Have you heard about the new car seat laws? Do you know anything about i-Size?
I must admit, I hadn’t heard about the law changing and I thought that i-Size was simply a new apple product.
Car seats are so confusing aren’t they?
When I first started looking for a new car seat for Evie, around the time she outgrew her first, I was so confused. I only knew I needed to change her car seat because she was getting too big for it. I didn’t know that car seats were based on weight or age, and to be honest had no idea if Evie should be rear or forward facing.
But, learning about car seats is not only important for your child’s safety, there are also legal requirements surrounding the seats you use and the way they face in the car.
If you, like me, are a bit confused by it all, I’ve laid out everything you need to know about car seats below, in a really easy to follow guide.
What is the law on car seats?
At the moment,the law states, that all children travelling in a car must use the right car seat for their height or weight until they are 12 years old or 135cm, whichever comes first.
In April 2015 the car seat laws changed. A new European safety standard called i-Size, was officially passed by the UK government.
There are currently two laws in affect. Until 2018, i-Size will not completely replace the existing R44/04 legislation on car seats, but will run alongside it.
What Is I-Size?
i-Size is new legislation that has been officially passed by the UK government, surrounding car seats.
There is a lot of confusion amongst parents, about when to change from babies first car seat to a larger size. It is extremely common for parents to switch too soon from a Group 0+ car seat to a larger one.
Another issue with car seats, is the premature switch from rear facing, to forward. This puts the child in much greater danger of neck injury if there is an accident.
Also did you know that the current EU regulated car seats, do not require performance standard tests, for side-impact collisions? Oh and that belted car seats are rarely inserted correctly by parents.
Phew!! See why it can be baffling?
All of this is addressed under the new i-Size regulations. By 2018, all car seats will have to follow the new legislation.
What does this mean?
- Length classification will be introduced, rather than weight or age.
This will make choosing the right car seat as easy as choosing clothe sizes. There will be no more confusion about when to change over to the next car seat.
- All babies will stay rear-facing till 15 months.
Did you know that before the age of 15 months, your baby’s neck is not yet developed enough to withstand the forces of a head-on collision?
Research has shown that rear-facing car seats are a lot safer. They can offer up to 75% more protection if your child is involved in any kind of car accident.
- All car seats will be performance tested for side-impact collisions.
This will offer improved safety for your babies head and neck. It will also offer better protection, in the event of both frontal and side-impact collisions. The seat’s five-point harness will ensures that the child will stay in the seat, even if involved in a roll-over accident.
- All car seats will have ISOFIX
Which makes installation a lot easier and safer for parents. This also means that there is less change of car seats being installed incorrectly.
Do I need a new car seat?
It’ll won’t be until 2018 that only i-Size car seats will be sold, so there is no need to replace your car seat just yet.
However, the new legislation does already affect car seats for children who are under 15 months. eg. the Group 0+ and Group 1 car seats.
To make it easier, you can buy car seats that are designed for babies to stay in until they are a lot older. We got a ‘Joie Stages 0+, 1, 2 Car Seat’ for Evie from Online4baby. She can be in this car seat from birth to 7 years! But, for older children, they also do harness free booster seats for group 2-3 as well.
The new legislation states that all children under the age of 15 months (or 13kg) must be rear-facing. Whereas before, children could be changed to forward facing from 9 months (or 9kg).
Eventually, all car seat manufacturers will stop making car seats that can be belted. All future car seats will automatically be ISOFIX and all cars made will be ISOFIX ready.
As the new laws are still being developed, there’s likely to still be a few more changes between now and 2018. Keep your eyes peeled on the i-Size website for more information.
Have you heard about the changes to car seat guidelines? Has this guide helped you? Let us know in the comments below.