The Good Egg Car Safety Blog

What is a Group 0+ car seat?

 

A group 0+ car seat is 1 of 3 options you have for your baby’s first safety seat and can accommodate them from newborn all the way through to 13kg.  They are the most common first stage car seat and often form part of a ‘travel system’.

All babies, toddlers and children are required by law to travel in a suitable child restraint with very few exceptions.

The infant seat is backward facing, and ‘bucket’ like, cradling the baby with either a 3 or 5 point harness to strap them in.  You can expect to see a carry handle on the seat which has the dual purpose of allowing you to carry the baby into the house without disturbing them, and it also acts as a roll bar or rebound bar should you be involved in a collision.



Group 0+ Car Seat

 

Pros of using a group 0+ seat


There are many advantages of using a 0+ seat, rather than a group 0. Group 0+ seats will last longer than the group 0, as it has a 3kg higher weight limit – they can quite often last a baby until they are 12-18 months.  As they are rear facing, they offer maximum safety right up to 13kg.

The fitment of these seats makes them suitable for a wide range of cars, which is handy if the baby regularly travels in different vehicles.  They are also very portable, making it easy to take the seat between the car and house, or you can often clip them onto the pram.

The '90 Minute Maximum Rule' is the recommended amount of time a baby should spend in their car seat.  Ensure you take this into account when using your seat as part of your travel system.

Your baby must ALWAYS travel in their car seat when in the car, even if the journey is more than 90 minutes long; plan regular break stops so the little one can safely have time out of the seat.

Group 0+ seats also come with sunshades, newborn inserts and the carry handle.



Group 0+ car seat tip

Always check your child car seat's instruction on fitting – especially on the positioning of the carry handle!  The handle quite often acts as a roll bar or rebound bar, and it must be in the proper position at all times when in the car.

 

Choosing Group 0+ seat


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Flying with young children (Part 1)

 

There are lots of blogs and advice guides out there giving fantastic hints and tips for parents travelling or flying with young children. Many of them mention to take a child car seat, but it isn’t always as easy and straightforward as that.

What do you need to know to help you decide if you are going to take a car seat with you for the plane? That is what we are going to explore in this 3 part 'Flying with young children' mini blog series.

For a long time while in planes young children have travelled on their parents lap and babies in bassinets.  Yet more and more parents are concerned and want their child in a proper restraint. Using a car seat on the plane gives you a safe and secure place to secure your baby should you hit turbulence.



Flying with young children 1

 

See the full story here!

Car seats also give little ones a properly secured place for take off and landing - the most dangerous parts of the flight! They can also protect the child in an emergency landing, as this story shows:



Flying with young children 2

Blog Quick tip

Slings and carriers are not deemed safe for take off and landing and you will be requested to remove little one and hold them on your lap.

 

What you need to know about taking a car seat on board!

 

1. You will have to buy your baby/child their own seat on the plane


Some airlines will allow you to take a seat on board without having booked the child their own seat - yet this is not guaranteed to keep the family together and there may not be any spare seats left when it comes to boarding.  The airline may also refuse even if there is space. It is advisable to start off with paying for the plane seat for the child.

Blog Quick tip

Before paying out for a separate seat for your child (unless you were opting to regardless of using a child seat!) make sure your airline will allow the use of the child seat.

 

2. It must be a TUV approved child car seat


There are some UK child seats that are TUV approved for use on aircraft.  Having a TUV approved seat does not guarantee that you will be allowed to use it - the decision resides with the airline.  It also does not mean that you can’t use a different seat that is not TUV approved.  If the seat is not TUV approved you must remember that airplanes only have lap belts and the child restraint must be certified to be fitted with a lap belt.

Blog Jargon buster

TUV approved means that the seat has been tested and approved by TUV Rheinland to be suitable for use on an aircraft.

 

3. Confirm that the make and model of your seat is allowed


When you confirm with the airline that you can take your own child seat on the plane, also confirm with them if the make and model of your seat is allowed, and what child seats they accept; you need to ensure this whether your seat is approved or not. You don’t want to get to check-in to be told that you cannot take your seat on board.  If you can, get confirmation from the airline that you can use the child seat in writing and take this with you to show the airline staff if needed.  If the child seat that your child normally uses is not approved or allowed then you will need to buy a new one.

Blog Quick tip

Children over the age of 2 must have their own plane seat purchased - always check your airline’s policy.


Flying with young children 3


It is also worth checking to see if your airline supplies child seats. Virgin Atlantic states that it can supply child restraints on international flights, so long as they are pre-booked.

 

Go to part 2                                                                  Go to part 3


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Inflatable car seat

Imagine how lovely it would be not to have a big, bulky car seat in the car.  But instead have an inflatable car seat that is easy to transport, doesn’t take up much room, keeps your child even safer by having them rear facing… and you can pack their car seat up in a little back pack when not in use!

 

Introducing a new concept from Volvo!

 

 

Inflatable Car Seat 1

 


This incredible concept is a rear facing inflatable car seat that is easily inflated or deflated in just 40 seconds!  It can pack up into a small backpack and weighs just 11 lbs - no more hulking around heavy car seats!  As it is a rear facing seat it even provides far greater protection to children than front facing seats!



Inflatable Car Seat 2

 

The possibilities of this seat are endless - it will be perfect as a spare seat for taking friends' children in the car, or you can pack it up and send your little one to nursery with it if they are getting picked up by someone else.  It is great for families who don’t have a car but want their child to have a car seat in a taxi.  It is also brilliant for holidays, hire cars or for family members vehicles, who perhaps don’t take the little one out enough to warrant their own seat - but enough to make transferring your seat a pain!


This seat is a concept in the US, Volvo UK do not know if it will be available for the UK market when and if it goes into production - but if this seat is just as safe as other rear facing seats, wouldn’t it be a great option!





Parents will naturally have a few concerns about a car seat that inflates.  The material will have to be puncture proof, and the button to inflate/deflate will need to be child proofed.  As well as it passing all the tests.

How would this make your life easier? Would you want to see this in the UK?  Comment below!



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What is a Group 0 car seat?

 

The group 0 car seat is the very first stage and has the lowest weight range.

 

Car seat stages can be confusing at the best of times and trying to understand which seat does what and what that group number means can be very frustrating!

 

Child seats are grouped based on the weight of the child that they can accommodate.

 

As an example:  A group 0+ seat is suitable from newborn to 13kg rear facing, a group 1 seat can accommodate a child between 9-18kg forward facing or some rear facing.  Therefore if you wanted a seat that could carry your baby from newborn right through to 18kg, it would be referred to as a 'group 0+1' - as it covers both weight categories!

 

A group 0 car seat is suitable from newborn up to 10kg – approx. 6 months old.

 

These seats are generally lie-flat carriers, but there are some old rear facing infant seats and some  0-1 seats that only rear face to 10kg – so it’s very important to check your seat for its weight limit!

 

You can find your seats weight limit on the orange sticker (below), which will be on your restraint.


Group 0 car seat label

 

Benefits of a Group 0 car seat

 

Not only is the lie flat carrier suitable for use in the car, they also clip to the pram chassis – like the more common rear facing infant carrier does.  The big benefit that this has over the rear facing infant carrier is that there is no time restraint on how long baby can be in the seat.

 

As the group 0 car seat lies flat, it keeps the baby’s spine in the most natural position and also helps keep their lungs open, so they can breathe freely.  Due to this lie flat position, they are particularly good for premature or tiny babies.

 

Lie flat carriers can also double up as a day bed or as an over night travel bed – so they are very versatile!

 

The fitment of the seat places the baby’s head in the center of the car – the safest place.

 

Things to consider

 

Lie flat carriers can be much heavier than infant carriers so popping into a shop carrying the baby in the seat won’t be a frequent occurrence!  The seat will really need to either stay in the car or be put on the pram chassis.  Some of the seat options are also on the large side, making them too bulky to carry comfortably.

 

These seats can also be trickier to fit than rear facing infant carriers.  They generally have clips that attach to the adult seat belt, which then clips to the seat, securing it tightly in place (see below).  Some lie flat carriers may have an option of an ISOFIX base.

 


 Group 0 car seat belt




Lie flat carriers take up 2 seat spaces in the car.  This needs to be considered if you regularly take passengers in the back of the car or if you have other children.



Group 0 car seat


 

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Top 10 Child Car Seat Safety Tips

1. Maximum safety!


Many parents are keen to move their child up to the next stage car seat as soon as they are ‘big’ enough, not realising that it is a big step down in child car seat safety!

The children in the pictures all fit in the next stage car seat, but they are much safer staying in the lower stage car seat.  The first child is safer being rear facing as opposed to forward facing and the second, older child is safer in a harnessed car seat then a booster with the adult seat belt.

 

                          Child Car Seat Safety Tip 1aChild Car Seat Safety Tip 1b

 

Keep your child in the lower stage car seat until fully outgrown by weight or height.  The chart shows when each group is outgrown:

 


Pic5

 

2. Escape artists!

 

It is extremely frustrating when your child learns that they can slip their arms out of the harness and it is also very dangerous!

 

There are a number of thing’s that you can do to stop your child escaping from the harness:

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 2

 

3. Harness height

 

The correct height of the harness can be confusing!




    • If a seat is REAR FACING the harness should be level with or just BELOW the child’s shoulders.

 

    • If a seat is FORWARD FACING the harness should be level with or just ABOVE the child’s shoulders



4. Harness tension

 

Lots of parents travel with their children’s car seat harness too loose, and it can be tricky to get right.  Harnesses should be tight enough on the child that you can just get 2 fingers between the child and the harness – with your fingers lying flat against the child’s collar bone.  When you take the little one out of the seat, loosen the harness off before you unclip the buckle – that way, when your little one next goes in the seat you can just pull the harness tensioner and get the perfect fit!

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 4

 

5. Car seat clothing

 

Children should travel lightly dressed when in the car, what they would be wearing if they were playing indoors.   Certainly take them to the car wrapped up!  But once you put the child in their seat all puffy and thick jackets should be removed.  You can keep your child warm with a blanket. Babies should also be lightly dressed then a blanket wrapped tightly around them once the harness is secured and tensioned.

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 5a

 

 

 

 

Child Car Seat Safety Tip 5c

 

6. Wobbly seats!

 

A very common mistake is the seat belt not being pulled tight enough when the child seat is fitted.  The child restraint should not wobble or move more than 1 inch.  If you have pulled the belt as tight as possible and the seat still moves about, it is possible it is not fitted correctly or compatible with your vehicle.

 

7. Getting the right fit!


Child seats have blue guides if they may be used rear facing, and red guides if they may be used forward facing.  Make absolutely sure the seat belt passes through the correct guides – it doesn’t necessarily go through every guide!

 

8. Using the back on a booster


Booster seats should be used with the back support in place as long as possible – head rests on a majority of high back boosters will raise up to accommodate your growing child.



Child Car Seat Safety Tip 8

 

9. Buckle crunch:

 

The plastic casing of the seat belt buckle should not sit on or over the frame of the child seat, if it does, it may not hold in an impact

 


 Child Car Seat Safety Tip 9

 

10. Most important child car seat safety tip!


Not every seat fits every car!  Whether seat belt or ISOFIX, it is essential to ensure your vehicle and child's car seat are compatible and that the seat fits correctly.  If a seat is not fitted correctly it will not be able to protect your child properly in an impact.


 

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