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In car child safety Scotland -
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Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety

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Seat guide

What do they need when?

Children are all different and some grow and develop quicker than others, so restraints come in a variety of styles and sizes. The key factors for getting it right are the child's weight, height and age. Child car seats are sold by group categories (from Group 0 to 3) which relate to the weight bands suitable for your child.

Click on the links above to see some examples of suitable child restraints available.

Before you buy

  • Always look for the United Nations ECE R44.04 mark
  • Try the child car seat in your car before buying, because not every seat fits every car
  • Check your vehicle's handbook for compatibility


Good Egg Safety recommends keeping your child in each seat group for as long as you possibly can. This is especially the case with rear-facing seats.

Group seat stage table

Infant carrier Infant carrier

What's it like?

A rear-facing infant carrier which can:

  • be fitted in the rear using the adult lap-and-diagonal seat belt or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

Who it's for

Weight: up to approximately 13kg
Approximate age: birth to 9-12 months

 

Combination seat

Combination Seat

What's it like?

A combination seat which can:

  • be fitted in the rear using the adult lap-and-diagonal seat belt or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

Who it's for

Weight: up to approximately 18kg
Approximate age: birth to 4 years


Some child seats are fitted with a supporting leg. Do not use this type of seat if there is a storage compartment or any other obstructions in the footwell, unless it's approved for such use.

For rear-facing

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.
It is illegal to do this with rear-facing seats

For forward facing (all seats)

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

Extended rear-facing seat

Extended Rear Facing child seat

Many parents are tempted to turn their children round into forward-facing seats too early, however we strongly recommend against it.

The most dangerous collisions are frontal ones as these are often where the highest speeds and greatest forces are at play. In a rear -facing seat, the child is flung into the back of the seat instead and the force of the impact is distributed along the whole back of the seat.

They are therefore much safer being kept in rear-facing seats for as long as possible.

When and how?

  • Some extended rear-facing seats may not be used forward-facing.
  • Fitted using either Isofix* or a lap-and-diagonal seatbelt, often requiring the use of additional straps.
  • Some seats are fitted with a supporting leg. Do not use this type of seat where there is an under-floor storage box, unless approved by manufacturer.

Who it's for

(Seats often used after an infant carrier)

Group 0+/1 - Weight up to 18 kg (40 lbs)
Group 1 - Weight 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lbs)
Group 1 & 2 - Weight 9 - 25 kg (20-55 lbs)

For further information on rear-facing seats please visit www.rearfacing.co.uk

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

* Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check compatibility approval list).

The child seat

Forward facing child seat

The child is usually restrained by the seat's integral five point harness, however other methods of restraint may be used.

What's it like?

A forward-facing seat:

  • Can be used in the front or rear of the car.
  • May have a choice of upright or reclined positions.

Designed to be secured:

  • By an adult seat belt, or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

*Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check seat manufacturer's compatibility approval list).

Who it's for

Weight: 9-18 kg
Approximate age: 9 months to 4 years

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

Group 1-2-3 Seat

A Group 1-2-3 car seat is a combination seat which encompasses Groups 1, 2 and 3. A high-backed booster seat with an integrated harness.

What’s it like?

A forward-facing seat that:

  • Uses a 5-point harness or impact shield to secure children up to 18kg
  • Uses an adult seat belt when used as a booster seat to secure children 15kg – 36kg
  • Has a seat belt or ISOFIX* fitting to the vehicle
  • Often has a limited recline

Who it’s for?

  • Weight: 9-36kg
  • Approximate age: 9 months – 12 years

Top tip

Combination seats cover a wide age group. It’s important to ensure the seat meets your child’s needs, especially when moving from an infant carrier.

* ISOFIX seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check compatibility approval list).

The Booster seat

Booster seat

What's it like?

A forward-facing booster and backrest seat that:

  • can be used in the front or rear of the car.
  • lifts your child so that an adult seatbelt can be used and positioned correctly.
  • has slots to guide the adult seatbelt around the child.
  • provides head, neck and side impact protection.
  • should only be used with a lap-and-diagonal seatbelt even if secured by Isofix.*

Who it's for

Weight: 15 kg and upwards
Approximate age: 4 years and upwards

*Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check seat manufacturer's compatibility approval list).

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

Adult seatbelt

Adult Seatbelt

When and how?

A lap-and-diagonal belt (or lap-only belt):

  • Do not let children use an adult belt until they reach the minimum requirements shown below. Until then they are better protected with a restraint.
  • If using a lap-only belt, it should be adjusted manually for a snug fit over the hips.
  • If fitted with height adjusters, the diagonal strap should lie centrally over the shoulder and away from the neck.

Who it's for

Height: 135cm (4ft 5ins) upwards
Age: 12 years and over


You should never carry a child on your lap or put more than one person in a seatbelt.

i-Size

ECE Regulation 129

A new child seat safety regulation is now in force.

What is the new regulation and how will it affect you and your children?

The current child car seat regulation has been in place since the early 80s, but since this time the cars we drive have changed radically. We also have a better understanding of what actually happens during a collision. The new ECE Regulation 129 takes this into account and is designed to make child car seats safer, as well as easier to buy, fit and use.

Better protection for your child - Side impact collisions account for around 25% of road collisions in Europe. However, the current regulation does not test child restraints for side impact. The new legislation specifies that all ECE Regulation 129 child restraints must be tested to ensure that a child’s head is protected in the event of a side impact.

Advanced technology

Advanced technology
The improved tests have been made possible by a new generation of child crash test dummies known as the Q-Series. The new high-tech Q-Series dummies behave in a more realistic way and provide much more information than was previously possible, such as the effect of an impact on a child’s chest, neck, head and abdomen.

i-Size: the new car seat law by Maxi-Cosi

i-Size: the new car seat law by Maxi-Cosi

The i-Size legislation was developed to provide children with additional protection and safety in the car, and Maxi-Cosi has been deeply involved in the development of this legislation.

i-Size does not replace the existing legislation (ECE R44/04), but runs alongside it. Car seats that conform to i-Size simply offer more protection. For more info, visit www.maxi-cosi.co.uk/i-size

Download the Maxi-Cosi i-Size info sheet here

Why do we need a new car seat law?

  • Although child fatalities are decreasing, car collisions are still the leading cause of child deaths in Europe *
  • Head and neck injuries are the most common type of injuries incurred by children **
  • Figures released by Good Egg recently have also showed a rise in unsafe car seat fitting from 47% in 2010 to 60% in 2013 ***

So, what’s changed? i-Size in 5 key points

  • Improved protection for side & front impact and much better protection of head and neck
  • Rearward facing travel is mandatory for children up to 15 months old in i-Size car seats
  • i-Size also requires IsoFix, which has less chance of being incorrectly fitted than belted car seats
  • i-Size car seats will fit all i-Size cars and almost all cars with IsoFix Height-based rather than weight-based

* Source: CARE database/EC,
** Source: Crest accident database – severe injuries in side and frontal impact,
**Source: Good Egg Safety - 2010 to 2013 Seat checking results


i-Size logo

Key points to remember

  • New child restraint systems designed for children up to 15 months must be rear-facing and accomodate a child with a length/height of at least 83cm.
  • All ECE Regulation 129 child car seats will now be limited to a total combined weight of 33kg, to include the car seat and occupant.
  • Each child restraint manufacturer will specify the length/height range and maximum child weight for their product.
  • New vehicles will have ‘i-Size-ready’ seating positions. This means that any i-Size child car seat will fit into any i-Size position in a car, regardless of make or model.
  • A vehicle fitting list (showing which vehicles a child car seat will fit) will no longer be required for new cars. For seats being used in pre-July 2013 vehicles, however, one will still be required.
  • ECE Regulation 129 will eventually replace the current regulation (ECE Regulation 44), which will be phased out slowly.
  • Child restaints approved under the old regulation can still be used legally.