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Buying The Right Car Seat For Your Child

Buying The Right Car Seat For Your Child

The task of finding the right car seat for your child might seem daunting. There are so many different options, price ranges – not to mention bells and whistles. But when it comes down to it, all that really matters is your child’s safety. So where to begin?

It’s important to start out by knowing that your child must use a child car seat that’s appropriate for his weight in any vehicle that he travels in – whether he is sitting in the front or the back. Experts agree that keeping your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible is ideal, which usually means until he is just over a year old.

Legally, rear-facing baby seats mustn’t be used in a seat that’s protected by a front airbag, unless the airbag has been deactivated. Ideally, your child should be sat in the back seat, however if this is not possible it is important to take every precaution necessary when using the front seat. Forward-facing child seats may only be placed in a front seat with an airbag after checking that it’s safe to do so. This information can usually be found in your car’s handbook.

Until your child is 135cm tall (about 4ft 5in) or 12 years, your child must use the correct car seat or booster seat. It is illegal for a child who is under 135cm (4ft 5in) tall or under 12 years to use an adult seatbelt.

Child restraints are designed for specific weight ranges, so it is important to start by weighing your child. There are different categories of car seats suitable for different age ranges. Those that meet European safety regulations will have an E and 44.03/44.04 or .03/.04 on the label, meaning they meet European safety regulations, and the group number, or weight range of child, for which it is designed. Though this may vary from one manufacturer to another, they tend to follow these standard guidelines:

GROUP 0 AND GROUP 0+:rear-facing infant carriers for children up to 10kg and up to 13kg respectively (from birth to nine or 12 months).

Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix Baby Car Seat

Price: £135.00

Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix Baby Car Seat

The popular Maxi Cosi Cabriofix is suitable for babies from birth until they reach a maximum weight of 13kg/29lbs (approx 12-15 months). It features Side Impact technology for optimal protection to ensure baby’s safety in the event of a side on collision. This seat features an innovative stay-open harness which allows you to easily place baby in the seat; and using the one pull adjustment you can ensure it has the correct tension. As baby grows the harness and headrest can be altered to ensure that they are always positioned correctly.

FEATURES

  • Suitable from birth to maximum weight of 13kg
  • Installed using the vehicle’s seat belt, or with a Maxi-Cosi base
  • Compatible with a wide range of pushchairs to form a travel system
  • Side impace protection system offers optimal protection, integrated sun canoy, harness belt retention hooks and an ergonomic handle
  • Weight: 3.25kg
  • Dimensions: D71.5 x W45 x H39 cm

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GROUP 1:forward-facing child seats for children 9kg to 18kg (about nine months to four years).

Britax Eclipse Car Seat – Black Thunder

Price: £79.99

Britax Eclipse Car Seat - Black Thunder

A favourite among mums, the Britax Eclipse features deep, soft padded side wings which provide optimum side impact protection, plus a unique pitch control system to prevent your child experiencing any forward movement in the event of a collision. Slim design makes this a great choice for smaller cars and the 5 point safety harness can be adjusted in height as your child grows. Additionally, this chair reclines to an impressive 5 different positions, from upright to a more laid back mode for sleeping children.

FEATURES

  • Suitable for children from 9kg to a maximum weight 18kg
  • Side imapct protection
  • Multiple recline positions
  • Slim base to fit smaller vehicles
  • Installed using either a 3 point seat belt or a 2 point lap belt
  • Washable covers
  • Weight: 7.3kg
  • Dimensions: D58 x W43 x H66 cm

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GROUP 2 and 3:booster seats and cushions for children from 15kg to 25kg (about four to six years) and from 22kg and up to 36kg (about six to 12 years). Many models in these groups can be modified to accommodate your child as he grows.

Cybex Solution Q Fix Car Seat

Price: £190.00

Cybex Solution Q Fix Car Seat

The Cybex Solution Q Fix car seat is designed to see your toddler through to 36kg (around 12 years of age), featuring an integrated height and width adjustment. The seat can grow up to 8 cm in width and up to 20 cm in height, so your child is equally protected as the seat grows with them. This popular seat is also designed with Cybex’s patented reclining headrest, keeping your child’s head in a safe position and preventing their heads from tipping forwards when they are asleep.

FEATURES

  • Suitable from 15 – 36kg
  • Optimsed recliing headrest
  • Automatic height and width adjustment
  • Air ventilation system
  • Linear side-impact protection plus system
  • Recliing backrest
  • Soft padded seat
  • ISOFIX connect system
  • Weight: 7.1kg
  • Dimensions: D41 x W53 x H62 cm

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Be sure to watch this informative Which? video for a detailed guide on buying the right child car seat for you. Learn about the important factors to consider and how to make sure it properly fits your car and lifestyle.

[For more articles, see our Useful Articles]