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It is particularly important to provide infants and toddlers with maximum safety while riding in a car because there they are put at increased risk since their tiny bodies are exposed to a high risk of injury in the event of accidents. i-Size is a first stage of a safety standard (ECE R 129), which has been implemented since 2013 and refers to infant car seats and child car seats with a built-in harness and Isofix attachment. More information >
The aim of this standard is to improve safety for children riding in a car. i-size child safety seats have been tested for both rear-end collisions and side impacts. The latter test was not mandatory for child car seat manufacturers prior to the introduction of the i-size standard. Also, the standard is designed so that children have to ride in a rear-facing mode at least until the age of 15 months – only this way, safety while riding in a car can be increased.
This regulation only applies if you opt for an i-size child car seat. Furthermore, the use of Isofix systems is benefited. Isofix is a fixed anchoring system which connects the body of the car with the child car seat. That means that you no longer need to secure the child safety seat by using belts, which increases safety as incorrect installation is avoided.
According to a study by the Hannover Medical School, the probability of a frontal impact is much higher (65.7%) than of a rear-end collision. In the event of a frontal impact the muscles of the back and the neck which are not yet fully developed in infants and toddlers, are particularly strained. That is why, your child's head is more likely to tilt forwards which increases the risk of injury. An i-size child safety seat spreads the forces that occur in an accident over the entire body of your child, which relieves the vulnerable muscle groups.
If you opt for an i-size child car seat, you are obliged to transport your child in a rear-facing mode until s/he reaches an age of at least 15 months. This regulation is demonstrated by the fact that child car seats for infants and toddlers are often and way too early switched to a forward-facing mode which increases the risk of injury considerably. Rear-facing child safety seats offer maximum protection for your little one, as the neck and shoulders are exposed to less pressure.
The rear-facing child car seats distribute the forces that occur in the event of a frontal impact over the entire body of your child and thereby relieve the sensitive body parts. Furthermore, these child safety seats feature better headrest pads, which increase the safety in a side impact.
i-size child car seats are to be connected to the Isofix system. As a result, you no longer have to be bothered with fastening your child safety seat by using the seatbelt. Simply attach your child car seat to your car by clicking it into the Isofix anchor points. That way, i-size child car seats can be used in almost all cars that are equipped with such a system.
You will find information on whether your car has a suitable Isofix attachment in the manufacturer's type lists. Most new cars manufactured after 2014 are equipped with Isofix. This system is designed to withstand both your child's weight as well as the forces that occur in the event of an accident. The built-in harness ensures that your child is fastened securely.
Car manufacturers are obliged to equip new cars with the Isofix system which is usually located on both rear seats and is marked with an appropriate label. You will recognise it quickly as soon as you discover a mounting between the seat and the back of the rear seats. If your car is not a new one, you have the option of fitting in the Isofix system subsequently.
By attaching the child seat to the Isofix system in your car, the life of your child is no longer endangered due to an incorrect positioning of the belts. An incorrect installation of a child safety seat can lead to the seat shifting back and forth. This increases the probability that your child car seat can slip off the back seat of your car and fall on the floor in the event of an accident. Installing the child safety seat by using the Isofix system will avoid scenarios like this since the connection with the car’s body is rigid and safe.
Selecting conventional child safety seats is based solely on your child's body weight. The decisive criterion for purchasing such a child car seat is your little one’s height which is usually given by the manufacturers. Furthermore, a weight limit must be considered so that the forces that occur in the event of an accident can be absorbed by the Isofix system. The total load is 33 kg, with setting your child’s body weight off against the weight of the child car seat. That means: If a child car seat weighs 11kg, your child should not weigh more than 22kg. This type of selection prevents you from switching to a child safety seat which is to be installed in a forwards-facing mode too early.
In addition to this, it is important to check whether the new child safety seat is compatible with your car and whether your car features an appropriate mounting option before actually buying your desired child safety seat. This can be looked up in the consult manual of your car. Also, there is the possibility of fastening your child safety seat like a conventional child car seat. However, this installation option does not ensure the safety of your child.
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