The importance of a locking clip when installing a car seat!
There are heaps of common mistakes that people make when trying to install their baby or child's car seat - and they are broad!
A locking clip is a basic safety device when installing a car seat - it prevents the seat belt from loosening and thus prevents movement in a crash, or incident.
These are used when using a seat belt installation method - and not with isofix options. However, unlike in past years we now have multiple types of seat belts and it is important to figure out what type of seat belt you have, and if you need to use a locking clip.
An emergency locking belt (or ELR) is one that only engages its locking mechanism in a crash, or with force.
An automatic locking belt (or ALR) is one that has a rachet system that must be engaged by fully extending the belt, and then feeding it back in - these are the belts that are the easiest with car seats!
A static belt - often an older style middle lap belt - which has its own locking system within the belt.
A retractable lap belt - NOT to be used with carseats at all. These are most often found in some older model people mover vehicles.
If you have sorted what seat belt you have - you then will know if you require a locking clip! Pretty much these are only used with ELR seat belts. On the odd occasion we need them with ALR - but as always, please go and see a technician and get support to help you choose in these times.
So then which locking clip do I use?
There are so many on the market! Which is the best?
We stock a few different breeds - and they all do the same job. Yes some are better on some seats and with some car seats so it is always best to ask us.
We have a range of locking clips available to purchase in store and online as well - you can find them all here!
However there are the 3 that are the most popular:
THE GATED BUCKLE
This is the most commonly known locking clip - with 4 edges that you use to slip over the belt to lock it into place when already tight.
This is a clamp style locking clip that has specifically been designed for its ease of use. With this one you use the clip to go over ONLY the sash part of the belt.
This is a newly designed locking clip - and is probably the most simple to use! It slides into the latch plate of your seat belt when you have already tightened the seat belt to where you need it to be. These are not always compatible with all seat belts, but 90% of the time they are perfectly fine - just check before purchasing for some vehicles!
As always - consult a car seat technician to help you with installing your car seat, or get a check done to ensure you have done it correctly. We are qualified to help, and remember "you only get one chance" you want to make sure that you have done it right every time!
If you have any questions you can always contact us through the website, our facebook page, or come in store and get any help you need.