car seat guide 2
Now for some boring terminology, but more often than not it's the most confusing part, the new i-Size laws. The R129 (commonly known as i-Size) laws provide a new standard for car seats to meet.
The big changes are that car seat age recommendations are based on height, rather than weight. This ensures that your child stays in the car seat for the correct length of time, and that they are not put into the next stage car seat too early. It also tests for side impact collision. They recommend rear facing car seats, with your baby having to sit rearward to 15 months. Finally, there is strong emphasis on the use of an ISOFIX to install your car seat.
Currently the i-Size car seat laws run in tandem with the old R44/04 standards. The best way to think about these laws is that the old R44/04 is a safe car seat, while the new i-Size car seat is safer. These 2 car seat laws currently run in tandem with one another, so you can choose to use an i-Size of a R44/04 car seat.
In the future R44/04 car seats will not be able to be sold via retailers, and then even further in the forward they will not be allowed for use. Eventually only i-Size car seats will be the only car seat you can place your child in. We predict that it may also become law to keep your child in a car seat that is installed with an ISOFIX and not a seat belt - due to it's higher correct installation rate.
We don't have dates for any of this available though and some of it may change in the future.
Now that the laws are out of the way, let's focus on the ISOFIX.
With the invention of the ISOFIX it has revolutionised the way car seats are installed to your car. An ISOFIX offers a solid, permanent connection to your car, some such as the BeSafe iZi Modular ISOFIX have a green/red light indicator and beeper - indicating to you if the ISOFIX has been correctly installed. With the ISOFIX, installing your car seat is very easy, all you have to do is click it into place.
Maxi-Cosi performed a test with their 2wayFamilyFix Base and found that parents who used the ISOFIX installed the car seat correctly 96% of the time, whereas with a seat belt was installed 2/10 times. Some ISOFIX can take multiple car seats, such as the Maxi-Cosi 2WayFamilyFix Base, which is compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus and Maxi-Cosi 2WayPearl. All ISOFIX are only compatible with their brand, you cannot use a Kiddy car seat with a BeSafe ISOFIX.
Not only does the ISOFIX prevent incorrect installation, it also greatly speeds it up. If you park on the wrong side of the road, installation with a seat belt may take a while and standing in the road may be stressful. The ISOFIX allows you to click on and click off your car seat. Much easier for everyone. Our video below, will show how easy it is to install the Kiddy ISOFIX Base 2. Other ISOFIX's will install in a similar manner.
Finally, most infant carriers are shaped to have 2 points of contact. This can put a lot of pressure on your car interior and cause damage to the seats. The wider base of an ISOFIX provides a larger surface area, so the pressure is spread out.
Though an ISOFIX is not for everyone, we believe that it will soon become a necessity for the modern parent.