Are belt fit child seats safe?

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In a simple answer – yes!  Seat belt fitted child seats are very safe – if they are fitted correctly.  There is very little difference in the crash performance of an ISOFix seat, compared to a belt fit child seat. 

That said, there is a very big difference in how each seat fits, and when using the seat belt, the child seat is very often not fitted correctly.  When undertaking child seat checks, we see many mistakes made with the vehicle seat belt – either it is twisted or too loose, and in some cases, routed incorrectly – like the image here.  In this instance, the seat is not safely fitted at all.

There are also some cases when a belt fit child seat is preferable to an ISOFix child seat.  Some vehicles have underfloor storage compartments, which often causes ISOFix seats with a support leg to not be safe, in which case belt fitting a child seat is a safer option.   You also have some vehicles with ISOFix that is poorly positioned, causing a baby to sit far too upright when rear facing – in this case, you can often achieve a better angle with a belt fitted child seat.

To use a belt fit child seat safely, it’s important to visit somewhere to get advice on what is suitable for your car, and to be shown how to fit the child seat yourself – some stores will fit the seat for you, but they won’t be with you at 8am on a Monday morning when you need to swap the child seat over! 

It’s also important to read the instructions, and watch the fitting video online, before you re-fit the seat to ensure it is going back in correctly.  Finally, check the child seat very regularly to ensure the belt doesn’t need to be tightened, and that no rear passengers have accidentally unclipped the seat belt holding the child seat in.

So, in conclusion, yes, belt fit child seats are perfectly safe, but it is very important to ensure they are compatible with your car, and that you know how to fit the seat correctly.

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Are belt fit child seats safe?

In a simple answer – yes!  Seat belt fitted child seats are very safe – if they are fitted correctly.  There is very little difference in the crash performance of an ISOFix seat, compared to a belt fit child seat. 

That said, there is a very big difference in how each seat fits, and when using the seat belt, the child seat is very often not fitted correctly.  When undertaking child seat checks, we see many mistakes made with the vehicle seat belt – either it is twisted or too loose, and in some cases, routed incorrectly – like the image here.  In this instance, the seat is not safely fitted at all.

There are also some cases when a belt fit child seat is preferable to an ISOFix child seat.  Some vehicles have underfloor storage compartments, which often causes ISOFix seats with a support leg to not be safe, in which case belt fitting a child seat is a safer option.   You also have some vehicles with ISOFix that is poorly positioned, causing a baby to sit far too upright when rear facing – in this case, you can often achieve a better angle with a belt fitted child seat.

To use a belt fit child seat safely, it’s important to visit somewhere to get advice on what is suitable for your car, and to be shown how to fit the child seat yourself – some stores will fit the seat for you, but they won’t be with you at 8am on a Monday morning when you need to swap the child seat over! 

It’s also important to read the instructions, and watch the fitting video online, before you re-fit the seat to ensure it is going back in correctly.  Finally, check the child seat very regularly to ensure the belt doesn’t need to be tightened, and that no rear passengers have accidentally unclipped the seat belt holding the child seat in.

So, in conclusion, yes, belt fit child seats are perfectly safe, but it is very important to ensure they are compatible with your car, and that you know how to fit the seat correctly.

BACK TO BLOG