6 Things to Consider when Choosing a Car Seat
A car seat is one of the most important purchases you’ll make for your child so make sure that you take your time to choose the right one for you. All car seats on the UK market are tested and approved, but which is the best for you and your specific circumstances?
As a parent, it is important that you choose a car seat that fits your child but that also fits in your car. We at BeSafe always recommend that you test the car seat in the car and the child in the car seat before purchase.
1. Select a tested and approved car seat
Car seats can be tested and approved under two different regulations; ECE R44 and UNR 129-Size. As a parent, it is important that you choose a car seat that is tested according to one of these. A car seat that is approved according to ECE R44 has been tested both in a forward-facing and rear-facing collision while a car seat that is approved by UNr 129 also has been tested for side impact. A child safety seat approved according to UNr 129 has passed the latest, maximum set requirements.
2. Make sure you choose the correct seat for your child’s age and height
Car seats are divided into to three groups; Baby car seats, car seats and Highback booster seats. It’s principally your childs age and length that determines which group to choose.
Step 1, Baby car seat: This group is for newborn to approximately 12 months of age, plus or minus a few months dependning on height. As a parent you must change to the next step when the uppermost point of the child’s head reaches the highest point of the car seat and when the baby can hold its head steady.
Step 2, car seat: The next step is the Toddler car seat. According to the regulations UNr 129, children must remain rear facing for at least 15 months but we at BeSafe recommend at least 4 years, preferably longer. Some seats in this group can go rearfacing or forward facing, when the time comes. The child has outgrown the seat when the uppermost point of the child’s ears reach the highest point of the car seat headrest on max adjustment.
Step 3, High back booster seats: The final step, group three, is the Highback booster seat. This is the car seat your child will use for the longest time. By law, your child should sit in an approved car seat to at least 135 cm or 12yrs whichever is the soonest.
3. Easy and secure installation
First check if you have ISOfix in your car. ISOfix are small metal rings down the back of the vehicle seat to connect isofix car seats to. Using isofix fixings is quick and convenient and clear indicators show when the seat or base is correctly fitted reducing the chance of doing it incorrectly.
4. Choose a car seat suitable for the whole period of use
Make sure that that the car seat will give your child the greatest safety and comfort throughout the whole period of use. A car seat that grows with the child in several steps is best. Features to look for include, space for the legs, adjustable in height, adjustable reclining position and adaptive side impact protections.
5. Side impact protection is extremely important
25-30% of impacts are side impacts so maximising protection in this area of the car seat is critical and now part of the new incoming UN R129 Regulations.
6. Plenty of legroom – longer usage
One of the most common reasons that parents choose to turn their children forward facing too early is shortage of legroom. A car seat that offers more space for the children’s legs means that it will be used for longer. Car seats with adjustable legroom are space saving when children are small and offer more legroom when the child grows.
BeSafe considers all these points when we are developing our products. Visit you nearest BeSafe retailer to get more information about our car seat range and to find out which one suits your child and your family’s needs best.