Welcome to our definitive guide to car seats
A car seat is one of the most important safety devices that you will ever buy for your child so it is worth choosing very carefully. The industry develops all the time and the testing that seats go through is extremely rigorous. Isofix, rear-facing car seats, impact cushions are just some examples of recent innovations. The golden rule though is that the car seat that you choose must fit safely in your car or indeed any car that you plan to use. Over 80% of car seats are incorrectly fitted so this is still by far the biggest factor in child safety.
What is iSize?
i-Size is a new regulation for child car seats that will run in parallel to the current regulation R44 in the next few years. The changes are not likely to be strictly in force until around 2017 as cars and car seats will require modifications in aorder to confrm with the new standard. The key changes are, that i-Size will make reward facing travelling mandatory for children up to 15 months, it will require ISOFIX only seats and the introduction of a side impact test. i-Size will make it easier for parents to choose and install the right child seat and it will make traveling for children even safer.
Why will it be easier for parents to choose and install the right car seat? First i-Size is based on the age & size of the child rather than weight. This does reflect latest data and therefore current children’s need and also makes it easier for parents to choose the right car seat.
Secondly it will be easy to understand if the child seat is right for your car through universal approval and common labelling in the car & on the child seat.
Why will i-Size be safer?
i-Size car seats will demand ISOFIX and rearward facing traveling up to 15 months. Rearward facing traveling is the safest way to transport your child in the first months especially to prevent head and neck injuries. Above this age you can use either a rearward facing seat or a forward facing seat. ISOFIX heavily reduces the misuse risk which is still a key reason for incorrect installed child car seats.
It will also take into account side and rear impacts which the current European standard does not.
How does that affect me?
As soon as i-Size approved car seats are on the market parents will have the possibility to choose between a seat that is approved in line with R44 or i-Size. The Standards will run in tandem for some years to come.
Why do we need a new regulation?
Child safety has evolved but still many children are killed or injured in road traffic. One of the key reasons is that car seats are not used correctly or parents use a car seat that does not fit their child. i-Size will help to make it easier for parent to choose the right car seat for their child.
When will it become effective?
June 2013 is the first possible date for approvals for child car seat manufacturers. i-Size ready cars will be available end of 2013 with increased penetration in 2014. The current regulation, ECE R44 will continue in tandem until approximately 2028.
Car seats complying with the new regulation will offer greater safety to children will utilise Isofix & Top Tether or Isofix with support leg and will be easier for parents to fit. Besides other improvements, we are particularly pleased that the new regulation requires the mandatory rearward facing transport of children up to 15 months of age, provides side impact protection and will help reduce misuse of the child seat.