The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

What to consider when choosing the next stage car seat?

What to consider when choosing the next stage car seat?

Life as a new parent comes with lots of challenges, including choosing car seats! Before you know it, your little one is starting to look a little big for his/her first stage seat. So, is it time to move up to a bigger seat? Should you choose a forward or rear-facing seat? What do you need to consider?


When is the infant carrier outgrown? 


Firstly, check the approval sticker on your car seat (often found underneath.)This will tell you the regulation your seat is approved to and its weight and/or height limit.



Most infant carriers are approved to R44/04 and classed as a group 0+. These seats have a weight limit of 13kg/29lbs. They are also outgrown when the top of your baby's head is level with the top of the seat.

If you have an infant carrier approved to R129 (i-Size) then it will have a height limit, e.g. 75cm, and possibly a weight limit too. These limits are clearly marked on the seat.

The infant carrier is outgrown once your child reaches the height or weight limit, whichever comes first. Don't worry about long legs over the edge, they are perfectly safe; or that your baby looks "squashed" – think of the car seat as a crash helmet, a tight fit is good.



Should I choose a forward or rear-facing seat?


It is safest to rear-face your child for as long as possible. This is due to their anatomy and the physics of an accident.Young children have relatively larger heads with less developed neck bones and muscles.In a frontal impact the head is thrown forwards, putting stress on the neck and spinal cord. The less developed the spine is, the greater the risk of serious injury. When rear-facing, the child's head, neck and spine are kept in alignment and the force is spread out over a greater area.


Does this mean forward facing seats are dangerous?


Simple answer is no. Since car seat regulations were introduced in the 1980's the number of fatally and seriously injured children has reduced. Forward facing seats do offer adequate protection as long as they are fitted and used correctly. However, rear-facing provides even better protection for your little one. If you do decide to buy a forward facing seat it is advised to keep your child in the infant carrier until it is completely outgrown.


What does the law say?


If you have a seat approved under R44/04 then it is legal to put your child into a forward facing car seat at 9kg.However, they should be able to sit unaided for at least 30 minutes and fit the seat they are going into.

If you have an i-Size seat, then legally your child must stay rear-facing until 15 months.Each i-Size seat also has a minimum height limit for forward facing.

Bear in mind that the law is a minimum standard: experts recommend rear-facing up to 4 years.


What else do I need to consider?


If your child doesn't like the infant carrier, or you would prefer to move them into a bigger seat, then you could look at Group 0+1 as these are rear-facing from birth initially, then turn forward facing at 9kg. Some can even rear-face up to 18kg. Or if your little one is 9kg and you would like a rear-facing seat then a Group 1,2 may suit you. Have a look at our car seat selector tool as it can help when choosing a seat:


Follow these points:


1. Check your child's height and weight

2. Keep your child in the infant carrier until it is completely outgrown

3. Choose a seat that is suitable for your child

4. Choose a seat that is suitable for your vehicle

5. Visit a retailer to try a few seats in your car

6. Consider rear-facing for optimum safety

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Top 10 tips for travelling with children this summer

Top 10 tips for travelling with children this summer

As school breaks approach many families will be planning holidays away which require a car journey in order to reach their destination of choice. Here are our top 10 tips to make that journey as comfortable and hassle free as possible!


1. It is always important to remember the safety of older children when making a car journey. Children are legally required to use a suitable restraint up until they are 135cm in height, or 12 years old – whatever comes first.


2. Older children are safest travelling in a high-back booster seat which provides side impact protection, head, neck and torso support, as well as a safe place to rest their head to sleep, which can help prevent them falling out of the seat belt during the car journey.



3. Many car seats have additional safety features, such as protective seat belt pads, side impact protection technology and abdominal protection to provide both a safer and more comfortable fit for your older child.


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Carry handle or safety feature?

LIFESTYLE_CS_BABY-SAFE_PLUS_SHR_II_Dad_BR_2015_300dpiThe handle on your baby’s car seat is more than just a convenience, it is also a very important safety device! While it makes it easy to lift your infant seat in and out of the car, it is really important to check the instructions on your child seat.  Not all carry handles are placed in the same position in the car.   The instructions on the side of your seat will show the correct handle position. The handle is often required to be upright, or forward towards the baby’s feet when driving.  This is because your child’s seat can rebound in a collision, and having the handle in the correct position prevents this from happening.   What happens if the carry handle is at the back? If you were to have a collision, with the carry handle back by the baby's head, the seat may not protect your child adequately....
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Child seat group stages

For child car seats to legally be sold in the UK, they must pass various tests and gain recognised approval. To be sold, they can be approved to R44.04, which is a regulation that has been running for some years, or they can be tested under the new R129 (i-Size) standard, which was established in summer 2013.

This blog looks at the different group stages for R44.04 child car seats, along with the weight and the height limits that you should take into consideration. There are three main group stages and also combination group stages to create multi stage, longer lasting seats.


Group 0+


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New booster seats ban explained

New booster seats ban explained

There have been many reports regarding the new stricter rules which may be coming out about booster cushions and this has caused much confusion.

This proposed change is a new amendment to the current regulation R44 and will only apply to new approved products. This means that parents who currently have booster cushions can legally continue to use them as they have been.

However, if the proposed amendment goes through, this would potentially mean that parents buying new backless booster seats (booster cushions) in 2017 would only be able to use them for children above 125cm in height and 22kg in weight.

It has not actually been confirmed that a new addition to the child car seat regulations will be coming into effect in December 2016.

Currently, it is in discussions and yet to be voted on. However, there is only one more stage of approval to go through and is unlikely to get rejected at that stage.



There are currently two child car seat regulations running alongside each other – R44.04, which are the weight based car seats, and R129, which is a new regulation.

R129 is making seats easier to choose, fit and use. However, R44.04 weight based approved seats will still be sold, legal and safe for some years to come. One of the key features of R44 is that child seats are chosen based on weight:

Group 0+ (infant seats) – 0 to 13kg
Group 1 (toddler seats) – 9kg to 18kg
Group 2,3 (Booster seats) – 15kg to 36kg

Part of the problem with R44, is that children tend to be moved up a stage as soon as they reach the minimum weight limit for the next stage, when it is actually safer for them to stay in each stage seat until they reach the maximum weight limit for their current stage. A step up in group stage is a step down in safety.

R44.04 currently allows boosters, even booster cushions, to be approved from 15kg – this can legally be a child as young as 2 years or less! While the weight limit is the main factor, there are also height considerations to take into account. A child can be 15kg in weight, yet still be far too small to use a booster.

Children's bones are very different from adults, and their hips and pelvis are very small and set far back. The hips and pelvis are what helps to keep a seat belt in place, and absorb energy. These bones are not really strong enough for a seat belt until a child is around 4 years of age. There are 25kg harness limit seats for children who reach the 18kg harness weight limit at a young age.


Children under 125cm in height and 22kg weight will not be allowed to use a newly type approved (R44.04 supplement 11) booster cushion, but can still use booster cushions that were approved prior to this change after December 2016, if the proposed amendment is approved. They will have to use a high back booster.

We always recommend that children travel in the high back booster if they are the correct weight and height for it, and fit comfortably within the headrest. A high back booster provides additional head, neck and torso protection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at enquiries@goodeggsafety.com

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What are group 123 car seats

A group 123 car seat is a combination seat that is approved for children weighing 9kg, and it will last them right through, until they no longer need a child seat. They are often an economical solution, as they last a long time.

Group 123 car seats are generally forward facing, although there are some which now allow your child to be rear facing to 13kg or 18kg. Your little one is safest rear facing for as long as possible.




There are different options to consider when choosing a group 123:

  • ISOFIX or seat belt fitment
  • Harness or Impact Shield
  • Recline

ISOFIX or Seat Belt Fitment

It is more common for group 123 car seats to be fitted with the adult seat belt, however there are some ISOFIX + Top Tether group 123 car seats available. Both methods of fitment are safe, however ISOFIX is considered safer as it reduces the risk of incorrect fitment.


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The hidden projectile in your car - Booster seats

The hidden projectile in your car - Booster seats
  When children are younger, they use a child car seat that contains a harness to restrain them. This seat is fitted into the car, where it normally stays strapped in, so even when your little one is not in the car, their seat remains restrained.        The next stage seat - boosters When it comes to your child moving up to a booster seat, both the seat and the child are restrained with the adult seat belt.     This means that unless you buy an ISOFIX booster seat, you need to remember to strap the booster in when not in use.   Why? An unrestrained booster will multiply its weight by the force of a collision, so if you have a crash when your child is not in the car, but their booster is sat on the back seat - you have a very heavy projectile waiting to...
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Winter coats and car seats – the winter facts every parent needs to know.

Winter Jacket sequence   The danger you may be putting your child in when travelling in the car this winter. The temperature is beginning to drop outside, and children are being bundled up in thick winter coats and snowsuits to keep them snug and warm in the cold weather.  But did you know that you are supposed to remove your child’s coat before you strap them into their car seat, and not doing so may put them in danger? This video demonstrates why winter coats and car seats don't mix:     Leaving your child’s coat on in the car is a problem because it creates a gap between your child and their safety harness. In a collision, the harness isn’t as close to your child’s body as it needs to be to allow it to properly restrain them. To keep your children safe in the car this winter, remove their coats and...
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My child escapes the harness when I am driving - help!

GOODEGG-29.05.14_0380   Does your child escape the harness? Lots of parents have had the moment when you are driving along, glance at your little one and they’re having the time of their life on the back seat – with their arms in the air and out of the straps! So what can you do when your little one develops this habit?    So what can you do when your little one develops this habit? Be sure to remove any coats or puffy jackets and snowsuits – These thick items of clothing create a gap between your child and the harness, making it super easy for them to wriggle out! Check the strap height – The straps should be level with your little one’s shoulders, at the point where the straps come out of the seat. If you can’t get the straps quite level, they may dip slightly below when rear facing, and sit just...
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Child Car Seat Safety Infographic

 

Is your child's car seat correctly fitted?

Find out now using Good Egg Safety's handy infographic.

 

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