Now that you have your car seat, it is time to get started. Below we have compiled a list of points that are valuable to keep in mind to ensure that the car seat is installed correctly and protects your child in the best possible way.
How do I really know if my car seat is installed correctly?
Start by reading the car seat manual carefully and making sure you understand each step. Most car seat companies also have their own installation movies where they describe the installation step by step. If you have chosen a car seat with a clear and easy installation, it should not be difficult- it should be easy to do the right thing. If you find it difficult, we recommend that you contact your sales contact for guidance.
How should the harness be positioned?
How the child sits in the car seat is crucial for the safety. In a rear-facing car seat, the harness should go over the shoulder and straight back. The harness must be tightened so that you as an adult can get a maximum of two fingers in between the belt and the child. For maximum safety, remember to never wear thick outerwear in the car seat. This is a major safety risk as the belt comes too far from the child and in the worst case, the child can come loose or slip out of the car seat.
To give your child the best protection, we recommend that your child's half ear be inside the headrest. The exact position for maximum safety can differ depending on the car seat and therefore it becomes additionally important to read the manual for your specific car seat. Today, there are car seats that have automatic headrests, which means a headrest that for maximum safety automatically adapts to the child's height and size. Below you can see the headrest at the correct height for maximum safety.
A rear-facing car seat should never be installed with an active airbag in the front seat. Today, most car manufacturers offer some form of safe disconnection of the airbag and if that has been actioned, the passenger front seat works fine for the rear-facing car seat. Regarding a forward-facing car seat in the passenger front seat, the basic rule is that the airbag must be deactivated as long as the child is under 140cm. However, today there are newer cars that have airbags where everyone who is travelling forward-facing, regardless of length, can sit even though the airbag is active. It is therefore important to read the car's instruction manual or check with your car manufacturer as to what applies to your car.
Please note, side airbags do not pose a danger to children whether they are riding in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.
Read more about the choice of car seat, the importance of a rear-facing car seat and how the car affects the installation options in our car seat guide, which you will find in Articles and Tools.