. These devices are the most expensive. However, their equipment is the most complete. This is a great option for a child who is growing fast and has already left one group, but has not matured to another.

By the way, when choosing a seat for a child, make sure that the model is designed specifically for the car. Installing a child seat on a bike is completely different. Yes, and the models are very different.

booster car seat
booster car seat

Mount options

After the model is determined, installation beginschild seat in the car. The layout of the fasteners and the sequence of actions are most often described in detail in the instructions. There are 4 main types of infant car seat attachment systems.

1. Fastening with regular car belts. This type of installation is suitable for almost all vehicles. The only caveat: before buying a chair, it is important to make sure that the length of your own belts is sufficient to securely fix the device in the cabin. If this is not the case, you need to contact the service, where the belts can “build up” or notice longer ones.

No general instructions can be given in this case. Depending on the model, the devices may have different mounting schemes. Most often, guides for belts have special pointers or cheat sheets. With their help, it is quite easy to figure out the installation.

It is very important to carefully follow the instructions and not to allow amateur activities. It is also necessary to carefully monitor that the seat belts are not twisted or crushed. If you have changed the angle of the seat back even slightly, it is important to adjust the position of the child car seat.

2. Fastening with a rigid fixed base. Installing a child seat in the back seat will be as simple as possible if the model has a removable top and a special base. The latter is usually mounted on the seat. It is enough to firmly fix the base once in accordance with the instructions, and the process of installing the child seat will take a minimum of time. Just snap it into the special slots.

fixed base for car seat
fixed base for car seat

Rigid base car seats have a few more advantages. Firstly, many of them have a special metal arc, with the help of which the seat additionally rests on the back of the car seat. Secondly, there is often another level of security - a special leg for fixing to the floor of the car. This gives the structure additional rigidity and stability.

3. ISOFIX automatic fastening system. This fixing method has been specially developed to make it as easy as possible to install a child seat in the back seat of a car. This is what most foreign-made cars are equipped with.

Between the seat and the back of the rear passenger sofa, special metal brackets are installed, which are rigidly attached to the car body. At the bottom of the child seat is the counterpart, equipped with special locks. To install a child seat, simply combine both parts of the mechanism and push them until a characteristic click.

Despite the incredible convenience, such a system has several drawbacks. First of all, a rigid mount helps to transfer the vibration of the car body to the child's seat. In addition, you can install such a chair only in those brands of cars that are equipped with special fasteners. Well, the last detail - car seats with the ISOFIX attachment system cost a lot.

ISOFIX automatic fastening system
ISOFIX automatic fastening system

4. SURELATCH fastening system. This system is designed to minimize the disadvantages of ISOFIX. Also used hererigid brackets mounted on the body of the car. But the counter fastening to them is made in the form of special straps. For greater stability, a third fulcrum is provided. From the top of the backrest of the child seat extends the fixing strap, which is attached to the bracket on the car body or the back of the adult seat.

This system does not allow vibration to be transmitted to the child car seat and provides additional cushioning. Belts are equipped with inertial tensioners. This allows the car seat to be fixed without regularly adjusting the length of the strap.

SURELATCH mounting system
SURELATCH mounting system

How to place the chair with the greatest security

Proper and safe installation of a child seat also depends on where to fix the device. There are several options:

1. On the right side of the rear sofa, behind the passenger. This place is considered quite safe. According to statistics, this part of the car is less impacted in the event of an accident. It is located in the opposite corner from the oncoming lane of cars. For the convenience of communicating with the child, it is better to fix an additional mirror. You will not be able to see the baby in the main rearview mirror.

The rear right seat is also convenient because the child will get in / out in this case from the sidewalk, and not from the roadway. This is an additional safety factor.

2. On the left side of the rear sofa, behind the driver. Installing a child seat in the back seat behind the driver has long been considered the safest. It is assumed that in the event of an accidentthe driver will automatically remove himself from the impact, and, therefore, the child will not suffer. With this arrangement, it is convenient to observe the baby using a traditional rear-view mirror.

If the child seat is placed behind the driver, the passenger sitting in front can easily reach it if necessary. But if the driver is alone with the child, then, if necessary, to reach the baby, he will not be able to do this. In addition, the boarding / disembarking of a small passenger will take place directly from the roadway, and this is not always safe.

3. In the back seat, in the middle. This option is currently recognized as optimal. According to the latest research from the University of Buffalo, this position of the child seat is 16% safer than the rest. From whatever side the blow followed, this place is located in the "indelible" zone. Therefore, the child will suffer the least.

4. Sideways. Car seats have a special type of installation. Manufacturers recommend placing them in the back seat, and the headboard should be in the middle of the car. That is, the child will be perpendicular to the course of the vehicle, with their feet towards the door.

Can I put a seat in the front seat

If the mother is driving, then in special cases it is permissible to place the cradle in the front seat. However, it is prohibited to install a child seat in the direction of travel.

installing a child seat in a car
installing a child seat in a car

Here it is important to weigh the pros and cons well. Experts believe thatThe front passenger seat is the most dangerous place in a car. After all, in the event of an accident, the driver instinctively tries to get away from the impact and it is the right front part of the car that receives the most damage.

If there are no other installation options, experts recommend turning off the right airbag. If triggered, it may hit the car seat and injure the child. It is also recommended to move the front seat as far back as possible.

On or against?

It is important for parents to remember the rule: children under 1 year old must ride in a car exclusively backwards. This is due to the fact that the head of a small child is quite large and weighs a lot. At the same time, the cervical vertebrae are still quite weak and in the event of sudden braking they may not be able to cope with the load.

Older children can ride forward facing.

Installation steps: instructions

Each model is probably equipped with instructions for installing a child seat. If you carefully study it, there should be no problems with placing a child seat in the car. However, there are general principles that will help to cope with the task.

Here is a small diagram of how to install a conventional seat belt:

  1. Before starting work, move the front seat as far forward as possible. So you free up more space and work more conveniently.
  2. Place the car seat in the desired location. Take the fixing belt and pull it strictly along the intended area. Use the hints on the chair itself, if available.
  3. Tighten the seat belt as hard as possible.
  4. Make sure the shoulder area of the belt is fastened too.
  5. Make sure that the belt runs exactly as indicated in the instructions. Do not let it come into contact with other parts of the chair. Under heavy braking, the fastening may not withstand friction and spontaneously unfasten.
  6. Attach the fixing strap so that it is in the middle of the small passenger's shoulder. If you fasten it too high, it will move to the neck area and become an additional threat. If you fasten the safety belt too low, it will simply slide off the child's shoulder and lose its effectiveness.
  7. After finishing work, give the car seat a strong tug. It is important to make sure that it is firmly fixed. However, some play is allowed.
  8. Place the baby in the seat and fasten it tightly. Make sure that the seat belts do not twist or slip. Don't fasten too tightly. Allow 1-2 fingers to fit between the child's body and the harness.
  9. If your child car seat has an additional tether strap, lift the head restraint, slide it through the bracket and attach it to the back of the adult seat or to the car body.
car seat fastening with straps
car seat fastening with straps

Reviews and rules for using a child car seat

Most models of car seats for children have both positive and negative reviews. Some like budget options that are fastened with conventional belts. Others prefer complexdesign, as they believe that the main thing is the safety of the child. The choice will depend on the financial capabilities of the parents and the technical features of the car. You can praise the ISOFIX anchorage system as much as you like, because judging by the reviews, this is the best and safest option for car seats, but if the car does not have the appropriate anchorages, this car seat will not suit you.

Whatever the child car seat, it is important for parents to follow some simple rules for its use:

  • When installing the device, strictly follow all the requirements of the instructions.
  • If there are several children in the car, each of them must have a personal seat.
  • Before you start driving, be sure to check the security of the car seat. If you notice significant play, tighten the retainer firmly.
  • Remember to securely fasten your child with seat belts.
  • Carefully make sure that the chair is suitable for the child's age and size. If necessary, buy a new one as soon as possible.

Following these transportation guidelines will ensure proper use of the restraint and ensure your child has a safe ride.

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