Car seats buying guide

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Car seats buying guide

14/09/2015 18:11:35

What's the law on in car-safety and i-Size?

The use of car seats and belts for children is regulated by law. To ensure your child’s safety in a car, it is important that you choose the right car seat and fit it correctly. Our staff are trained to advise you on the right type of seat for your child and for your car.

Don’t leave even the shortest journey to chance: always take the time to harness your child in an appropriate car seat. Always follow the manufacturer’s fitting instructions and keep them with the seat.


The law (since Monday 18th September 2006)

Children less than 135cm tall or under 12 years old MUST use the child restraint appropriate for their weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicles).

Rear-facing baby seats MUST NOT be used in a seat protected by a frontal airbag unless the airbag has been deactivated manually or automatically.


i-Size legislation (since 9 July 2013)

What is i-Size?

i-Size is the new European standard for child car seats. It’s been introduced to ensure all child car seats will fit in all cars, therefore reducing the risk of installing the wrong seat in your car and compromising its effectiveness.


The key principles of i-Size legislation:

- i-Size seats are designed to keep your child rearward facing for longer – until your child is at least 15 months old. This offers greater protection for your child in the event of an accident.

- i-Size is based on the child’s height rather than their weight. This makes it easier for you to know you’re using the correct seat for the child you’re carrying. This method is used because height is more directly linked to physical development.

- i-Size seats will be more rigorously tested before they go on sale. New side impact tests will lead to seats that provide better protection for your child. i-Size seats will also offer significant safety improvements for babies with better head and neck protection on all seats.

- All i-Size seats will be Isofix compatible, reducing the chance of fitting the seat incorrectly. In the future, i-Size car seats will fit all ‘i-Size ready’ vehicles.


The i-Size regulation has now been passed, following its ratification in April 2015. This new regulation will run in parallel with the current one (UNECE Regulation 44). Child seats that comply with either regulation may continue to be used. 


Why i-Size?

The current categorisation of car seats by a child’s weight can cause parents to swap their child from a rearward to a forward facing car seat at 9 months old, however it’s safer for children to remain rearward facing for longer as this helps protect their neck and head in the event of a collision.

Parents may mistakenly believe that when a child’s feet stick out of the seat shell they are ready for the next size up. Children only need to move from a Group 0+ car seat at 13kg or when their head is higher than the top of their car seat, there’s no need to move baby to a forward facing position if their feet are pushed against the car’s back seat. With an i-Size car seat they can stay rear facing up to 15 months and it is very clear when they should change to a front facing seat.


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