A Secure Start
For your child to be fully protected by their car seat, it is crucial that they are properly secured. But children often have other ideas, which is why we’ve compiled these tips to help you make sure your little one is secure, no matter how energetic they are.
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See below for a list of our most frequently asked questions. If the answer to your question isn’t here and you need further assistance, please contact our customer support team, we’d be happy to help.
Some car seat harnesses are adjusted by pulling a strap at the front of the car seat (between the child’s legs). These generally adjust more smoothly when pulled in a downward motion. However, if the car seat is installed in a rear-facing position it can be harder to pull downward on the strap. In this event, try the following:
1. Place your child in the seat and buckle the harness.
2. Pull the chest clip out towards you. This will tighten the harness across the child’s legs and gather all of the slack at the child’s shoulders.
3. Next, pull the strap between the child’s legs to remove the slack. Make sure the chest clip does not slide up into the child’s face.
4. Position the chest clip at armpit level and check the harness for tightness by pinching at the child’s shoulders.
CYBEX car seats come with positioning inserts, which should be used per the instructions in your car seat user guide. Using the insert that came with your car seat may help eliminate the gap between your child and the buckle.
If the positioning insert does not eliminate the gap, you may use some fabric such as a small washcloth to help fill in this gap. Simply place your child in the car seat and buckle and tighten the harness until it is tight enough so you cannot pinch the straps together at the child’s shoulders. Once tightened, slide the cloth in the gap between your child and the crotch buckle.
If needed, you may also use tightly rolled receiving blankets placed next to your child to center him or her in the car seat. The positioning blankets should never be placed under the child, between the child and the harness, or near the child’s mouth, face or neck.
Belt-positioning booster seats are designed to raise the child up and help to position the vehicle lap and shoulder belt correctly. When a child is properly positioned in a belt-positioning booster seat the vehicle’s restraint system can correctly secure them, reducing their risk of injury in all types of crashes. In the event of a crash, the vehicle seat belt system provides all of the crash protection for a child in a belt-positioning booster seat. Because a seat belt extender modifies the existing vehicle seat belt system, it should be specifically approved for use by the vehicle manufacturer before use with a booster seat.
First, consider whether your child should be moved back to a rear-facing car seat, as these often provide a more reclined position and may help prevent your child’s head from falling forward. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain rear-facing until they meet the upper height and weight limits of their rear-facing car seat.
If you decide to keep your child forward-facing, check to see if his or her car seat has a recline feature, as this may help keep your child’s head in the headrest. Many forward-facing car seats offer a mechanism providing a semi-recline for installation. Be sure to check your user guide for weight restrictions and to ensure you use this feature properly. Additionally, many CYBEX car seats and booster seat models feature a three-position reclining headrest which allows the child to sit with his or her head tilted back, helping it stay in the protected area of the seat.
Finally, if allowed by the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle seat can be slightly reclined when installing the car seat. Reclining the vehicle seat may also help keep your child’s head resting in the restraint. Please always follow the installation instructions of both the vehicle and car seat manufacturer, and ensure that installation is carried out correctly and securely.
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