On many occasions we have discussed the importance of completely reviewing or even replacing the child restraint system if we have had an accident -. Even though they do not necessarily appear to be damaged, both the child car seat and the anchors can indeed be compromised although it is not discernible to the naked eye. The car's ISOFIX anchors should be checked, as should the seat belts, given that since they have been involved in an accident they could have been detrimentally affected, particularly in the case of serious road accidents.
Speed and weight are two important factors we should take into account. We should not forget that the weight of objects and of people is multiplied in accordance with the speed at which you are traveling and the kind of collision. For example, at 60 km/h, a child's weight can be multiplied by 56. A child that weighs 12kg, at the moment of the collision, can weigh up to 672kg.
ISOFIX anchors are designed to react at extreme speeds. The anchors are welded onto the vehicle's chassis and they withstand far more than the child car seats. Nevertheless, nothing is foolproof and it is advisable to have them checked by experts in these types of anchors before using them again if they were tethering a child car seat with a young child in it at the moment of impact. The manufacturers recommend reviewing the child car seat if it has been involved in a collision at a speed over 10-20 km/h. Ideally, the anchors should also be checked, by taking the vehicle to it manufacturers.
We will recall that the main purpose of the ISOFIX anchorages system is to avoid errors in the fitting of the child car seat, which usually occurs when using the seat belts. Correct anchorage is extremely important. Without it, the main purpose of the child car seat is lost and it would not protect the minor, as it would not be holding the CRS, and therefore the child, in place. Its use is so important that it is compulsory for all vehicles manufactured since February 2013 to incorporate this type of anchor for at least two seats.
The ISOFIX anchors can withstand the retention strength required by a mass of up to 37kg, as specified in ISO standard 1326-1 . Therefore in non-integrated seats the seat belt must also hold children (Group 2 and 3).
There is no need to calculate how much weight the ISOFIX anchors can support given that we should always be guided by the instructions of the child car seat in question. It is the manufacturers who must determine up to what point an ISOFIX anchor can carry the weight of the child car seat and that of the child. For this reason it is also very important to replace the CRS when the child exceeds the maximum weight limit established: the child will not be as well-protected because he or she will not be in the car seat corresonding to his or her weight and height. Furthermore, the ISOFIX anchor may no longer be able to restrain the child and it may be necessary to use a combined anchorage system or directly use a seat belt. Here you can take a look at some of the anchorage systems currently on the market.
The specifications and the tests to which the ISOFIX anchorages system is subjected can be found in Regulation no. 14 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe of the (UN ECE) - Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to safety-belt anchorages, the ISOFIX anchorages systems, ISOFIX top tether anchorages and i-Size car seats.