Let’s jump right at it…
Why do I need a car seat anyway?
Well, in the UK it’s a law and more than that, it’s for the safety of your child and you are reading this article because you care. In general car seats are supposed to be used until the child is 12 or he/she is 135cm tall, whichever comes first.
There are many circumstance in which it’s not illegal to not have a child car seat but if you are driving your own car then you probably need one.
The criteria that you should consider:
Ok cool, what I should look for?
1) Look for a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129’ on the seat label. This one is the EU law concerning the child’s height. This is the newer of the two and is called the ‘i-size’ regulation. Hm.. very Apple but moving on…
2) Look for a capital ‘E” in a circle and ‘ECE R44’ on the seat label. And you guessed this one right, this one is the EU law concerning the child’s weight (based on the older rules and etc.)
3) ISOFIX is an international standard for car seats that obliges car manufactures to install ISOFIX anchor points which are connected directly to chassis of car. The car seat is secured by the ISOFIX connectors attached to these anchor points. You can read more about how to know whether a car has ISOFIX
- Vehicle Specific - uses a two-point connection system and is only compatible with certain vehicles.
- Semi-universal - features a top tether or a foot prop
- Universal - features a three-point anchoring. Usually for Group 0/0+ safety seats.
Fun fact no. 1: all ‘i-size’ car seats must be ISOFIX compatible. So provided that your car is also ISOFIX compatible, then ‘i-size’ is the safer way to go!
Now I know what not to buy and kind of what to look for. Thanks, what’s next?
Lots of fun!
Here is a some stuff to keep in mind:
- Don’t just think cars, but travel in general, and that means portability. You could kill 2 birds with 1 stone by getting a car seat that can also be mounted on a pushchair. These so called ‘travel systems’ can support babies up to 3 years old. Other ones that are not so portable can even support babies older than 3.
- Remember! Many parents don't want to pay hundreds for a first stage car seat, but a £300 extended rear-facing car seat, that will last until your baby is four years old, works out around 20p a day over the lifetime of the seat.
- Rear-facing seats are safer than forward-facing ones because these seats support spine, neck and head and are designed to evenly distribute the crash forces across seat.
Thanks! what I should buy now?
That really depends on firstly what car you have because that’s the main determining factor. But provided that you car is compatible then our advice is:
Get an i-size car seat that can also go on the pushchair
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