22, Feb 2022
Car seats are active safety elements in a car, required by law when carrying children under the age of 12 years. The car seat should ensure the child’s both safety and comfort on the road.
Choose the right Car seat
What is the best car seat for my child?
The best car seat is the one that best fits your child, best fits into your vehicle and is easy to install and use. Here are some useful tips and recommendations to help you decide.
1. The weight is more important than the age
The child seats are divided into groups according to the weight and age of the child (see table below). Please note that more than age, your child’s weight is important for the choice of the Car seat.
Group Weight Age (aprox) Car seat position 0 – Pram * * Aside 0+ Up to13 Kg Up to 12-18 meses Turned back 0+/1 ou 1 Until 18 Kg 12 meses – 3/4 anos Back facing 0+/1 ou 1 Until 18 Kg 18 meses – 3/4 anos Forward facing 2 / 3 15 – 36 Kg 4/6 anos – 12 anos Facing forward 3 22 – 36 Kg 8/9 – 12 anos Facing forward
* only for special cases
- Carry cot (up to 18 months)
The carrycot is indicated in some special cases related to health issues that should be properly evaluated by health professionals.
- Group 0 (0-13kg)
The car seats of this group should be placed in the opposite direction to the movement of the vehicle to ensure maximum safety, and with an inclination of 45°, so that the baby travels half seated and comfortable. Usually these car seats can be installed either on the front or back (safer), using a 3 point seat belt or isofix system.
- Group 0+/I (0-18kg)
These car seats are more suitable for babies who become too high for the 0 + group before reaching 13 kg, and allows the child to travel backwards until as late as possible – it’s the same car seat that the child already wore before 18 months. These car seats are not suitable for infants under the age of 8-9 months, because the child travels completely seated. Should be used in the same way as the previous group, although they may be directed to the front from 18 months. You should use the seat facing backwards even if the child hits on the car seat with both feet or folds his legs, as this is the safest position. Its use is discouraged from two and a half years up. Like the previous ones, these can be installed in the back or front (last resort, never with active front airbag), in a place with 3 points harness, or by means of isofix system.
- Group I (9-18kg)
These car seats are intended for children between 12 months and 3 years old, weighing between 9 and 18 pounds. The ideal system for this group is the rear facing convertible seat, and the alternative system is the convertible seat facing forward.
- Group II,III (15-36kg)
The car seats of this group are indicated from 3 years or 15 kg. Due to its placement, better protect the child in the event of an accident than seatbelts alone, since, in this way, the safe belts both the child and the car seat thus providing security by shoulder and pelvis rather than by the belly and neck.If you choose a model with detachable backs, won’t have to buy more car seats until the child has 1.5 meter tall, 36 kg or 12 years, since this model turns into a seat.
- Group III – Seats (22-36 kg)
At around 7-8 years, you can only use the car seat if the seatbelts do not disturb around the child’s neck, and if the car has head support.
- Never buy a car seat too big for your child, check whether it is suitable for the weight of the child since the first day of use.
- It is safer to buy a car seat to fit your child’s weight rather than buy a car seat that covers all weight ranges (using the same car seat from birth up to 3 years or more).
- Auto safety experts say that one should not consider only the age of the child to choose a seat. Should consider the weight and the height to which the car seat that offers greater security and fits better in the car; if your baby or toddler will make short or long trips, whether you will need to transfer the seat of one car to another, as well as what is most convenient for you as a parent.
2. When it is time to move to the next stage Car seat?
Rear-facing up to 12 months or up to 18.
Wait as long as possible to change from newborn car seat to the next phase. Babies are better protected if traveling automobile rear-facing. In this way, in case of impact, the same energy is absorbed and distributed by the car seat and by the belts. The baby has a fragile neck and large heavy head. These characteristics mean that, when we carry a child in the car facing the traffic, the head movement can cause very serious injury and sometimes irreversible, in the event of an accident.
3. Change of the newborn to the infant car seat
Your baby should no longer use the newborn car seat when the tops of his ears are over the top of the seatback. Should not switch to the next phase car seat until this moment. Make sure your baby’s head is generously protected by the top of the car seat.
Note: it is not a problem if the baby’s legs over the edge of the seat.
4. Change the infant car seat for child seat
Replace the infant car seat for child seat if your baby’s shoulders are 2 cm above the highest openings for the handles on the car seat when the rest for his head is in the highest position. Make sure that the headrest of the seat is in the lowest position when performing exchange.
5. When there are no more car seats
Legally it is not necessary support car seat or booster seat if your child is 1.35 metres tall, 12 years or 36 Kg in weight – just so the belt is correctly placed in the bowl, and not on the tummy.
Children who do not use car seat must wear a safety belt whenever they travel by car.
6. Checklist for buying the car seat
- Before choosing a child car seat read your vehicle owner’s manual to verify exactly where and how you can install the car seat
- Make sure that the car seat is suitable for the weight and the age of your child
Take your son and your car when buying a car seat and make sure you have the appropriate size for your child and it fits perfectly in your car
- Make sure the model you want is tested to the European standard ECE 44
- In a vehicle make sure that fits perfectly, it is easy to install, if the safety belts have long enough, and you can use the car seat in the place you want (airbag)
- Try to install the seat in your car before you buy
- Ensure that the seat is easy to use, whether it is comfortable for the child, if you have a sleeping position, and if the belts are easy to adjust
- Make sure that you can put on and remove your child with ease