What to do when the vehicle seat belts aren’t long enough
We've been getting a lot of requests for solutions to secure the car seat when the vehicle seat belts aren't long enough. So we've asked Elise, our head car seat technician, to pen down some easy tips and tricks to follow through when your vehicle seat belt seems too short for your car seat. Alternatively, you may click on the video above to watch Elise's demonstration.
Some cars in Singapore (and abroad) — particularly Toyota Prius — have very short seat belts, and you might find it’s a bit tough to get the seat belt done up. For safety reasons, Taxi Baby Co. does not recommend the use of seatbelt extenders with any child restraints; the seatbelt extenders may alter the geometry of the seatbelt, result in buckle crunch (limiting how tight you can get the seat belt and interfering with the car seat) and they haven't been explicitly crash tested with your seat (or even at all, in most cases).
Here’s a quick and easy solution for vehicles with short seatbelts:
Firstly, thread your seatbelt in its respective lap belt guides (as shown below) - but don't buckle it yet. Make sure the seatbelt is not twisted; it should be sitting completely flat and unencumbered in its belt guides.
Secondly, place the shoulder belt through the shoulder belt guide - but still don't buckle it yet.
Next, tilt the car seat towards you and extend the seat belt as much as it will go. Engaging the help of your arm, apply some weight on the handle of the car seat. Then, with the car seat tipped over to your side, and your hand on the handle, bring the seat back to its correct position and buckle the seat belt all in one go.
Lastly, tighten the seatbelt. A really easy way to tighten the seatbelt is to lean over the car seat, grab the shoulder belt that’s coming out of the buckle and pull it upwards. At the same time, hold on to the handle of the carrier and rock the carrier back and forth. Next, gingerly bring the remaining slack back into the retractor.
Here’s a tip to help check if your car seat is secured — holding the side of the car seat, ensure the seat moves less than one inch from side to side, even though the seatbelt at the retractor is still able to move freely.
To achieve a more secure installation, you may use a taxi-friendly locking clip. With the clip completely flushed with the buckle, place the locking clip on the shoulder belt only. This will help keep the lap belt at a fixed length. The taxi-friendly locking clip can be used on almost any car seat in almost any car/taxi (it's also much easier to use). As a general rule, all US-certified and Australian-certified car seats will require a locking clip or a seat belt with child-restraint mode. Check your restraint's manual to be sure.
Voilà! You’re ready to scoot off to your next adventure. Safe travels! xx Elise