Last week I had the opportunity to attend a Britax demonstration for the highly regarded Britax Advocate Click Tight car seat. We have always been a Britax family – my son (now almost 5) has been in the Marathon since he outgrew his infant seat. My daughter (2) is in the Boulevard. Both of their seats are wonderful – safe, highly rated and easy to use.
BUT YOU GUYS! The Advocate truly blows me away. I never thought I would get so excited to write a post about a car seat, but it is honestly the most comfortable, easy to install car seat I have ever used/heard of/dreamed of. And it doesn’t hurt that it looks cool, too. (My husband literally told me “That is not a car seat. That is a throne.”)
The Britax Advocate Click Tight system forgoes the use of LATCH hooks for regular old seatbelt straps. When I first heard this, I was skeptical. LATCH is great, right? But once I tried to install the Advocate Click tight, I was hooked. It is literally as simple as fastening a seatbelt. To install (forward facing or rear facing) you just pop open the front of the car seat and thread the seatbelt across. When you push the car seat back down over the seatbelt it “clicks tight”, creating a secure, tight fitting install.
No more climbing on top of the car seat and tugging on the LATCH straps to try to tighten them. No more sticking your hand under the seat to figure out where the heck the hooks are. No more crossing your fingers and wondering “Did I put that in right?” The Click Tight system makes it much easier to get your child’s seat in the car correctly. I did it on my first try, and I’m definitely no expert!
Beyond the Click Tight system, the Anti-Rebound Bar (which can be purchased separately as an accessory) is to be used while a child is still rear-facing, which the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests is up to two years of age. It blocks further movement on impact, stabilizing the seat in front, rear, and side impact collisions.
Here’s the sad thing, guys. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading killer of children, and yet 3 out of 4 car seats are installed INCORRECTLY. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past. Sometimes I’m in a hurry and leave straps a bit too loose. Sometimes I’m just not sure what the heck I’m doing. Sometimes I forget to attach the tether strap. There’s no excuse: I can do better.
This coming week is Child Passenger Safety Week, a week devoted to keeping little passengers as safe as possible. The goal of the campaign is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly using the right restraint (rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, belt-positioning booster seat or vehicle seat belt) for their children’s ages and sizes.
In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, here are some tips and statistics on child passenger safety:
- A securely installed car seat should not move more than 1 inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.
- Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit.
- If a child seat has been involved in a severe crash or is past its expiration date, the seat should be replaced.
- Lower vehicle LATCH anchors have limits. To learn more, visit: https://us.britax.com/product-knowledge/articles/about-latch/
- Never add thick padding (blankets, body positioners, etc) under or behind the baby unless it is recommended for use by the manufacturer.
- The AAP recommends all infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seats
- When forward-facing, the use of a top tether can reduce the distance that your child’s head moves forward during a crash by four to six inches.
- Position the chest clip at your child’s armpit level.
- The back seat is the safest place for children age 12 and under.
- Find a car seat check event or technician near you, by visiting: http://www.safekids.org/events/field_type/check-event
For more information on keeping your kids safe in the car, please visit Britax or safekids.org.
I love my Britax seats, and am especially impressed with the safety features of the Advocate. But no matter what seat you choose, please make sure you feel confident and comfortable installing it.
The best way to keep a child safe in the car is to use the right seat at the right time in the right way.