10 quick car seat fitting checks

Click below to download the Which! 10 Qucik Child Seat Checks PDF

Which! 10 Quick Child Seat Checks

1. Is the seatbelt or harness secure and untwisted?

If your child car seat is secured with a seatbelt, this must be tight so the seat doesn’t move. To test this, try pushing down on the seat where your baby’s head would be if the seat is rearward facing, and pulling on the harness if it’s forward facing – you shouldn’t be able to move the seat. The seatbelt mustn’t be twisted anywhere around the seat.

2. If the seat is rearward facing, is the handlebar in the correct position as shown in the instructions?

For some rearward-facing child car seats, the handlebar may need to be in a certain position, usually upright or fully back, as it can offer added 360-degree protection if your vehicle turns over in a crash. Look at your child car seat’s instruction manual to find out where yours should be.

3. Is the child car seat sitting squarely on the seat of the car and is the headrest in the correct position, as shown in the instructions?

The majority of the base of the child car seat should be flat on the seat, sitting squarely and evenly. It shouldn’t be riding up, which can sometimes happen if the seatbelt is too short.

For most child car seats the headrest should be removed so it doesn’t touch the seat at all. However, some child car seats need the headrest to be attached – check the instructions to find out what is needed for your specific seat.

4. Is the seatbelt following the correct red or blue route guides?

Not having the seatbelt securely fitted into the blue or red route guides will weaken the seat’s protection. Check it’s right – red guides for forward-facing seats, blue guides for rearward-facing seats.

5. Is the seatbelt buckle in the right place?

The seatbelt buckle must not bend around the child car seat as this could cause it to fail in a crash. Only the seatbelt should be in contact with the frame of the child car seat.

6. For Isofix seats, do the visual indicators show it is fitted correctly?

Visual indicators should show you that the seat is correctly clipped into the car, for example sections may turn from red to green. Check the instructions to see what this should look like for your seat.

7. Is your Isofix drop-down foot securely on the floor and/or is the top tether firmly attached?

If you have an Isofix car seat, you will have either a drop-down foot, a top tether or both. With the foot, you must ensure it sits firmly on the floor, isn’t lifting the seat up and isn’t resting on underfloor storage, as this could make it less effective in a crash.

The top tether must go over the back of the seat and clip into the dedicated mounting point – be careful not to attach it to luggage hooks.

8. Have you removed any thick clothes?

Thick clothes such as bulky winter jackets could make the harness less effective, so take them off before putting your child in the seat.

9. For younger children, are the shoulder pads level with your child’s shoulders, and is the harness not too tight or loose?

The shoulder pads of the harness should be as level with your child’s shoulders as possible – if they’re in a rearward-facing child car seat, the shoulder pads shouldn’t be dropping down no more than an inch, and if a forward-facing seat, raising no more than an inch. The harness shouldn’t be too tight or loose – make sure you can get two fingers between the child’s collar bone and the harness and that there is no slackness.

10. For older children, is the seatbelt across their shoulder and hips?

If you have an older child strapped into a car seat with the seatbelt, this should sit on their shoulder. It shouldn’t cut into their neck or sit lower down on their arm. The lap part of the seatbelt should sit across their hips, not their tummy.

Article Provided by – Which!


To All our lovely friends, clients and supporters:

Unfortunately with this strange and unique situation we all find ourselves in, we have to address the limitations affecting Little Rascals Algarve.

In line with the Portuguese legislation recently implemented by the government and ensuring the safeguarding of our team and the general public we have set out below our restrictions from today:

Delivery, Collection & Return:

Primary and recommended location will be at our depot just outside Faro Airport

In compliance with Government restrictions at this time we are not permitted to access the Airport Terminal Building or Grounds.

Accommodation across the Algarve will be limited to private villas and/or apartments. Your items will be dropped at the front door at a time arranged in advance to avoid unnecessary exposure, with the same for the collection

In compliance to Government restrictions at this time we are not permitted to access Hotels

All items can be delivered to Little Rascals Algarve Car hire vehicles in advance of your arrival, collected from the vehicle after your departure - No other car hire companies are supported - unless our clients refer to our primary location at our depot outside the grounds of Faro Airport

All items can be delivered to Little Rascals Algarve Airport Transfer vehicles in advance of your arrival, collected from the vehicle after your departure - No other airport transfer companies are supported - unless referred to our primary location at our depot outside the grounds of Faro Airport

Products Restrictions:

Baby Essentials:

  • Bedtime: Wooden Cot and Junior Bed unavailable.
  • Safety: Stair-gates restrictions to be fitted by clients

Lets Play:

  • Weddings/events/parties - all unavailable.
  • Toys and Games - Toy bags & Selection of books unavailable
  • Poolside - limitations please contact us
  • Garden Games - limitations please contact us

Catering and Groceries:

  • Catering: Take away menu available subject to availability.
  • Groceries: First Day Shopping Welcome packs will be available subject to availability on products.
  • Golf - unavailable

Transport & Extras:

  • Car Hire & Transfers - available
  • Holiday Extras - App and Mifi available

All our products are handled with protective equipment and using natural sanitisers before and after use.

These restrictions are constantly evolving, changing and updating and we will keep you informed of any developments.

This is an unprecedented unique situation and we fully appreciate your flexibility and support at this time.

Hopefully things will be back to normal as soon as possible.

Many thanks for your understanding. Be safe.

From all of us at Team LRC xx