It is a common misconception that equipping a car seat with some accessories is the only way to increase its safety. Let’s clarify one point immediately: we are in no way against the use of accessories for car seats, but we want to make it very clear that they do not make the difference. No one can say for sure if these additional items can improve the performance of your car seat: not even the retailers themselves or specialized stores.
And this is for a very simple reason: most car seat accessories are not held to the same safety standards as car seats. There are no fixed rules to guarantee their function in terms of safety and you won’t even find any information about them. However, we can assure you of one thing: car seats, intended as devices for transporting infants, must be evaluated for quality of materials and performance, also undergoing crash tests. Not all accessories, however, go through this process.
Certified car seats and accessories
The main difference is between those who create accessories for car seats and those who create both car seats and compatible accessories. In this second case we are talking about products that are actually safe because they will be evaluated and tested together. A great advantage in terms of safety, isn’t it?
Obviously, since we are talking about accessories, we are not talking about objects that are necessary or indispensable for the correct working of the main device (the car seat), but we do not want to deny that some of these options are incredibly convenient both for parents in terms of practicality and for the comfort of the child itself. In particular, two of them stand out among the many accessories for car seats.
Car seats and accessories: seat belt extenders
Seat belt extenders were originally designed for people who were obviously overweight and had difficulty using their seat belts because they were too short to wrap around them completely and comfortably. The way seatbelt extenders work is simple: they are installed between the seatbelt tab and the buckle to lengthen its wrapping capacity. It didn’t take long for this tool to start being used for car seats as well, standing out as a favorite accessory.
However, this is one of those cases where it is necessary to use tested and certified car seat accessories. This is because, especially in the case of infant carrier devices equipped with booster seats, there is a risk that the seat belt will not adhere well to the device and, in the event of an accident, could slip off, leaving the seat without the necessary lock to keep it attached to the seat. If you’re not sure about the extenders you’ve purchased or about the ones you need to purchase, and you feel that your child’s car seat is too big for your vehicle’s seat belt, our advice is to invest in a car seat that can be installed without any issues whatsoever and without the need for extenders. Just keep one thing in mind: car seat accessories are convenient but not essential!
Accessories for “grown up” car seats: headrests
Headrests are similar to infant stroller inserts in that they are nothing more than trivial padded supports that help maximize your child’s comfort when sitting in the car. As more and more parents purchase more car seat accessories, this particular item has been the cause of a major debate.
First and foremost, they are car accessories that adjust a child’s comfort but change their seating position, naturally tending to lean them forward a bit and exposing them to more opportunities for bumps. It’s not unusual for car seat manufacturers to also have their own line of car seat accessories that see headrests as their flagship product. These manufacturers can guarantee the safety of their accessories because they have performed numerous crash tests with each car seat they produce, also and especially considering the issue of the child’s seating position.
If you want to know if the headrest you’re using is safe, visit the manufacturer’s website or the Silux online store to check what accessories they have and what they recommend for your car seat and if the object of your purchase is among them.