Choosing the correct car seat can often be very confusing as not only have you to ensure the correct size car seat for your child but that the car seat that you choose is also a correct fit for your car. Selecting a car seat that scores highly in the many test reports available is all very well but selecting a car seat that fits your car properly is probably the more important feature for your child's safety.
If you are in any doubt about which car seat is the correct fit for your car either visit our Just4Baby car seat fitting center or consult the car seat manufacturers web site as many of the leading manufacturers such as Britax, Maxicosi and Renolux will have a Fit Finder guide detailing which of their car seats are most suitable for your model of car.
All child restraints sold in the UK must conform to the United Nations ECE Regulation R44.03 or later version of the standard and must be clearly marked.
This group of car seat can be used in the front or rear of the carbut CANNOT be used in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag. It is safer to put them in the rear. Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats.
Babies should be in a rearward facing car seat and should not be placed in a forward-facing seat until they weigh at least 9 kgs and can sit up unaided. Babies should be kept in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Once your child is above the maximum weight for a rearward-facing seat or the top of their head is above the top of the seat they should be moved into a forward-facing seat. It is not important if their knees are bent in the seat, provided they are still within the seat's weight range.
Convenience factor with this stage of car seat is that most models will have a carry handle enabling you to easily remove and carry the baby without removing them from the car seat especially handy if the baby is asleep and may also fit onto corresponding pushchair converting it to a travel system.
Suitable for Babies up to 18kg, Birth to 4 years approximately.
Ideal car seats if you do not have to constantly remove them from car to car or car to home. They are a much larger seat designed to protect your baby from newborn to 4 years approximately. The car seat is used rearward facing when using for a baby up to 9kgs. The car seat can be used forward facing once the baby has reached 9 to 13kg weight. Baby does not have to be forward facing until they are 13 kgs. It is important to check that this style of child car seat is compatible with your vehicle when fitted forward And rearward facing. You must never leave baby asleep unattended in any car.
Forward-facing child seat
Group 1: for children weighing 9-18 kgs (20-40 lbs) approximately from 9 months - 4 years. Once a child has outgrown a rearwards facing seat, the best option is to use a Group 1 seat with an integral harness, the large area of the harness helps to reduce the risk of injury if there is a crash. The bottom attachment between the legs will also prevent the child from sliding under, and out of the harness. They can be used in the front or rear of the car but it is safer to put them in the rear especially if there is a passenger airbag in the front.Once again it is safest to keep children in this type of car seat until they have outgrown it. Only move your child to a booster seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the child seat or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat. If you intend to use this car seat between two cars please ensure that the model of car seat purchased is suitable for both cars. It maybe simpler to purchase two seats each one fitting the car perfectly rather than buying one seat which may not fit either car perfectly as great care is needed to follow the seat belt routing and tighten well. They can also be car specific for correct fitting and not every child seat fits every car.
With this in mind it maybe worth checking out ISOFIXfitting car seats. This is a system that is intended to make fitting child seats quick and simple. All new cars are manufactured with ISOFIX points built into them allowing ISOFIX child seats to be simply plugged into the ISOFIX points in the car. This is a very useful development as many people find it difficult to fit child seats correctly and many surveys have found that a high proportion of the child seats are not fitted securely enough. Most child seats are currently designed to be fitted by using a car's adult lap and diagonal seat belt (or sometimes, just a lap belt). However car seats, seat belts and their anchorages vary dramatically between different models of cars. Car seats have different shapes, some seat belts are much shorter than others, the position of the anchor points differs so some are further forward or have shorter stalks than others. All these factors make it virtually impossible to make a child car seat that fits all cars and sometimes tricky to fit a child car seat correctly.
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