What should you look for when buying a child car seat?
How do you ensure that it meets all the latest safety standards? What should you not overlook? All these and even more in a must-read tutorial for new (and not so new) parents.
1. Check if the seat you want to buy is compatible with the latest safety standards! Opt for i-Size seats, currently considered the safest in the world, with improved head and neck protection compared to car seats that meet the basic standards ECE R44 / 04. In fact, all previous-generation car seats are slowly giving way to the new i-Size seats, which comply with the European Union's standard for greater child safety in the car.
2. Find the right size! If you choose an i-Size compliant seat (as mentioned in the first tip), then remember that the right seat is about your child's height, not its weight. So measure correctly how tall your little passenger is. Seats are usually divided into the following height categories:
For a baby with a height of 45-75 cm (the seat will cover you for a newborn baby up to about one year old)
-For a baby or infant with a height of 45-105 cm (the seat will cover you from birth to about 4 years old)
-For a baby or infant with a height of 61-105 cm (this seat will cover you if your child is between 9 months and 4 years old)
-For a child 100-150 cm tall (this seat will cover you if your child is between 3.5 and 12 years old)
*If you do not choose an i-Size, but a standard R44 seat, you will use the weight (not the height) of your baby as a guide.
3. Make sure it's right for your car!
Newer cars have ISOFIX (special slots built into the rear seats), while some older models do not. If your car doesn't have ISOFIX points, don't worry: you simply need to choose a seat that is held in place using your car's seat belt system.
If your car has ISOFIX points, any car seat with either an ISOFIX connection or a seat belt attachment will fit. Remember that ISOFIX combined with an i-Size seat is the safest system currently available.
4.Focus on the design but also on the special features! The design of a child seat is not only a matter of aesthetic excellence. It is first and foremost a matter of safety and comfort. Does the seat you are considering choosing provide adequate lateral protection? Does it provide technologies that protect the neck and head? Does it have different recall positions? Does it have an extra cushion insert for infants? These are all specifications you can consider.
5. See the materials of construction! In Greece, where we have relatively high temperatures most of the year, it is important that fabrics are comfortable and cool, as well as provide adequate ventilation. In addition to the classic fabrics, there are also more sophisticated fabrics such as bamboo that contribute to maximum comfort even in the hottest months. Also make sure that the fabric is durable, removable and washable.
*We thank Maxi-Cosi, the leader in the world of child seats and other baby products, for the advice provided. Maxi-Cosi has transported more than 50 million newborns from the maternity hospital to their home for the first time and is the first company to develop a car seat, continuing to pioneer every stage of child seat development.