Sometimes with a child it can feel like you’ve got all the gear and no idea, which, when it comes to safety, can leave you feeling worried. Well thanks to our good friends at Maxi-Cosi, we put your mind at rest with our Facebook takeover. They answered many a burning question about car seat safety and with all the chatter around new laws, there was no better a time to shed a little light on keeping the little ones strapped in and safe. If you didn’t manage to catch it live, we’ve rounded up the highlights from our Q&A with the experts, so grab a cuppa and catch up right here on the Halfords blog.

Does a car seat have an expiry date? – Vicki Wilson

The folks at Maxi-Cosi suggest replacing your car seat bases and boosters after 10 years, that’s if it hasn’t been dropped or involved in an accident. If you’re unsure, query your car seats date of manufacture, or if you’re an owner of a Maxi-Cosi product then check the orange and white sticker attached to the seat. We know infants can be costly, and although it may seem wise to reuse your seats from child to child, consider the date of purchase and the condition of the seat before use.

How long should the little ones be kept rear facing? – Gemma Matthews

The current guidelines recommend keeping your child rearward facing until at least 15 months old, thus ensuring the safest mode of travel during their early developing stages. Should you choose to prolong this, the Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl allows your little ones to remain rear facing up to 4 years old.

How long a journey is it safe to travel before you should take a break, when driving with a small child? – Brenda Teal

Although there are no laws on travel time for children, a common perception is no longer than 1.5 – 2 hours per day before taking the baby out of a car seat. The best rule of thumb is that when you stop for a break; take the baby out of their car seat too.

Is there a way of tightening car seat straps? – Chris Wallace

We know they can be wriggly little things sometimes, and it’s worrying to think about a compromise in their safety whilst travelling. In order to achieve the correct tension in the harness, it is important to ensure that the harness is adjusted to the correct height for your child. The correct height would be that the harness exit is level with the shoulders to an inch above the shoulders. Once the harness is adjusted correctly, pull tight to 1cm of a gap between the harness and your child’s chest. For more advice liaise with the retailer from whom you purchased your car seat from.

What is the most important indicator that my child needs to move up to the next stage car seat?

It can be confusing as to what signs to look out for when considering the next stage in car seat safety for your child, but luckily there are certain guidelines to follow which indicate when to make the change.

  • If your child is currently in a 0+ infant carrier, they should physically outgrow this before moving to the next stage
  • If in a group 1 this will accommodate your child until 18kg in weight or until their eyes become level with the top of the seat

I’m expecting my first child, what are the first things I need to look for when purchasing a car seat? – Ameli Wragg

A lot of what comes into choosing your first seat is your car! It’s best to tailor your choice to what’s most compatible with your model of car, but just to make sure, pop in and see us at your local Halfords store. We can advise which car seat models would be best suited to your car, and we can also fit your chosen seat for free if you purchase from us. Other things to consider are ease of use; so whether isofix or seatbelt system would be best for you personally, and safety regulations, which you can read up on here.

Thanks for stopping by! We hope this helped detangle some of your confusion around child car seat safety. You’ll find a range of Maxi-Cosi seats online, or at your local Halfords store.

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