What is Isofix?
It’s not surprising to learn that not all vehicles are ISOFIX compliant. Usually, vehicles built before 2006 will not feature the Isofix anchor points. Do not worry, If your vehicle does not, child safety seats are still available without ISOFIX. These are called universal car seats- this requires only a seatbelt.
Car seats that require seatbelts are often seen as not being safe compared to ones with ISOFIX, this is because ISOFIX offers huge safety benefits over belted seats. ISOFIX was designed to make car seat installation simple and eventually become more popular across vehicles and car seats. The risk of incorrectly installing an ISOFIX seat is very low. In fact, their study showed that 94% of parents use their ISOFIX car seats correctly – ISOFIX units also have indicators to show when the seat is correctly fitted.
Can You Use ISOFIX And A Seat Belt?
When dealing with car seats, parents are most concerned about how safe their child is going to be in the seat. Many parents want to add extra protection and it is easy to see why they might decide to use both the seat belt and ISOFIX.
Although two forms of safety seem to be better than one, this is actually not the case in this situation. There is no evidence that indicates any benefit from using both ISOFIX and the seat belt at the same time. There are, however, dangers.
Manufacturers would only allow the use of both systems if the seat has been crash-tested in this way and the seat passed in this configuration.
Is ISOFIX The Safest Option?
ISOFIX is considered a lot safer than just using a seatbelt to loop through your baby’s car seat. This is because ISOFIX ensures ;
A permanent connection between the car seat and car-in case of sudden braking.
Minimal risk of incorrect installation
Quick installation and easy removal.
In an accident, a child seat can move on its ISOFIX arms as it begins to move forward- which is extremely dangerous. To keep the seat from moving forward from the force of a crash, ISOFIX seats come with a third anchorage point. This is in the form of a support leg or top tether strap.
Where Is The ISOFIX In My Car?
ISOFIX is not always in sight, it may be covered by a plastic cover with markings on it. They are welded into the back of the seat and resemble a rectangular loop.
The easiest way to locate them is by reading your car’s instruction manual, or by looking for the ISOFIX identifier on the rear seats – two outboard positions on the rear seat. Be aware that sometimes these can be found in the front seat in some smaller vehicles.
If you don’t have ISOFIX in your vehicle, you can still use the seatbelt to fit your car seat. We would highly recommend following your car seat instruction guide when fitting your car seat.