Q. A second hand child seat can it be used without hesitation?
A. The problem is often, that you do not know the history
of the seat. You may even take the risk of using a seat which was damaged
in an accident. This is saving in the wrong place, because the purpose of
the seat, i.e. to protect your child, cannot be fulfilled.
Q. Are replacement parts available for all previous child seats?
A. Replacement parts are available only for seats which are
approved to the Child Safety Standard ECE R 44/03, which came into force
1995. Since manufacturers and trade since 1999 are not allowed to sell
child seats with old approval, repairs and replacement part supply by the
manufacturer also for product liability reasons are for old seats no
Q. Can a booster cushion also be used without the backrest?
A. The minimum requirements under the ECE R 44/03 and 44/04 Standard allow the
use of a booster cushion, without the use of a backrest, for children from
15 kg upwards. Normally, booster cushions offer sufficient lateral support
in the lap area, but not in the head and upper body area. The use of a
booster cushion/backrest combination, however, complies with the latest
findings in child safety engineering, as well as providing good side
impact protection. The head and body of the child are protected laterally,
which is not only safer in the event of an accident, but also
ergonomically more comfortable when your child falls asleep in the seat.
Additionally, the integral belt guide in the backrest guarantees that the
shoulder belt is positioned correctly over the shoulder to suit the height
of the child.
Q. Can I buy direct from BRITAX?
A. No, all BRITAX products are
exclusively sold via the trade.
Q. Can I use the infant carrier on a passenger seat equipped with an airbag?
A. Group 0+ infant carriers must be used rearward facing.
These rearward facing systems must not be used on the front passenger seat
in connection with an airbag. Please follow the explanations of the user
instructions for your child seat and also for your car manual.
Q. Can ISOFIX seats also be installed with the vehicle safety belt?
A. Apart from the different approval types for the installation
with ISOFIX most of the seats usually also have a universal approval for
the installation with a 3-point belt. Please check the approved vehicle
Q. Can my child keep its winter coat on when sitting in the car?
A. If a child wears thick winter clothing, the safety belt cannot
be tightened and is not positioned correctly. In an impact the belt first
has to press the thick filling of the coat together, before it can hold
the child back. This restricts the safety considerably. Therefore it is
necessary to take the coat off. The seat cover and the inserts in the seat
shell provide warmth for the childs back and until the car temperature
reaches a comfortable position, the child can be covered with a blanket.
Ideal and more comfortable would be the use of auxiliary heating which
(possibly with remote control) can be switched on before departure.
Q. How can I secure my child in a mini bus or any vehicle used for recreational excursions?
A. Principally the best suitable seat in the
car is to be used to secure children, even when this is to the expense of
an adult passenger.
Q. How long will the infant carrier be large enough to transport my baby?
A. In rearward facing seats the risk of injury in a frontal
impact is considerably lower. The impact forces are spread over the large
back surface of the baby and there is much less load on the cervical
spine. For this reason the baby should be transported in the infant
carrier as long as possible. Whether or not your babys legs are within
the infant carrier is not so important. However, when your baby's head has
reached the upper edge of the shell and your baby can sit up unaided, this
is when you need to put your baby into a group 1 seat.
Q. Is an old seat still safe?
A. This depends on the condition of
the seat. If you bought the child seat yourself and you know its history,
nothing speaks against a further use, but please ensure the seat fulfils
the current standard for child safety systems (at least ECE R 44/03, new
Q. May I use a child seat on the car passenger seat?
group 1 and group 2+3 child seats are designed to be used on the front
passenger seat, but we recommend that the passenger seat is slid back as
far as possible if the passenger seat is equipped with an airbag. Please
follow the instructions in the user guide for your child seat and also the
car manufacturers manual. Generally children should be placed on the rear
passenger seat where there is less risk of injury.
Q. My baby perspires badly in its infant carrier. Is the cover of the infant carrier the reason for this?
A. Whether in the cot or in the
infant carrier, parents time and again are concerned that their baby
particularly when asleep perspires, although the outside temperature is
moderate and its clothing and linen are suitable. However, perspiration is
not always due to environmental conditions or clothing, but an indication
that babys own body is not sufficiently developed to adjust.
Q. My car has a 2-point lap belt on the centre of the rear seat. Which child seat can I use?
A. How can I transport three children in this
car? A rearward facing infant carrier must only be used with a 3-point
belt. The same applies to boosters (also in combination with a backrest).
For the installation with a 2-point lap belt the ECLIPSE and the PRINCE
are suitable. They allow your child (or one of your children) weighing
between 9 and 18 kg to be transported safely and comfortably in the centre
position of the rear seat, even if it is only equipped with a 2-point lap
Q. My child frees itself from the harness, although this is fairly tight. What can I do?
A. A harness which is too tight creates the
desire for your child to free itself from the harness. This is why the
harness should lie close to the childs body, but without any pressure (a
flat hand may fit between harness and the babys chest). Your child must
learn that it is not allowed to take the harness off.
Q. My child opens the buckle, even during the journey. What can I do?
A. In this case the consumer journal "Stiftung Warentest"* (issue
9/97) recommends to stop the car as soon as possible, to do up the buckle
again and to teach him or her about the dangers before the trip is
continued. If need be, this „educational measure may have to be repeated
several times. In any case avoid praising the child for opening the buckle
and discourage the demonstration of his or her skills to others. Please
remember that in the case of an emergency a rescuer will have to release
the child quickly from the child seat. A buckle which is difficult to open
or which cannot be opened at all may prevent this. *Independent Consumer
Test Organisation (Government foundation)
Q. My child weighs over 36 kg. Does it still have to use a child seat?
A. The legal limit for the use of a child seat is either 1.35m
(1.5m in Ireland) or 12 years of age. Child seats for older children are
restricted to 36kg for test reasons.
Q. Side airbag and child seat how does that work?
A. In contrast
to front airbags on front passenger seats (these must always be
deactivated when a group 0+, rearward facing infant carrier is placed on
the front passenger seat), an inflated side airbag is quite flat, and
rarely comes into contact with the child seats. Therefore, if your child
is correctly secured in the child seat and cannot lean out of it (this
normally applies to both infant carriers and group 1 seats), there is no
danger from side airbags. For older children, to prevent the child from
falling to the side when it is asleep, we strongly recommend the use of a
booster seat with a backrest and lateral support.
Q. The child was in the child seat when an accident happened. What is to be done?
A. In an accident at a collision speed above 10 km/h the
seat can have suffered damage. Please refer to our recommendations in the
section Customer service.
Q. What do I have to observe regarding child seat and airbag?
A. Principally all warnings on the child seat and in the car and all
instructions in the user guide for the child seat and in the car manual
have to be observed.
Q. What do I have to observe when I buy a child seat?
A. Please read our recommendations carefully in the section Safety Center.
Q. What is ISOFIX and since when is it available?
A. ISOFIX is the
term used for the standard interface between vehicle and child seat. This
method of installation simplifies handling and reduces respectively avoids
misuse in the installation of child car seats. ISOFIX is an alternative to
the conventional installation with the vehicle belt and results in lower
loads on the child, thus reducing or entirely avoiding injuries. ISOFIX
was shown for the first time by VW in co-operation with BRITAX on the
International Motor Show IAA 1997. Today ISOFIX is standard equipment in
many new vehicles or can be obtained as extra feature when purchasing the
vehicle or as an upgrade.
Q. What is the "current list of approved cars" in connection with ISOFIX?
A. Child seats are approved to ECE R 44/03 and 44/04 in
various categories, always for different modes for installation and use.
In some cases, especially for the installation with ISOFIX, the cars in
which the seats are approved are shown in a "current list of approved
cars". For some BRITAX seats several installation modes are applicable,
and depending on the installation mode the list of approved cars may have
to be observed.
Q. What is the price of the BRITAX products from the trade?
A. Our dealers are free in their pricing method, we only recommend prices. We
therefore ask for your understanding when we pass you on to our dealers
for price information.
Q. When should the child change to their next child seat?
A. Your baby has outgrown the group 0+ infant carrier once its head is above the
upper edge of the shell. Seats in group 1 can be used until the upper edge
of the shell is about level with the height of the childs eyes. Then it
is time to move to the next group. Please pay particular attention to the
weight categories in respect of each child seat. Changing over to the next
group of child seats too soon is not recommended in the interest of your
childs safety, particularly changing to group 2+3. For safety reasons the
child should not move to a group 2+3 seat weighing less than 15 kg,
preferably not until it weighs 18 kg. The reason for this is that group
2+3 child seats are wide enough to offer space for the bigger child, but a
small sleeping child can easily slip out of the belt. At this stage the
childs shoulders are too small and inadequate to guide the belt correctly
Q. When should the cover of the child seat be replaced?
time, the seat cover will start to show signs of wear through sunlight,
dirt etc. With normal use we recommend to replace the cover after about
3-4 years. Please note that the cover represents an essential part of the
seat and as such is included in the official approval. Therefore only
original BRITAX covers must be used. BRITAX original replacement covers
can be obtained from your stockiest.
Q. When the harness gets too tight for my child, do I need to use a follow-on product?
A. This question is frequently asked, particularly
in winter when children wear thicker clothing in the car. When the harness
starts getting tight, it would normally mean that your child has reached
the upper weight range for that particular child seat category, for which
the child seat is designed. However, rather than change to the next child
seat category too soon, an easier solution would be to put your child in
less voluminous clothing when it is in the child seat. The basic safety
principle is that the closer the harness is to your childs body, the
safer the entire child seat will be for your child. We therefore recommend
that you dress your child to suit the temperature inside your car and that
you only purchase a larger seat when your child has reached the weight for
which the child seat has been designed and approved.
Q. Why do older children have to be secured on booster cushions?
A. By using booster cushions ideally with a backrest for
best safety the adult seat belt (3-point) is adjusted to the body of the
child. The elevated seating position ensures a controlled lap belt routing
and therefore avoids the lap belt sliding into the abdominal area. Besides
the shoulder belt runs over the mid shoulder of the child without contact
to neck and face. Important: When buying a booster cushion, ensure your
child has a good lateral support in the pelvis area. The combination of a
booster cushion and backrest additionally provides an age-based support of
the head and upper part of the body provided the side wings of the
headrest are extended far forward and as close as possible to each other
(maximum head width of the child).