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a green image with kate clark from britax superimposed, smiling with the logo: Proper Car Seat Use

Baby Safety Month with Britax’s Kate Clark

September is Baby Safety Month! While both Britax and Magic Beans preach baby safety all year round, September is a perfect month to remind our customers of all the extraordinary car seat safety resources out there. And there’s no better brand to do this with than Britax, the brand that created the revolutionary ClickTight system nearly ten years ago. We hosted an Instagram Live with Britax’s Kate Clark, and between her and Eli from Magic Beans, there was a lot to talk about. Here are the most important takeaways!

Why the Britax ClickTight installation system is important

gif of the britax one 4 life car seat being installed with a seatbelt.

The Britax ClickTight installation system is the name of Britax’s automatic tensioning system that does most of the hard work of installing a car seat for you. Its signature feature is a panel on the seat that opens to reveal an unobstructed path to run the vehicle seat belt (or LATCH strap across). Closing this panel puts tension on the seat belt (or LATCH strap) and automatically tightens and completes the installation of the Britax car seat into your vehicle. It’s available on select Britax convertibles, all-in-ones and harness-2-boosters these days.

Note: You can use the LATCH connectors with the ClickTight system, but Britax recommends using the vehicle seat belt for an easier and quicker installation and uninstallation.. You’ll end up spending more time and energy manually tightening the LATCH straps as if it were a car seat made 10 years ago. Consider taking the easy win and belting in your ClickTight seat.

BRITAX MARATHON CAR SEAT IN BLUE AND GREY FABRIC, LINKING TO MBEANS.COM FOR PURCHASE   BRITAX BOULEVARD CAR SEAT IN BLUE AND GREY FABRIC, LINKING TO MBEANS.COM FOR PURCHASE  BRITAX ADVOCATE SITTING ON A WHITE STUDIO BACKGROUND, LINKING TO MBEANS.COM TO PURCHASE   BRITAX ALL IN ONE CAR SEAT SIT ON A WHITE STUDIO BACKGROUND, LINKS TO MBEANS.COM FOR PURCHASE   BRITAX GROW-WITH-YOU CAR SEAT SIT ON A WHITE STUDIO BACKGROUND, LINKS TO MBEANS.COM FOR PURCHASE

American LATCH anchor points in vehicles max out at 65lbs 

Probably one of the least known car seat details: this is a combined 65 lbs between your child’s weight and the car seat’s weight. Once your child and car seat hit the 65 lb maximum you're required to switch to a seat belt installation. This leaves a lot of room for error as it’s one of the stranger across-the-board car seat regulations, and even if a parent is aware of it, it forces them to learn two installation methods. Britax created the ClickTight installation system to avoid the “limits of LATCH” confusion.

Tips for a Correct and Confident car seat installation

1. LATCH vs. Seat Belt, they’re equally safe if you follow your seat’s instructions.

2. The middle seat isn’t always the safest. In fact many vehicle manuals don’t recommend it because of the hump or if you’re using LATCH and there are no approved anchor points to connect to.

3. The safest position to install your car seat is wherever you can get the best installation. 

4. Fill out the online registration. The car seat’s make and model info is on the included registration card in every car seat and on the serial label attached to the seat.

5. Set aside time to spend on your installation. “Correct and Confident” is how Kate Clark described a good installation experience. Try not to install your car seat 10 minutes before you leave for the hospital; give yourself time to figure out all the parts and steps.

6. Have your vehicle manual and your car seat manual out for quick referencing. Look for the CHILD RESTRAINT section in the back of your vehicle manual.

image of where the locations for anchors and top tethers are

7. Locate your vehicle installation components:

    • Seat belt and buckle
    • LATCH anchors
    • Top tether

8. The car seat manual is long; focus on the pages you need:
    • Rear- or Forward-facing?
    • Seat belt or LATCH?

9. Shake test, the best part. Hold the car seat at the belt path, give it a shake. It shouldn’t move more than 1” left to right or side to side.

10. The plan may change. Your initial installation method or position in the car may not work out for a variety of reasons…and that’s okay!

Britax car seat safety resources

A woman installs the Britax Grow With You in a car. The installation panel is open, she laces a seat belt through the car seat demo-ing the CLICKTIGHT installation system

Britax knows that every child deserves to ride in a correctly installed car seat. The Britax youtube page has hundreds of videos showing clear and proper installation of their car seats. And throughout the year, they host a Free Car Seat Check in their home city of Fort Mill, South Carolina. All car seat brands welcome. They practice their commitment to all children’s safety by ensuring each child leaves in a properly installed car seat and make sure each caregiver is confident they can recreate the installation at home. Britax also offers FREE Virtual Car Seat Checks for those caregivers who do not live nearby. 

Next Britax Free Car Seat Check

Saturday, September 24, 2022 - National Seat Check Saturday

More car seat safety resources

  • Your car seat manual - Kate Clark reminds us that your car seat’s manual is the first resource to turn to for accurate answers about your particular car seat model usage and installation. 
  • image of fire truck from brookline, ma.
    Fire and Police stations - This is a tricky one with a major warning. Most fire and police stations don’t have the budget for a CPST. If you show up unannounced you may end up with a very kind but untrained person doing their best. Always call ahead and ask if your local station has a trained CPST and what their schedule is.
  • logo for the national highway and transportation association, logo links to their website
    NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
    - This is one of the few government agencies that has remarkably clear information, with specialization in car and car seat safety. Their car seat pages have information to help you choose the right car seat stage, the best model for you, and more tips to install your car seat.
  • logo of the safekidz.org, linking to the same website
    Safekids.org
    - This is a worldwide non-profit that also offers excellent information, but they also have great resources for finding a CPST in your state and area.

 

  • And us, Magic Beans! - We talk baby gear all day, every day, to every kind of family across America. Not sure what car seat is the best, or what kind of car seat your child belongs in? We can narrow down the options and make recommendations based on your lifestyle and family’s needs. And give you tips on your model's car seat installation. Magic Beans offers fast and free shipping on all our car seats within the 48 continental states too!

 

Check out our head-to-head video comparison of the Britax One4Life vs. Advocate vs. Grow With You 2022, two of our favorite Britax car seats! And see all of Britax’s youtube videos here!

Email questions@mbeans.com or give us a call at 866-600-BEAN) during business hours (M-F, 9 am-5 pm EST). Or set up a one-on-one Baby Gear Consultation with an Mbeans expert!

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