To use a child seat in Spain it must be approved. To obtain this approval the manufactures must use an accredited laboratory to certify that it fulfills all the requirements necessary. This analysis of the safety of child restraint systems includes testing in a head-on crash at 50km/hr. and rear smashes at 30km/hr., testing the harness buckle, analyzing the design of the seat, resistance to fire and corrosion, toxicity of any of its components, etc. Apart from those seats that comply with the new technical norm UNECE R129, which are still very few, most comply with the norm UNECE R44/04,2 which is the majority of them and so are no subjected to any lateral impact testing, making any seat offering this type of protection more desirable.
The MAPRE FOUNDATION strongly recommends that for the safety of our young ones, that you don’t use child safety seats that are not equipped with lateral protection. To find out which models are available, we would direct you towards independent studies such as those carried out by European automobile clubs such as RACE OR RACC and that take into account this test, necessary for child safety.
The latest Report on the Safety of Child Restraining Systems (CRS) analyses the safety of seats costing under 70 euros and some of the results are alarming: of the 11 seats from all groups subjected to the testing only one was rated as good, 4 reached an acceptable level and the other 6 were rated as very bad. Of these, 2 didn’t pass the head-on test and 4 didn’t pass the lateral testing. Also after close inspection it was noted that many of the apparent variety of seats on the market were practically identical although sold under different brand names. If that wasn’t enough, the majority of cheaper seats are sold on-line with a lack of information and guidance on their correct use and installation
The first conclusions are quite straightforward: if buying a cheaper seat take every precaution and find out as much as possible about it before buying. On our website we have a table of comparisons of seats with ratings taken over the last few years for every group of child seats. Whenever possible buy one with a minimum rating of very satisfactory or very good. Only the seats offering good protection against head-on or lateral collisions and that are easy to use achieve these ratings.
The regulations state that every child under twelve travelling in a vehicle must have a corresponding approved system of restraint suited to both weight and height. Although Price is an important factor when choosing a model of child seat we must ensure that the one selected offers the best protection available.
Your safety HAS NO PRICE.