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Should I change the child car seat at the start of a new school year?

Should I change the child car seat at the start of a new school year?

04/09/2017

New class, new uniform, new school materials, clothes worn for the first time...Should I purchase a new child restraint system for the new school year? Starting a new school year does not mean you should automatically change the child car seat. In order to know if it is time to change the seat, two factors should be taken into account: size and weight.

To find out whether or not you should change the child restraint system you should first check if the one currently being used is too small for the child. In order to do so, check if the child can be properly placed in the child car seat. You must make sure that their head does not extend beyond the headrest or backrest.

If we are using a child car seat in any of the available groups, it means that it is approved by the European R44/04 safety standard. In this case, the child's weight is what should be taken into account. These are the maximum weights for each of the different groups:

  • Group 0 and 0+: Up to approximately 13 kg.
  • Group 1: from approximately 9 kg to 18 kg.
  • Groups 2 and 3: from approximately 15 kg to 36 kg.

Check which group the seat you are using is in, weigh your child and make sure that they are within these ranges. If they are not, it is time to move to a child car seat in a higher group or one which goes by height instead of weight (I-size).  If the child weighs more than the weight indicated by the manufacturer, this means that the seat no longer guarantees maximum safety for your child in the event of an accident.

However, we can continue to use a child restraint system approved under the R-129 (i-Size) safety standard. In this case, we should be guided by the child's height in order to know whether the child car seat we are using is the right one for our child. We should also check our child's height and the height range allowed for the seat we have.

We will come across child car seats on the market from 40 to 75 cm, from 45 to 83 or 85 cm, from 61 to 105 cm, and from 45 to 105 cm. As long as we check that the child continues to be within the ranges specified we can continue using the CRS safely. If the child is not within the ranges specified, we will have to purchase a new child restraint adapted to their needs and taking into account their weight or height.

Take a look at our recommendations on how to choose the best CRS.

Check out our infographic on how to find the best CRS:

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