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Choosing the right car seat for you and your child is difficult with so many factors to consider including your vehicle, your lifestyle, the age of your child and the law. To help you make the right choice we offer a comprehensive range of car seats and bases from the brands you trust and we are always on hand with the right impartial advice. We are also an authorised car seat fitting centre for your peace of mind.
At Baby Nest we offer the finest car seats and bases from Maxi Cosi, BeSafe, BabyStyle, kiddy and Brittax. Every seat in our collection conforms to the required United Nations ECE safety regulations (Unece Logo i-Size for I-Size seats). The right seat for you and your child will be in our collection and the following information should help you to decide which model that is.
In the UK children must travel in a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cms tall. Small babies (up to 9kgs) must travel in rear facing seats and these should not be fitted to the front seat of the car if an active airbag is present. Children must weigh at least 22kgs to use a booster seat.
These provide greater protection for the child's head, neck and spine than forward facing styles and so it is best to keep your child in a rear facing seat for as long as possible. The rear facing seat groups are as follows:
Group 0 seats are for babies up to 10KG in weight (roughly 0 to 6 months) and allow the baby to lie flat.
Group 0+ are for babies up to 13kg (roughly from birth to 12-15 months).
Dual fix 0 and 1 Group 0+ & 1 for babies and toddlers up to 18 kg (roughly from birth to 4 years). Some can be turned into a forward facing position when the child has reached an appropriate weight.
Forward facing car seats can be used in the rear or the front of the car but are safer in the rear especially if your vehicle has an airbag. Keep your kids in this type of seat until they have outgrown it as booster seats provide less protection. The forward facing groups are as follows:
Group 1 are for toddlers weighing 9-18 kg (roughly from 9 months - 4 years). Here the internal harness keeps the child firmly in their seat if there is an impact, and spreads the force of that impact. Side impact wings also provide protection and the harness can be adjusted as the child grows.
Group 1, 2 & 3 are for toddlers and children from 9 to 36 kg (roughly from 9 months to 12 years). Here the child uses the seat's harness until they are around 15 kg and then uses the car's seat belt, which secures the child and the seat. These seats last longer because they can be adjusted as your youngster grows.
Car seats, seat belts and anchor points can vary between vehicles. Seats have different angles and shapes and some seat belts are longer than others. All this can make finding an appropriate seat and fitting it quite difficult. IsoFix is a system which aims to simplify things and where standardised fitting points are built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture. A top tether point or support leg is used to prevent the seat rotating during an impact.
You can check your own vehicle, its handbook or the manufacturer's website to see if IsoFix fitting points are present. You may also find a list of seats which are compatible with your car.
UNECE logo i-Size is the new European standard for child car seats. i-Size seats will fit every i-Size approved vehicle and the cars will need to be i-Size compliant to achieve the maximum Euro NCAP rating. These new regulations offer children greater protection and currently run alongside the existing 44.04 legislation. I-Size regulations require greater support for the child's head and neck as well as improved protection from both frontal and side impacts. I-Size seats are classified by a child's length and height rather than by weight. i-Size seats can be used in most vehicles which have IsoFix fittings. At the moment only rear facing models are available but forward facing styles will be added in the future.
To find the right seat it is crucial to consider the law, the size of your child and the specifics of your vehicle. Think about the passengers you carry as a tall person in the front could mean that there will not be enough room behind to fit some seat models.
It is also important to think about your lifestyle and how often you will actually be using the car seat. If you travel often and will be faced with moving the seat in and out of the car all the time then a lightweight model or seat with a base that remains permanently in the vehicle could really help. Consider the various seat groups and how long each type of seat will be usable as your child grows. Take a look at your options and carefully consider the benefits of each individual model to find the one that best suits your needs.
Whatever you do, never purchase a second hand seat as you do not know its history and its safety could be compromised. Older seats may be missing the labelling which identifies the safety standards they adhere to and you may not have the instructions available.
We are committed to helping you find the right car seat for your vehicle and your child in order to provide the maximum levels of safety. If you have any questions then please do contact our friendly, expert team who will always be happy to help and you are very welcome to visit our Croydon Store where we can fit your chosen seat for you!