At MAPFRE FOUNDATION we would like to examine this topic, analyzing the different groups of devices divided up according to the age and weight of the children. It is worth remembering that the age is a guideline but weight must ALWAYS be within that permitted for each of the groups.
The seats, carrycots and maxi-cosi’s in group 0 y 0+, are used for babies up to 18 months or up to 13 kilos (10 kilos for group 0 and 13 kilos for group 0+). It is imperative that a seat (egg type) is placed in a backward facing direction. This offers enormous protection to the neck and the head, the most delicate parts
Group I includes systems suitable for children between 9 and 18 kilos, more or less to 3 or 4 years old. It is recommended that seats in this group should be used backward facing so reducing the risk of serious injury. The seats in this group can be fixed into the vehicle using either the seatbelts of the ISOFIX system.
Group II, is made up of systems designed for children between 15 and 25 kilos and around 6 years of age. The children in this case are seated on their seats and restrained by the car seatbelt.
Lastly, the CRS’s for children between 22 and 36 kilos or around 12 years of age, are part of group III. Here the children travel on their own seat using the car seatbelt; this accustoms the child to always using a seatbelt. As in group II, the belt must be correctly adjusted over the collarbone and the hips (not over the tummy and the neck or arm).
Features of the CRS’s
The system of child restraint include various devices to help with child safety, each one with it’s own job.
To fix the seat to the vehicle you can use either the car seatbelt or the ISOFIX system if it’s included. This anchoring system counts on 3 fixing points, two in the back of the seat and another either underneath or on the floor, using a support leg. ISOFIX seat are recommended for easy installation and better protection in an accident.
The harnesses are to keep the child safely in the seat. To achieve maximum security they must be correctly adjusted so the child is tightly supported in the seat and cannot get their arms out from the harness.
Lastly, there are other systems in existence, which are specific to the manufacturer. Before buying a child seat check that it is certified, complying with the EU directive ECE R44/04 and carries the corresponding orange sticker. This indicates that it has passed certain safety tests and provides good protection to the child. As always, we at MAPFRE FOUDATION remind you that safety comes first.