Who? believes that the Smart Kid Belt, a device designed to eliminate the need for a high-back booster seat, should be avoided because it is unsafe.
Although this car seat accessory meets the minimum legal standard, crash tests carried out by Which? The Car Seat Lab has found that the attachment, which is designed to pull the vehicle’s seat belt into an appropriate position on your child’s chest and abdomen, does not provide adequate protection.
Learn more about the Smart Kid Belt, as well as why it is so important to use a high back booster seat with your child until they are 12 or older. 135 cm.
Choose a car seat that will protect your child in a frontal and side collision by reading our best car seats reviews.
Watch: our video on the Smart Kid Belt
What is the Smart Kid Belt?
The Smart Kid Belt is a belt guide consisting of two red clips attached to a length of belt.
The idea is that you attach it to the adult seat belt to pull the diagonal and horizontal straps down and up.
It is designed to eliminate the need for a high back or backless booster seat, as it is supposed to ensure that the adult seat belt rests on the right parts of a child’s body for protection. in the event of a collision.
The Smart Kid Belt is designed for use with children aged four to 12 and is available in the UK on Amazon and Ebay for around £ 20-30.
What are our concerns with the Smart Kid Belt?
The Smart Kid belt is currently approved by the R44 regulation.
However, when our test lab performed its own crash tests, we found that the product did not adequately support the vehicle’s seat belt in a head-on collision.
The horizontal section of the lap belt also lifts up in a crash, which means it could put pressure on your child’s delicate abdomen area and potentially cause dangerous internal injuries.
Additionally, the Smart Kid Belt will not provide the same level of side impact protection as a high back booster seat because there are no protective side wings around the head and neck. .
We believe that using the Smart Kid Belt would not be much safer than carrying your child using only the vehicle seat belts; something forbidden to children measuring less than 135 cm.
For these reasons, we recommend that you do not purchase the Smart Kid Belt, and if you have purchased it, you should stop using it immediately.
Read our child car seat accessories guide to find out what other products we crash tested in our lab.
What does the manufacturer of Smart Kid Belt say?
The maker of the Smart Kid Belt told us that they believe it is being unfairly targeted by market competitors.
The company claims that the Smart Kid Belt has been independently tested to the relevant standard, and the results prove that the Smart Kid Belt is safe and effective.
Why should you use a high back booster seat?
The image below shows how a high-back booster seat will protect your child.
The base of the high-back booster seat enhances your child’s sitting position, meaning that the diagonal portion of the vehicle’s seat belt rests on the shoulder without being too close to the child’s neck, where it can. sink in an accident.
It also means that the horizontal part of the seat belt is at the very top of the child’s legs, where their hips are. This is one of the most resilient areas of a child’s body, and is more likely to withstand the pressures of a frontal impact, as opposed to the soft abdomen area.
The side wings and headrest of the high-back booster seat will protect the child’s head and body.
Who? car seat test
Who? has been helping keep children safe in cars for over fifty years, and our car seat testing goes beyond legal regulations in the UK and Europe.
We test every child car seat we review and perform fit and comfort checks using parents and their children.
Our crash tests are severe and our experts believe they more accurately reflect what happens in real crashes than the minimum legal regulations that manufacturers are required to meet in order to sell their products.
To learn more about our efforts to test car seats, read our guide to how we test car seats.