The summer is coming to an end and the start of the school season is upon us. We need to prepare the books, the school supplies and, often, buy new clothes. As we know, children can have considerable growth spurts in a short space of time such as a single summer. It is undoubtedly a good moment to check that the child's car seat is not only still suitable for their height and or weight but that its characteristics are still intact.
A new academic year does not necessarily mean you need to change the child car seat. Throughout the year you should be regularly checking that the child has not exceeded the limits established by the child seat in question. However, going back to school can serve as a reminder of how important it is to check this point frequently and it is clearly a good time to do so, especially if we find that the child's clothing is no longer big enough for them.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE CHECKING FOR WITH OUR CRS?
-We should check that the child restraint system is in good condition and has not been adversely affected over the summer, that the sun and the heat have not affected any of its main components and that it has not been involved in a road accident or suffered from a sharp braking. Bear in mind that the damage is often internal and may not be clearly visible. Many manufacturers recommend replacing the seat once it is over six years old or if it has been involved in a accident with an impact speed of over 10-20 km/h.
-Check that the child does not exceed the maximum weight indicated by the child car seat, if it is approved under the R44/04 standard, or the height indicated if it is approved under the R-129 (i-Size) standard. One way of knowing if the child car seat is too small for the child is if their head extends beyond the headrest and this cannot be adjusted to the child's height.
You should also take into account that age cannot be the determining factor when deciding if the child seat is suitable or not. It can serve as a guiding factor but never the determining one. Two children of the same age do not necessarily measure the same.
Therefore, if a child exceeds the maximum weight or height recommended for the child car seat, you should consider using a larger CRS which is appropriate for the height and weight of the child. This is the only way of guaranteeing that the child will be traveling safely.