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TIPS on how to upgrade a child car seat and choose the most appropriate seat for your child's needs

TIPS on how to upgrade your child car seat and choose the most appropriate seat for your child's needs


The time has come to change your child car seat and you are not sure what to look for or what you should take into account in order to choose the most appropriate seat for your child. In ‘Children's Road Safety’ we provide you with a number of recommendations to help you make this important decision.

We know that it is time to change to a new seat when the child's head extends above the headrest or when the child exceeds the maximum weight indicated for the CRS in question. We also have to change the seat when it has been damaged in a traffic accident or due to sudden braking, or simply because over time it has deteriorated.

Not all children require the same child seats and the child restraint system that is ideal for one child may not be right for yours. That is why it is so important to take into account a series of factors.

1. Wich approval are we going to choose: weight or height

Generally speaking, we should always upgrade to a superior child car seat. Firstly we should decide if we want a child restraint system approved under R44/04 standard or ECE R129 (i-Size).

Under the first standard, we have to consider, above all, the weight of the child, while in the second it is the height that counts. R129 is slowly substituting R44, as well as offering greater protection in side impacts. Therefore, if possible, it would be a good idea to choose a seat approved under this standard. If we choose a child car seat which is guided by weight, we should bear in mind that there is no problem with continuing to use them, given that both standards are currently in force and they can be used.

For example, if we have a CRS from Group 0 or 0+ (from 0 to 13kg of weight, up to approximately 1 year old) we will need to look at child car seats from Group I, namely, child restraint systems from 9 to 18kg of weight, from approximately 8 months to 3 or 4 years old) or convertible child car seats, i.e. those which can be used in Groups 1, 2 and 3. If we are looking for a child car seat under ECE R129, we will have to find a CRS from 45 cm to 105 cm. Take a look at all child car seats here.

Important: There are currently a number of external crash tests being carried out on the market. Nevertheless, we should know that if the seat has the corresponding approval it is because it has exceeded the minimum safety requirements.

2. ISOFIX system or seat belt

We should consider whether we want the child car seat to be secured with the ISOFIX system or with a seat belt. There is also a combination system for the larger child car seats.

We should first check that our vehicle does indeed have ISOFIX anchors. We can find this information in the vehicle's documents or we can look for the logo or the word ISOFIX inside the vehicle.

Next we need to choose a CRS with ISOFIX that can be fitted in the car. We will come across child car seats that can be fitted in all vehicles (universal seats) or those which can only be anchored in certain vehicles (semi-universal seats).

If we pick a child car seat with a seat belt, it is extremely important to follow all of the steps in order not to make a mistake when installing it.The best option is to find a specialised store where they can let you try the child car seat and can offer advice on how to fit it in the car properly.

Take a look at our advice on how to install the seat and secure the child in it.

3. The child's comfort

This is a very important point. The child will be spending a considerable amount of time in the child car seat and it is of paramount importance that they are comfortable. When we try out the child car seat in the store, we should put the child in it to see if the child will be in the right position, if the child car seat has reducers in the case of very young children, if it is well padded, if it has special covers for summer and if the booster has a backrest

Learn about the most important components of a child restraint system here.

Take a look at our advice on how to choose the best child car seat.

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