Have you heard of buckle crunch before?
Well I hadn’t until 4 years ago and its terrified me ever since.
With my first child 15 years ago I have no doubt I was not a not fitting my car seat correctly as there was not so much information available and legislations were not as stringent but I certainly had no idea of buckle crunch.
After purchasing a car seat for Joshua 4 years ago I ordered one online followed the instruction to the letter to fit it but it still moved, just enough for me to question why.
So after high tailing it to Halfords after scouring the internet I was sure our car seat was suffering with buckle crunch.
At the store a fitter came out to examine my car seat and yes I was right, our car seat was suffering with the little known issue of buckle crunch.
So what is buckle crunch?
It’s really simple …. The most basic way of explaining it is when the cars adult internal seat belt clip rests on the side of the Childs car seat frame (normally the black plastic bits) it puts undue stress on the clips casing that might cause it to shatter in an impact causing the cars adult seatbelt to fail, effectively meaning the child seat will then be unrestrained in the car.
I personally have found that its cars that don’t have the car seat belt clips in the base of the seat that cause most problems but this is just my personal findings.
I found a really helpful article a while back by the folks at Good Egg Child Car Seat Safety who have some fantastic examples of Buckle Crunch which explains far clearer what to look out for with buckle crunch.
If in doubt I would always advise you to go and get your seat checked with qualified professional seat fitters before you purchase a car seat and if possible I would advise instead of buying online a car seat that you have not had tested or checked go and get it tested first, you can always buy one online after if you wish.
Buckle crunch is only one of the installations problems of fitting a Childs car seat using the adult seat belt fittings method as there are many common mistakes so if your car does have isofix I would suggest using this method if possible.
Some recent research by Britax highlighted that car seat manufactures are not the clearest at explaining things and a staggering 40% of people asked in Europe has either no understanding or limited understanding about isofix fitting and since this is the safest way to secure a child seat their new video is slightly tongue in cheek as the kids explain what it is but its great to see brands taking a more proactive approach to being clearer for all.
Disclaimer: I am not a trained car seat fitter, any information in this post is my personal findings through my own research online and by having advice given by trained fitters.