I need to purchase a child restraint system for my child. Do I need to take into account the age or model year of my car when I buy a new car seat? What do I need to be aware of, and why? And what if I am going to buy a new car? Let's take a look at each of these questions.
Traditionally, when buying a new car, attention has always been paid to features such as air conditioning, six airbags, a sun roof, or a built-in navigation system on the dashboard, but for those who have just become (or are about to become) parents, the priorities are different.
Your biggest concern, of course, is safety. Your own safety and especially that of your child. You no longer care so much about the color of the car, but rather how well it handles and how it minimizes the risk of accidents or unexpected mishaps.
Cars have undergone notable developments in recent years, and safety is no exception. All passive and active safety elements are better designed and implemented than ever before.
But child car seats present a special challenge. New questions pop up every day in your quest to find the best option. And just being the correct option isn't enough; you want the very best for your child. But there are a lot of factors that come into play. One of these, for example, is the age of the car.
ARE ALL CARS COMPATIBLE WITH THE NEW CHILD CAR SEATS?
Perhaps you are about to become a parent, or just became one. In this case, you will undoubtedly want to get a restraint system with Isofix. We recommend you chose the seat that's the safest and that best meets your needs. We do not advise using a second-hand CRS, since you don't know what it has been through: if it has undergone an impact, if it has been involved in an accident, or how it has been used...Please see the article: Can I use a second-hand Child Restraint System?
So far so good, but what about the car? Your car might be a few years old, but you should still be able to travel with your child with no problem. Just as you have done until now. If the car is older, it might not be equipped with the Isofix restraint system.
SINCE WHEN HAVE CARS BEEN REQUIRED TO HAVE ISOFIX?
In the year 2014, the Isofix system became mandatory on cars designed for four or more passengers. And the system must be built into at least the two side positions on the second row.
IS THIS SYSTEM REALLY THAT EFFECTIVE?
Yes, because it does a better job by fixing the seat to the structure of the vehicle, using rigid anchor points located between the backrest and the seat of the car. But that's not all; it is also fast and easy to install.
In terms of numbers, the Isofix system can reduce serious injuries suffered by small children in the event of an accident by up to 22 percent.
WHAT IF MY CAR DOESN'T HAVE THIS SYSTEM BECAUSE IT IS TOO OLD?
No problem. As previously mentioned, many generations of children have ridden in cars without this system.
With the traditional system, the child restraint system is fixed to the car seat using the seat belt, but you must use a child car seat with two anchor points. This is something that you need to keep in mind when you buy a new CRS.
CAN I BUY WHATEVER SEAT I WANT?
No, it depends on what car you have. It must be standardized for your vehicle because, although that system is mandatory for certain types of cars, the manufacturers have not yet come to an agreement to standardize the fastening points. This is not the case with universal car seats.
In spite of everything, most seats with Isofix are standardized for fastening with vehicle's three-point seat belt.
The age of a car can, in fact, affect the choice of a car seat for your child, especially when the time comes to install it.
We recommend that you use this infogram to make sure that the child seat is properly fastened, based on the fastening system involved: