How To Fit A Car Seat

Fitting a car seat is an absolutely crucial, indeed legally required, part of parenthood. You should take true care when fitting the seat and ensure that you consult both the manufacturers instructions and your car’s user manual. Worryingly, a study conducted by Good Egg Safety, revealed that 60% of UK car seats are not installed correctly. This severely jeopardises the safety of your child and should be avoided at all costs.

Whilst choosing, and fitting the correct car seat may seem daunting at first , by following our tips you’ll be well on your way to making informed car seat safety choices.


Try The Car Seat In The Car

Where possible, go to a shop that allows you to try the seat in your car. This gives you the best chance of purchasing a car seat that suits your vehicle well. Check how it fits the interior of the car, the more seamless the fit, the better. Some car seats, especially those for older children, will require you to remove headrests.

Best practice is to always fit car seats in the rear of the vehicle, which is safer and provides less distraction for the driver. If you must have your child in the front seats, in a two seater car for example, make sure the seat belt anchor point (where the seat belt comes out of the door frame) is not further forward than the car seat itself as this reduces stability. If your car has front airbags, it’s essential to ensure they are disabled: you can find out how to do this in your car’s user manual. Some cars have rear airbags too so be sure to check that any airbags surrounding your car seat are disabled, if required in the manufacturer’s guidance. Be aware though that with some forward facing car seats manufacturers do recommend the use of the airbag so, as ever, check the user manual for your car seat and follow the instructions to the letter. Do remember to reactivate the airbag when you remove the car seat and the seat is used by another passenger.


ISOFIX - The International Standard

All car seats used to be fitted using the seatbelt and some still are. To do this, secure the seat belt around particular points on the car seat which act as the anchor for the seat. Each time you remove the seat you have to reinstall it using the seat belt. This can lead to problems with improper fitting, not to mention a great deal of faffing about for parents. The solution to the problem is called ISOFIX. ISOFIX is the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars. A locking system that is built into the car’s body. You can easily buy the matching ISOFIX base for your chosen car seat and, once installed, you can literally click the car seat on and off the ISOFIX base. Most cars made after 2007 have ISOFIX points built in, bringing not only a helpful time saving device but also dramatically increase the level of safety for the child in the seat.


Top Tips For Fitting Car Seats

  1. Follow the instructions that came with the car seat and make sure you keep them safe for future reference.

  2. Don’t modify the car seat in anyway.

  3. Before you strap your child into the car seat check it still feels secure and well installed.

  4. Reputable retailers should offer to demonstrate the safety features of your new car seat when you buy it. Some even offer a free demonstration of how to fit the seat, so be sure to shop around.

    Find more information on the UK’s law on car seats on the Government’s site here.