Choosing the right car seat for your child is crucial to ensuring their safety, both for short trips and for long trips. Here are four tips to help you see more clearly between the different models and the existing standards.
1. Pay attention to the type of attachment (seat belt only or Isofix)
Far from being a detail, the fixing system is the n ° 1 criterion for the choice of the seat.
There are in fact two ways of attaching a car seat: either with the seat belt alone (ECE R44 / 04 standard), or by Isofix, a fastening system integrated into the most recent cars (new vehicles have since been fitted with it. 2011), to be combined with an additional support system, the seat belt, for example.
Unless you consider changing the car, the presence or absence of this system in your vehicle will therefore determine your choice. If your car is equipped with the Isofix system, prefer this type of seat, which avoids installation errors and therefore offers an optimal guarantee in terms of safety.
- 48% car seats are incorrectly installed or used *.
2. Respect the child’s morphology
For the Isofix standard
Car seats are classified according to the size of the child:
- Group 0: up to 70 cm
- Group 0+: up to 80 cm
- Group 1: up to 1 m
- Group 2: up to 1.50 m
Note: car seats, whether Isofix or not, must be mounted rearward facing for children up to 15 months (group 0 and 0+).
For other seats of the ECE R44 / 04 standard
Car seats classified according to the weight of the child:
- Group 0: up to 10 kilos
- Group 0+: up to 13 kilos
- Group 1: from 9 to 18 kilos
- Group 2: from 15 to 25 kilos
- Group 3: from 22 to 36 kilos
Which car seat at what age?
In accordance with the recommendations, children must be installed in the back of the vehicle in a suitable car seat and secured until the age of 10, unless their size allows them to be secured by the seat belt. Find the best convertible car seat for tall babies if you are still not clear which one to choose.
Fortunately, some car seat models are upgradeable and thus avoid having to renew the equipment at each change of group. It’s up to you to see what suits you best: it may be beneficial to change your seat regularly if you use it intensively, for example.
3. Prioritize safety and comfort
Carrycot or shell, harness or shield to attach the child, booster with or without backrest…: the options and variations are numerous, and what suits some will not necessarily suit others.
To make the right choice, assess your needs and practices (frequency of use, will the seat be often installed or uninstalled, how much space do you have in the car, etc.) and those of your child: some small do not support the attachment system by shield, too present. Do not hesitate to talk about it with those around you: the experience of parents, friends, neighbors can be invaluable.
4. Prefer new on occasion
Car seats can be a big budget, especially if you have more than one child. If you decide to buy second-hand, make sure that the seat is in perfect condition: if it has already been impacted, its protective function is no longer optimal. In case of doubt, no concession on safety: it is preferable to choose a new product in order to travel with peace of mind.
THE ESSENCE OF THE ARTICLE
Pay attention to the fastening system (either with the seat belt, or by Isofix – new vehicles since 2011 are fitted with it).
- Respect the weight or height of the child .
- Find the right balance between comfort, price and safety.
- Beware of used seats.