CYBEX FAQs 2021
How do I know if a specific car seat will fit in my vehicle?
There are many factors to consider when determining whether a specific car seat will fit in your vehicle or not. Your best option is to test the car seat in your vehicle before you make the purchase. It’s always worth asking for this option at your local retailer. If you’re not able to try the car seat in your vehicle, you can review the car seat product dimensions provided by the car seat manufacturer. Please note, the dimensions of your car seat and your vehicle’s back seat will not give you the full picture. There are many thousands of combinations of vehicle makes, models, car seat configurations, vehicle seat belt designs and seat cushion shapes. The easiest way to determine whether your car seat is suitable for a particular seating position is to check for a tight installation.
If I have two car seats, how do I know if there will there be enough room to fit in a third passenger in my backseat?
There are many thousands of combinations of vehicle makes, models, car seat configurations, vehicle seat belt designs and seat cushion shapes. The easiest way to determine whether your car seat is suitable for a particular seating position is to check for a tight installation, especially when trying to fit multiple passengers in the back seat of your vehicle. Unfortunately, some smaller sedans and SUVs have rear seat belt systems that overlap, which makes it very difficult to fit three passengers in the rear seat. In addition, a car seat like the CYBEX Sirona S that is designed to rotate to allow for easy loading and unloading of your child, may take up a little more space in your vehicle. This car seat will need some additional lateral space to accomplish the rotation, so fitting another car seat in the adjacent seating position may limit your use of that feature.
How do I know if I can fit three car seats across my vehicle seat?
There are many thousands of combinations of vehicle makes, models, car seat configurations, vehicle seat belt designs and seat cushion shapes. The easiest way to determine whether your car seat is suitable for a particular seating position is to check for a tight installation, especially when trying to fit multiple passengers in the back seat of your vehicle. The following conditions should be met when installing three car seats next to each other: - Each car seat must achieve a correct and tight installation. - The positions of the car seat on the vehicle seat are not changed by contact. Each car seat still aligns properly with respect to the seat belt or lower anchors that secure them and do not overlap the adjacent car seat. - If the vehicle seat is adjustable front-to-back, both portions of the vehicle seat must be adjusted to the same position. - Only one lower anchor connector is connected to a single lower anchor point. - There is no contact or force that would bend or deform any of the car seats. - The lower anchor belt or seat belt used to install each car seat does not rub on each other or crossover in a way that they interfere with each other. In addition, a car seat like the CYBEX Sirona S that is designed to rotate to allow for easy loading and unloading of your child, may take up a little more space in your vehicle. This car seat will need some additional lateral space to accomplish the rotation, so fitting another car seat in the adjacent seating position may limit your use of that feature.
Can I install my car seat next to a side curtain air bag?
Generally, car seats and booster seats can be safely installed in rear-seating positions next to side curtain air bags. It is important to consult your vehicle owner’s manual to ensure there are no restrictions in the seating position that you want to use for your car seat installation. In addition to your vehicle owner’s manual, your car seat instructions will include detailed information about any air bag interaction concerns.
Is it okay if my rear-facing convertible car seat touches the back of the vehicle seat in front of it?
CYBEX permits contact between front vehicle seats and its rear-facing infant, convertible or all-in-one car seats. However, the car seat should not be wedged in and should be installed in accordance with both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual.
Can I use a pool noodle to increase the rear-facing recline of my rear-facing car seat?
Rear-facing infant, convertible or all-in-one car seats must be properly reclined according to the level indicator provided by the car seat manufacturer. Many car seats come with adjustment mechanisms to attain the appropriate recline. CYBEX rear-facing car seats do have recline adjustment mechanisms, however CYBEX does allow the use of a rolled towel or pool noodle to adjust the recline of a rear-facing car seat to meet the required angle as noted by the angle indicator, as outlined below: · Rear-facing only models: If the adjustment on the base of the car seat does not provide enough recline, store the adjustment mechanism and replace with a rolled towel or pool noodles. · Convertible and all-in-one models: The car seat must be adjusted to the appropriate rear-facing position. If more recline is needed the rolled towel or pool noodles can be added in addition to the recline mechanism of the car seat. · Always thoroughly review and follow the instructions that came with your car seat for complete installation information.
When I install my forward-facing car seat there is a gap with space between the back of the car seat and the vehicle seat. Is that okay?
It is okay to have empty space between a forward-facing harnessed car seat and the vehicle seat if you have followed the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and achieved a tight installation. If you are experiencing this situation with a CYBEX car seat and want to eliminate the gap, however, try one or more of the following: 1. Remove the vehicle seat headrest, if approved by your manufacturer. Removing the headrest will often allow more of the car seat to be in contact with the vehicle seat back. Remember to properly store your headrest when it is removed. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions. 2. Recline the vehicle seat, if approved by your manufacturer. Slightly reclining the vehicle seat back may allow more of the car seat to be in contact with the vehicle seat. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific instructions. 3. Use the car seat tether. If your vehicle has tether anchor hardware, you should always use a tether with a forward-facing car seat installation anyway. The tether can help improve the car seat’s performance in a crash. Check your work. The car seat should not move more than 1” from side-to-side or front-to-back when checking at the belt path (the location where the seat belt or lower anchors are attaching the car seat to the vehicle). Note: the base of the CYBEX Sirona S convertible car seat must be in contact with the vehicle seat. It is okay if there is a slight gap between the upper portion of the car seat and the vehicle seat.
When I install my CYBEX car seat in my vehicle, some of the car seat bottom hangs off the front edge of the vehicle seat. Is that allowed?
Generally, most CYBEX car seats allow approximately 20% of the bottom of the car seat to hang over the front of the vehicle seat. The majority of the bottom of the car seat (80%) should be supported by the vehicle seat. This applies whether the car seat is installed rear-facing or in forward-facing harnessed mode, and whether installed with the vehicle seat belt system or the lower anchor system. There are exceptions to this general rule: · When a load leg is in use, it is acceptable to have more than 20% of the car seat overhanging the vehicle seat. · When used in booster mode, CYBEX requires the booster seat to be fully supported by the vehicle seat. · The CYBEX Sirona S convertible car seat has an overhang indicator that must be followed if the load leg is not in use. In some minivans with optional second row center seats, you may find that the car seat bottom actually overhangs the side of the vehicle seat. In this situation, the same general guidance provided above applies—at least 80% of the bottom of the seat must be supported by the vehicle, with the exception of the car seats listed above.
The center seating position in my vehicle is narrower than the positions near the window. Can I use my booster seat in that position?
In many vehicles the center seating position is narrower than the outboard seating positions (near the windows). In most situations, you may use a booster seat in that seating location, however there are a few items you should consider. First, the vehicle manufacturer must not specifically disallow this seating position for car seat or booster seat use. Second, the location of the lap portion of the seat belt and the buckle should not be coming from behind or beneath the booster seat. It is okay for the lap portion of the seat belt and the buckle to be in direct contact with the booster seat. Finally, belt fit is the most important consideration for booster seat use. Always check your child for appropriate belt fit in any seating position where you use the booster seat.
Harnessing & Child Fit
I am having a hard time tightening the harness of my child’s rear-facing convertible car seat. Is there anything that can make it easier?
Car seats that adjust by pulling a strap at the front of the car seat between the child’s legs, generally adjust more smoothly when pulling in a downward motion. However, when installed in a rear-facing position, it can be harder to pull downward on the strap. Try these steps: 1. Place your child in the seat and buckle the harness. 2. Pull the chest clip out towards you. This will tighten the harness across the child’s legs and gather all of the slack towards the shoulders. 3. Next, pull the strap between the child’s legs to remove the slack. Make sure the chest clip does not slide up towards the child’s face. 4. Position the chest clip at armpit level and check the harness for tightness by pinching at the child’s shoulders.
When I position my infant in her rear-facing car seat, there is a gap between her bottom and the buckle strap. Is there anything I can do to improve her positioning?
CYBEX car seats come with positioning inserts, which should be used per the instructions in your car seat manual. Using the insert that came with your car seat, may help eliminate the gap between your child and the buckle. If the positioning insert does not eliminate the gap, you may use a small wash cloth to help fill in this gap with CYBEX rear-facing car seats. To use: place your child in the car seat, buckle and tighten the harness so that you cannot pinch any webbing when testing at the child’s shoulders. Once tightened, slide the wash cloth in the gap between your child and the crotch buckle. If needed, you may also use tightly rolled receiving blankets placed next to your child to center him/her in the car seat. The positioning blankets should never be placed under the child, between the child and the harness, or near a child’s mouth, face and neck.
My child is using a booster seat and has a hard time reaching the vehicle buckle. Can I use a seat belt extender to make it easier for him to reach?
Belt-positioning booster seats are designed to raise the child up and help to position the vehicle lap and shoulder belt correctly. When a child is properly positioned in a belt-positioning booster seat so that the vehicle restraint system can be used, the child’s risk of injury in all types of crashes is reduced. In the event of a crash, the vehicle seat belt system provides all of the crash protection for a child in a belt positioning booster seat. Because a seat belt extender modifies the existing vehicle seat belt system, it should be approved for use by the vehicle manufacturer prior to use with a booster seat.
My child’s head falls forward in her forward-facing car seat, especially when she sleeps. What can I do?
First, consider whether your child should be moved back to a rear-facing car seat, which often provide additional recline and may help prevent your child’s head from falling forward. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain rear-facing until they meet the upper height and weight limits of their rear-facing car seat. Next, if you decide to keep your child forward-facing – check to see if his/her car seat offers a recline option, which may help keep your child’s head resting on the restraint. Many forward-facing car seats offer a mechanism to provide a semi-recline for installation. Be sure to check your instruction manual for weight restrictions and proper use of this car seat feature. Additionally, many CYBEX car seat and booster seat models offer a three-position reclining headrest to improve comfort and positioning. Finally, if allowed by the vehicle manufacturer, the vehicle seat can be slightly reclined when installing the car seat. Reclining the vehicle seat may also help keep your child’s head resting on the restraint. The installation instructions of both the vehicle and car seat manufacturer must be followed and you must be able to achieve a secure and correct installation.
I live in Canada. Can I buy a seat in the US and use it in Canada?
Seats sold in the US may not comply with all Canadian requirements and, for that reason, do not have the required Maple Leaf sticker.
Care & Cleaning
Testing & Manufacuring
Does my child’s car seat contain lead and other chemicals? How do you test CYBEX products for chemicals to determine they are safe?
Steel often has trace amounts of lead in it, so small amounts of lead may be contained in the metal components of the car seat. Any trace amounts of lead in an CYBEX car seat cannot be contacted by the child while the car seat is in use. Additionally, any trace amount of lead in an CYBEX car seat cannot be extracted from the product without submerging the product in an acid bath. Importantly, CYBEX’s lead testing program meets federal standards, and uses XRF equipment and more precise chemical extraction tests to ensure that lead levels in its products are as low as is technologically possible and well below the safe limits set by the federal government.
If car seats are required by government regulation to be flame-retardant, how does CYBEX make sure it meets the government standard?
Flammability testing of car seats is required under the FMVSS 302, Flammability of Interior Materials Standard. The test measures the rate of flame spread with the goal of maximizing the amount of time a caregiver would have to remove an occupant from the car seat in the event of a vehicle fire. CYBEX’s car seats are tested by an accredited independent testing laboratory and meet the FMVSS 302 standard. Additionally, CYBEX car seats are tested for toxicity to meet or exceed the requirements of various state and federal child products banned substances laws and regulations.