Safety Notices

FAQ

Q. Can a BRITAX child seat be installed in the rear center seating position using the lower anchors of the outboard seating positions?

A. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the exact LATCH anchor locations and seating positions (if equipped), information on use with a child seat, and for the maximum weight rating for the LATCH anchors.

Standard vehicle seat spacing between LATCH anchors is 11 inches (27.9 cm). MOST BRITAX child seats with flexible attachments can be used in a seating position with up to 20 inches (50.8 cm) of space between the LATCH anchors if the vehicle manufacturer allows.

The Marathon CLICKTIGHT, Boulevard CLICKTIGHT and Advocate CLICKTIGHT can only be installed using lower anchors in designated vehicle seating positions with LATCH.

Q. Can a car seat be installed in the front seat of a vehicle?

A. NEVER place a child seat rear facing in a front passenger seat that has an airbag, unless the airbag is off. If you need to place the child seat in the front seat, make sure the airbag is turned off and move the vehicle seat as far back as possible. DEATH OR SERIOUS INJURY can occur if an airbag contacts the seat. (The airbag does not to be switched off when the seat is placed forward facing in front of an airbag.)

Q. Can a locking clip be used with a BRITAX car seat?

A. Locking clips can be used with certain BRITAX car seats in certain situations. Refer to your child seat user guide to determine if a locking clip can be used with your BRITAX child seat. Locking clips are not recommended for use with BRITAX child seats that feature built-in lock-offs.

Q. Can I install a child restraint next to a side curtain airbag?

A. BRITAX recommends that caregivers follow directions provided by the vehicle manufacturer for installation of child seats next to side impact air bags.

Q. Can I install my BRITAX car seat in a seating location next to side impact air bags?

A. BRITAX recommends that caregivers follow directions provided by the vehicle manufacturer for installation of child seats next to side impact air bags.

Q. Can I use an inflatable seat belt to install my BRITAX car seat?

A. Yes. BRITAX has revised its recommendations and based upon an analysis of vehicle seat belt system testing results, the current Ford Motor Company (Ford and Lincoln vehicles) Inflatable seat belt system is approved for use with all BRITAX car seats made to date EXCEPT B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Marathon ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Advocate ClickTight. BRITAX will continue to evaluate information provided by automobile inflatable seat belt manufacturers and may revise these recommendations as new data becomes available. Please see our Inflatable Seat Belt Policy for our recommendations on installing an approved BRITAX car seat with a harness and a Ford inflatable seat belt.

Q. Can you use a pool noodle with the ClickTight Convertibles?

A. Yes. A pool noodle can be used to get additional recline if needed.

Q. Do I need to use my lock-offs during installations?

A. It is recommended that lock-offs be used when installing the child seat. The lock-offs allow for a snug pre-crash installation. The built-in lock-offs on BRITAX car seats serve the same purpose as locking clips.

If you have a locking retractor on your vehicle seat belt and can get a tight installation, you can bypass the lock-offs. For more information on the type of seat belts you have in your vehicle and how to use the locking retractor with a child seat, contact the vehicle manufacturer or check your vehicle owner's manual.

Q. Do the new standards implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Feb. 27, 2014, regarding the LATCH / Universal Anchorage System affect Canadian seats?

A. Canada has a different standard for car seats called the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS). Ultimately, these new changes affecting installation using vehicle lower anchors may be included in Canadian vehicle owner’s manuals; however it is not currently a requirement. Vehicle owner’s manuals and car seat user guides should be reviewed before installing a car seat.

Q. Do we have to use a vehicle manufacturer's authorized anchor point to tether rear facing?

A. If a vehicle manufacturer does not support the Swedish method of rear facing tethering, the option to tether Australian method is available. Any difficulties getting the child in and out with the Australian method can be overcome by loosening and retightening the tether. Installation of the car seat on the passenger side provides the easiest access to the tether adjuster. Otherwise, Britax will be providing an anti-rebound bar with all Canadian convertible car seats beginning June 2014 as an alternative to rear-face tethering if needed. The anti-rebound bar is also available free of charge through Britax Customer Service to any former G4 convertible owners.

Q. How can I tell if my seat is properly installed?

A. It is important to follow the directions provided with the child seat AND the vehicle in order to achieve a proper installation. After installation, grasp the seat near the belt path to check for excessive movement. Excessive movement is described as movement of more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.

BRITAX encourages you to have your installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician. To have your car seat installation checked visit www.safekids.org to find an inspection station near you.

Q. How do I know what type of seat belt retractor is in my vehicle?

A. For details on the type of seat belt system in your vehicle, consult your vehicle's owner's manual.

Q. How should the Versa-Tether be stored?

A. When the Versa-Tether is being used to install the child seat in your vehicle, any excess webbing should be secured in the attached elastic strap. When the Versa-Tether is not being used to install the seat in your vehicle, it should be stored in the pouch on the back of the child seat. To avoid damage or injury, be sure that any excess webbing is contained within your vehicle at all times.

Q. How tight does the install have to be when using LATCH/Universal Anchorage System for the FRONTIER or FRONTIER XT in booster mode - less than 1" of movement as in harnessed mode or just secure?

A. The use of LATCH/UAS to position the FRONTIER and FRONTIER XT in booster mode is a convenience feature. The vehicle seat belt system is restraining the child in the event of an impact. While the 1" rule is not as important, BRITAX would recommend that you pull the LATCH/lower connector straps tight with reasonable effort and force to remove the slack in the straps (a.k.a. webbing).

Q. I have installed my car seat using the LATCH/Universal Anchorage System but the seat is moving left to right. Is this safe?

A. Excessive movement is described as movement of more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-back. Because LATCH/lower anchor bars in your vehicle are one inch (25 mm) wide, movement of the child seat would be less than one inch and is therefore acceptable.

The location of the LATCH/lower anchor bars in your vehicle (visible and pronounced versus hidden in seat bight) may affect the installation in your vehicle. Some tips that may help reduce the side-to-side movements include:
  • Use an anti-skid mat under base
  • Elevating the recline block being certain not to exceed level position

Q. I tried installing the FRONTIER or FRONTIER XT in harness mode with the recline block in booster mode (towards the back of the seat) and got a good installation. Is this an acceptable install?

A. No. The FRONTIER and FRONTIER XT were tested and certified with the recline block in the forward position for harness mode. Do not use the recline block in booster mode for a harness installation.

Q. Is it OK to use the LATCH/Universal Anchorage System on the PARKWAY SGL booster seat up to 120 lbs (54.4 kg)?

A. Yes, the vehicle seat belt is bearing the crash loads and not the LATCH anchors since the LATCH anchors are just holding the seat in place and the vehicle seat belt is what is being used to restrain the child. The load of the child (weight X speed) is applied to the vehicle seat belt as that is what is restraining the child.

Q. Is LATCH/Universal Anchorage System safer than using the vehicle seat belt to install my child restraint?

A. Not necessarily. A correct installation is always safest and a correct installation using vehicle safety belts is proven very safe. LATCH/UAS was developed for improved ease-of-use installation so correct installations are easier and quicker. It was also developed to offer a consistent attachment system independent of vehicle belts.

LATCH/UAS installation avoids the issues of vehicle seat belt incompatibility from different types of seat belt retractors, different belt anchor locations (for example, being too far forward), and differing vehicle belt routings that consumers found confusing.

Q. Is the Anti-Rebound Bar acceptable for use on the prior generations of Britax Canadian infant-child seats?

A. The Anti-Rebound Bar is acceptable for use on All Britax infant-child seats manufactured after June 2010 (excluding Classic line seats). Britax will be providing an anti-rebound bar with all Canadian convertible car seats beginning June 2014 as an alternative to rear-face tethering if needed. The anti-rebound bar is also available free of charge through Britax Customer Service to any former G4 convertible owners. Kits will also be available for purchase for G2 and G3 infant-child seats in August 2014 through Britax Customer Service.

Q. My child seat doesn’t seem to be as secure now as when I first purchased it. What can I do?

A. The process of seating and removing your child along with the motion from your vehicle moving can shake your child seat loose over time. It is very important that you check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.

Q. The base of the CHAPERONE infant car seat hangs over the edge of the seat when installed in my vehicle. Is this safe?

A. Historically, Child Passenger Safety curriculum has referenced an “80/20 rule of thumb” – which suggests that at least 80% of the child restraint’s base should be in contact with the vehicle seat.

Whereas this rule of thumb is a good starting point, changes in product design and materials among manufacturers have resulted in products that defy this guideline in both directions. Some products require 100% of the restraint’s base be in contact with the vehicle seat, while other products may allow for less than 80%. If limitations to standard installations exist – it should be well documented in the user guide.

BRITAX has extensively tested the CHAPERONE infant car seat under all configurations possible within the FMVSS-213 standard – with each result far exceeding the required standards.

Q. The buckle and buckle tongues are very hot against my child. What can I do?

A. In hot, sunny weather, check the fabric and buckle before placing your child in the seat. The belly pad has been provided to keep the buckle from directly contacting your child, though it can be moved out of position or removed. When parking in the sun for long periods of time, cover the child seat with a towel or blanket.

Q. When installed rear-facing, the car seat touches the back of the front vehicle seat. Is this ok?

A. After your car seat is securely installed rear-facing, you may move the front vehicle seat back JUST until contact is made with the car seat. The vehicle seat should not be pushed back so that the secure installation of the car seat is reliant on the front vehicle seat (“bracing”). However, some vehicle manufacturers prohibit any contact between a car seat and the front vehicle seat, so be sure to check your vehicle owner’s manual.

Q. When rear-face tethering using the Australian method, it is difficult to get my child in and out of the child seat. How can this be overcome?

A. In order to overcome any difficulties, the caregiver can simply loosen and retighten the tether. Installation of the car seat on the passenger side provides the easiest access to the tether adjuster. Otherwise, Britax will be adding an anti-rebound bar to all Canadian convertible car seats beginning June 2014 as an alternative to rear-face tethering if needed. The anti-rebound bar is also available free of charge through Britax Customer Service to any former G4 convertible owners.

Q. When rear-face tethering using the Australian method, the tether length is not long enough to reach the designated vehicle tether anchor. How can this be overcome?

A. Contact Britax Customer Service for a free tether extender kit, which connects to the tether to offer more length in reaching the designated vehicle anchor.

Q. Where is the safest place to install my child’s car seat?

A. The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. The center of the rear seat is preferable to outboard positions, as long as you can achieve a tight installation, because it is the furthest from a side impact. Research has shown that children under the age of 3 have a 43% lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat compared with the rear outboard positions. However it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re not able to install your car seat in the center position, a properly installed car seat in an outboard position will still provide excellent protection for your child during a crash. Make sure to check your child seat and vehicle user’s guides for available seating positions.

Q. Which rear-facing lock-off do I use?

A. In rear-facing installations of our Next Generation convertible (infant/child) car seats, the lock-off closest to where the vehicle belt is buckled should be used. In rear-facing installations of our previous convertible (infant/child) car seat models, it is recommended that the lock-off farthest from where the vehicle belt is buckled be used.

Q. Why is there a gap behind the BRITAX Next Generation convertibles (infant/child seats) when installed in a vehicle?

A. With the addition of the integrated steel bars in the BRITAX Next Generation convertibles (infant/child seats), the plastic columns at the back of the traditional BRITAX convertibles (infant/child seats) are no longer required, which creates a small gap between the car seat and vehicle seat back when installed. We have added a second forward-facing recline position to allow the car seat to install closer to the seat back for those sensitive to this concern.

Q. Will a BRITAX car seat fit in my car?

A. We encourage you to try installing the seat directly into your car at the retail site, because not all car seats are compatible with all vehicles.

If you are considering a convertible (infant/child) car seat, try it in both the rear-facing and forward-facing positions. Also, be sure to check the vehicle owner's manual for the type of retractor on the seat belt and verify that the type of retractor is compatible with your chosen child seat.

Finally, we also encourage you to have your installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician. To have your car seat installation checked visit www.safekids.org to find an inspection station near you.

Q. Will pressure on SafeCells during installation cause them to compress inadvertently?

A. The force required to compress the SafeCells in a crash far exceeds the force to install the seat and therefore will not compress them inadvertently.

Q. Will retroactive rear-face tethering be required on the G3 Infant-Child seats?

A. Retroactive tethering will NOT be required for any Britax G3 infant-child seats (Classic, G2 or G3) manufacturer before November 2013.