How to choose a child car seat

The right choice is a matter of the health of the child. Traveling with a baby will be much more enjoyable if you do not have to worry about his safety.

How to choose a child car seat – weight groups

Focus on the weight of the baby and his age, weight is the main criterion. Child car seats are divided into five main criteria:

Group 1 0   for infants weighing less than 10 kg

2nd group 0+ for infants – weighing less than 13 kg

3rd group I for children – weighing from 9 to 18 kg

4th group II  – from 15 to 25 kg

5th group III  – from 22 to 36 kg

The baby car seat for newborns comes with additional protection to prevent the head from shaking during the trip. It should also have an internal five-point harness, which prevents the crumbs from being thrown out during heavy braking.

All quality child seats are approved by ECE or European Safety Certification and are designated as “ECE R44”. This means that the product complies with the technical requirements applicable in Europe.

How to choose a car seat – crash tests

Independent consumer organizations such as ADAC and ANWB regularly test child car seats for safety. A model that meets the requirements of high standards receives five stars, which is indicated in the description.

If you do not see this information, it is likely that the chair failed the crash test or did not score enough points. The test is carried out every year and a model that has not shown its best performance may improve in a year, since it is beneficial for the manufacturer to improve the quality of his product.

Test results can be found online, for example here .

The number of stars does not give an accurate answer to the child’s level of protection. Two different models with the same rating may differ in terms of safety details. Be sure to check the test results, despite the fame of the manufacturer.

Check vehicle compatibility

Each child car seat has recommendations for use in a particular car brand. Try to install the selected model in your vehicle immediately before purchase to make sure that the seat belts are not too short for this purpose.

If this is the case, ask the seller if the model allows you to use a different mounting method. When it is not possible to check immediately, ask the seller which cars are suitable. After the purchase, do not throw away the receipt, it will come in handy if the device does not fit.

How to choose the right car seat – with a base or not

The base is a plastic structure that is installed on the seat of the car, after which the car seat is attached to it. The advantage of the base is that the chair can be easily removed and installed without the use of belts.

This feature allows you to take the baby out of the car with the chair without waking him. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the correct installation. it always takes the right position.

Recommended: child car seat – safety rules

The reliability of such an attachment has been confirmed by tests, but at the same time, crash tests have shown minimal differences in safety between correctly installed car seats on the base and on it. The structure is attached in two ways – using belts or the isofix system.

Isofix system 

If the car has Isofix, you should choose a child car seat for this system. The option allows fast and secure mounting without straps. The use of the mount is possible until the child gains 18 kg, then the system serves as an auxiliary fastener and its connection is not necessary.

isofix system

Is it possible to choose a used child car seat

Buying a used one is strongly discouraged. Outwardly, everything looks attractive, but inside there may be microcracks, which in the event of an accident will lead to tragedy. In addition, a model made more than two years ago does not guarantee an adequate level of safety, since today’s child car seat is more perfect.

Finally, the third reason is the aging of plastic, for example, from exposure to UV radiation, which negatively affects the quality.

How to choose the right car seat for your child – video