Road trip planned? Travel safe this summer with these car seat safety tips 3 weeks ago

Road trip planned? Travel safe this summer with these car seat safety tips

Staycation plans in the works?

After starting off the year with a 5km travel limit I don't think any of us can wait to finally get travelling this summer.

Recently I spoke to Kaliedy’s car seat expert, Rachel Lawless, about what can our car seat children require at different ages, as the right car seat can save a child's life;

“One of the most frequently asked questions we get from customers at Kaliedy.com is “how do I know when to change my child’s car seat?”

Infant Carriers - Group 0+

Depending on what model of infant carriers you have, there will be a clear label that is normally on the side or underneath the seat, which states the weight or height limit for the seat.

Another clear indication is when your little one is sitting in the chair where the top of their head is in relation to the top of the seat. If their head is higher than the top of the seat, then you need to move up to the next stage. “A simple way to check this is by using your hand as a marker when sitting on the top of the chair,” explains Rachel. “If your baby's head is not touching your hand, then you are okay to keep using this seat - provided they are under the weight limit and/or the height limit stated on the seat.”

Some infant carriers are designed for children up to 15 months of age but Rachel says not to worry if the child’s legs are coming over the end of the seat. “This is completely normal and they themselves will find a comfortable position to rest their legs in.”

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Group 1

Group 1 stage car seats are also measured on weight or height and the seat’s limit will be stated on a sticker on the side of the seat or underneath. Normally, a Group 1 car seat will take a child up to 18kg or 105cm. Some may go to an extended weight limit of 25kg so be sure to check as these guides are for the use of the five-point harness.

You will also need to be aware of the child's head height with the back of the car seat. Most of these seats have easily adjustable head support that moves to suit your little one. The correct position for the head support is that the bottom of it is in line with the child's jawline.

Always be sure that the child's five-point harness is coming from above the child’s shoulders or just slightly behind. If it is curving around the shoulder, these need to be moved upwards - the seats normally have a few different positions for the harness to be moved into.

As long as the child's eye level or the top of their ear has not passed the highest point of the seat, and that they are within the weight and/or the height limit they can again remain in the seat.

If you are using an Extended Rearward Facing seat, do not be concerned with the child’s legs and that they look too long for the position. Little ones adapt to using the ‘frog position’ and are perfectly comfortable!

Group 2 / 3

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back-to-school survival tips
Group 2 and 3 car seats are suitable for children up to 36kg or 150cm when they can then legally sit unaided by a car seat, again these will be stated on a sticker on the side of the seat or underneath the base of the seat.

With a high back booster seat, these are fully adjustable and will grow with your child, this is usually situated on the headrest itself. Usually, you will find a button that you will squeeze and then you will be able to pull the headrest into its next position. The headrest should just be sitting above the child's shoulder and the bottom part of the headrest curving around the child’s jawline.

Another item to note is that if your high back booster has a little armrest for your child, then the seat belt should thread underneath this. The lap belt should be positioned low, sitting across the hips and not high near the stomach.

When do I not need a car seat or booster seat?

The law states that all children under 150cms in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight must use a child restraint system (CRS) suitable for their height and weight while travelling in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi). (RSA.ie)

What are the benefits of Extended Rearward Facing (ERF) car seats?

According to the RSA, a baby’s head is five times heavier on their bodies than an adult head on an adult body, therefore, babies need extra support to protect their neck and head from a whiplash-type injury.

The RSA recommend children using rear-facing seats for as long as possible as they can protect a baby’s head and neck much better than a forward-facing car seat does.

Some extended rearward-facing seats can accommodate children up to 25kgs (55lbs) in the rearward position, such as the Joie Spin 360, the Axkid Minikid 2.0 car seat, the Britax Romer Dualfix or the Maxi-Cosi Mobi XP, to name a few.

For more car seat safety see the RSA website.