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What approval do seats for children with special needs require?

 What approval do seats for children with special needs require?

29/01/2016

Although a normal child seat and one for a child with special needs should comply with the same norms, its specific use means that it will have specific characteristics in certain aspects in order to adapt to the different physical conditions or behavior which the children may exhibit.

At the time we presented you with computer graphics summarizing the main differences between a conventional and a special child seat. Today however we will detail other important aspects.

Regulations applicable to special seats:

The regulations applicable to a seat for children with special needs are the same as those for a conventional seat. That is European Regulation ECE R44/04 Economic Commission for Europe 2008], which defines the retention system for children with special needs as follows:

"Special retention system: infant retention system designed for children with special needs due to a physical or mental disability;specifically, this system enables the fitting of additional retention devices on any part of the child's body, but it should include at least one main means of retention which complies with the requirements of this Regulation".

In accordance with this same ECE R44/04 Regulation, when it comes to approving a child seat for children with special needs, it will be taken into account that the differences with regard to conventional seats will be as follows:

  • The approval label should include the "S" symbol
  • The main retention system, on its own account, should guarantee the required level of protection in any of the retention system's positions, regardless of the fact that there may be additional positions.
  • The additional systems may reduce the speed with which the child is placed in or removed from the child seat, but the must be designed in such a way that they reduce as much as possible the time taken for this.
  • The additional systems must be secure against incorrect assembly in addition to being able to be opened and manipulated intuitively by a rescuer in case of emergency.
  • Dynamic tests will first be carried out on the main retention system and then with all the additional systems active, paying special attention to the pressure they apply on the body of the child.
  • The requirements regarding the buckle for closure only apply to the main retention system. The following should be visible at the sales point and before the seat is removed from its packaging: "This retention system for special needs has been designed to offer additional support for children who have difficulties in sitting correctly in conventional child seats. Always consult your doctor to ensure that this retention system is suitable for your child".

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