Using a properly installed base increases the likelihood that your baby capsule is installed correctly and securely every time you travel.
How secure must a baby capsule be?
To do its job, a child restraint must be installed securely.
When we are referring to child restraints, the word “secure” generally means “less than 2.5cm of sideways movement”. In other words, your baby capsule or other child restraint must not move more than 2.5cm sideways.
How can you check if your baby capsule is installed securely?
There is an easy way to check how securely your baby capsule is installed.
- Open the car door and stand beside the baby capsule that has already been installed.
- Hold the baby capsule at the point where the seat belt is routed through the belt path.
- Pull it side to side.
Does it move more than 2.5cm?
If it does, then it is not installed “securely”. It’s that simple.
Why is it important that a baby capsule or other child restraint is installed securely?
If you can move a child restraint with your hand, imagine how the force of a crash will increase that movement. It must be secure.
The purpose of a child restraint is to protect a child in a crash. Securely installed car seats do this by reducing the forceful movement that a child’s body experiences in a crash. In turn, this reduces the risk of the child suffering serious injuries or worse.
How are baby capsules affected by crash forces?
Let’s look at how capsules will be affected by crash forces – when used without, and then with, a base.
A capsule without a base:
If you use a capsule without a base, you must install it properly and securely every time you travel. You will always have to manage the installation and then check that it is secure and at the correct recline for your baby.
Have a practice first – try installing an empty capsule without a base. Do the best you can and then hold it beside the belt path and give it a decent tug from side to side. Does it move? Now imagine that movement multiplied by crash forces.
Are you sure the capsule will stay in place?
Crash forces acting on a loosely installed baby capsule have the potential to completely remove the capsule from its position. In a worst-case scenario, the baby capsule itself would become a projectile within the vehicle.
A capsule with a base:
What changes when you use a base?
You will still need to install the base securely on the vehicle seat and ensure that it is at a level which allows the capsule to sit at the correct recline for a young baby. But this only has to be done once.
When you are satisfied that the base is installed securely, it stays there. Every time you travel you simply clip the capsule in and out of the correctly installed base.
This is the benefit of using a base with your capsule.
The benefit of using a base with a baby capsule.
Not only does a securely installed base save time, but because the base hasn’t moved since it was first installed, you know that your baby is always in a secure and properly reclined child restraint.
If you do need to travel without your base, your capsule on its own is a safe option as long as it is installed securely. But for ease of use and the benefit of not having to question whether you have installed your capsule correctly every time, using a base for day-to-day use is preferable.
If you would like advice from a local child restraint technician go to www.sittight.co.nz and click on “Find a CRT”.