Coming up with safer child restraint systems is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for child car seat manufacturers. The latest innovation comes from Bébé Confort and the AxissFix Air child car seat. It is the world's first child car seat with built-in airbags designed to reduce the jerking forces exerted on the child's neck in a collision.
This manufacturer of child restraint systems assures us that these built-in airbags are the future of safety standards for forward-facing child car seats. Why do they think this? It is down to the greater protection they offer one of the most vulnerable parts of the young child in comparison with other forward-facing child car seats. In fact, the manufacturer informs us that this specific model more than halves the forces exerted on the child's neck.
The child seat boasts ‘Safety technology’. In a collision the two airbags on the shoulder pads of the harness inflate in 0.05 seconds, thereby reducing the forces exerted on the child's neck by up to 55% compared with other forward-facing child car seats. The airbags automatically deflate 1 second after the collision.
The AxissFix Air seat is approved under R-129 (i-Size) for children from 61 to 105 centimetres tall, from approximately 4 months to 4 years old and with a maximum weight of 19 kilograms. It is rear-facing from 61 to 87 cm (from approximately 4 months to 2 years old) and forward-facing from 76 to 105 cm tall (from 15 months up to 4 years old). It is installed with ISOFIX anchors and Top Tether.
As pointed out by Iván Chica, Marketing Director for Spain and Portugal at Bébé Confort , in statements to ‘Children's Road Safety’, the young child will not suffer from burns at any point since the airbag air is cold and inflates in the direction of travel. Therefore it will not cause friction burn. Unlike adult airbags, they cushion the child but do not restrain them. They do not inflate towards the face but instead in the direction of the car's movement.
Although Bébé Confort continues to defend the use of rear-facing child restraint systems for as long as possible (up to a minimum of 4 years old), this child seat is 'the safest option after a rear-facing CRS,' according to Iván Chica.
In fact, it is aimed especially at children that cannot travel in a rear-facing child seat, either because they cry or suffer from motion sickness. It is also designed for families with smaller, or more compact cars , or with other lifestyles. The Marketing Director assures us that it is a 'very compact child car seat without a support leg and which uses Top Tether, therefore it occupies a lot less space and can be installed in a number of cars, unlike rear-facing child car seats, especially long lasting ones, which require more vehicle space'. He also adds that although it continues to be safer to use a rear-facing child car seat, the outcomes achieved with this new forward-facing seat are fairly comparable.
As we already know, you should replace the child car seat if it has been involved in an accident and suffered a violent blow since it may no longer be able to provide the best safety possible. For this seat and others on the market, the manufacturer offers a 10-year guarantee. In the event of a crash the child seat will be replaced with a new one, meaning that if you have a crash and the child seat's airbags are activated, Bébé Confort will replace your seat.
This is how it works: