Car seat safety is something we are sure is paramount to all parents and guardians. Over recent years, the rules and regulations in the UK have seen the sector enter a new period of safety, with technology paving the way for stress-free travelling. The AA reports that each year, injuries affect 205 children, and 21 are killed as a result of car crashes.
At Kiddies Kingdom, we work extremely hard to curate safety-enhanced collections aligned with the latest UK regulations. This article will explore the innovative features and technologies you should look for when choosing a car seat. We will also look at the latest regulations and explore what supporting accessories can be used to make for even safer travelling.
So buckle up and keep reading if you want to know exactly what selling points to look for when purchasing your child’s next car seat!
Is There a Need for Improvements to Be Made to Car Seat Safety?
Research has found that a properly installed and tested car seat can reduce the risk of injury by 31-82% in the event of a car crash. One of the reasons for the i-Size safety update in 2013 was that it had been noted that impact testing was not providing satisfactory results proving that children were at risk. The results resulted in an update to UK car seat laws, which now state that only EU-certified i-Size seats can be used.
Furthermore, the regulations also state that all children under 12 or 135cm must use a car seat that meets these guidelines when travelling. The importance of R129 car seats speaks for itself, as positive results have been experienced since implementing the enhanced safety measures.
If you want to learn more about the UK regulations in detail, click the link to check out our parent’s guide to car seat regulations.
What Safety Features Should You Look For When Choosing a Car Seat?
The future of car seat safety has been strengthened thanks to the i-Size rules and the innovative way of thinking that manufacturers have demonstrated in recent years. Thanks to a series of revolutionary product releases and features that have started to become the norm, car seats are safer than they ever have been before.
Below, we have included a breakdown of the main technology and product features to look for when choosing a new car seat. Each aims to improve safety and experience for both the child and parent, so there is no reason to compromise on sub-part equipment in today’s market.
All i-size car seats utilise ISOFIX fitting, the safest way to install a car seat. This is because the method involves the seat attaching directly to the chassis or the car, not just relying on a seatbelt for security. This ensures the seat remains in place, providing a much better result should an impact occur.
ISOFIX bases are compatible with all modern cars and some older ones, so checking your vehicle’s specifications is essential before trying to fit it. Also known as i-Size bases, aside from offering an easy and secure installation, other benefits also include:
- Improved side-impact protection
- Clear guidance on which car seat to use thanks to the height and weight guidelines
- Option to utilise rear-facing seating, which is legal for children of 15 months or younger
- Simple attachment for car seats
Side Protection System
Many modern car seats also offer enhanced side protection due to the i-Size rules. These systems predominantly protect the head, neck and spines by ensuring bodies are not harshly jolted if a side impact is experienced. Children are at more risk of injury in side-on collisions, and it could also prove dangerous if an airbag were to deploy due to impact from another part of the vehicle. The Maxi Cosi Cabriofix is a brilliant example of a robust car seat with enhanced side-impact protection.
Safety and Installation Lights
Not all car seat safety features are physical, as technology has entered the sector. Some car seats include safety and installation lights to signify when the correct positioning has been achieved or to make fitting easier in dark environments. An example is the Britax BABY-SAFE iSENSE, which includes lighting that automatically activates when the carrier is moved into a dark space.
Car seats can be expensive, especially when you choose the best one for your child. One of the ways that manufacturers have started to overcome the issue of regularly replacing car seats is by including more adjustability. This aspect is also a result of i-Size as it encourages parents to think more carefully about the child’s positioning in the car seat.
This feature is demonstrated with the Maxi Cosi RodiFix PRO, which includes adjustable straps to ensure the seat can grow with the child.
360° Rotation for Easy Accessibility
Another innovative feature that we recommended is a 360-rotation, which is getting more seats released. This allows easy accessibility so that a secure fitting can be achieved. Nothing is worse than straining to bend around a bulky car seat and not getting the fixing right. With these models, such as the Aya EasySpin 360 i-Size, parents can spin the base to face them and rotate into the ideal position. This also means the models can be used for rear and forward-facing travel.
Many car seats are also made to better absorb impact so the child is more protected. Products such as the Maxi Cosi Pebble Pro include fabrics and cushioning that deflect any major movements from a child’s body. This feature is also important for younger children who are more likely to be seated higher in the car to ensure they benefit from the headrest positioning. With older products, this led to more of an impact due to the lack of shielding. Shock-absorbing materials eliminate this risk.
Last but not least, we have the feature of being able to adjust a headrest. This ensures that car seats meet the i-Size height regulations and can be perfectly matched to a child’s body. We all know how fast children grow, so keeping them in equipment is a constant battle. With adjustability for the headrest, seats can last longer but still be perfectly safe. The Cozy N Safe Excalibur is a brilliant example of this, as it’s intended to support children from 9 months to 11 years. This is possible thanks to a 14-position headrest feature, which means the seat can grow with the child.
What Other Accessories Are Essential for Improving Car Seat Safety?
As you have seen, car seats are becoming more advanced and safe, which is brilliant news for parents as it eliminates the guesswork involved in making such an important purchase. Choosing the right seat is essential, but you can use a few supporting car seat accessories for an even safer travel experience. These include the following:
This simple yet effective product means parents don’t have to turn around to check on their little ones. Instead, by fitting to the rear seat, a clear view of the young traveller can always be seen. They can also be moved and repositioned as your baby grows from a newborn into an almost toddler, meaning one mirror can last all 15 months required to be rear-facing.
Safety is protection from accidents and general wellbeing when travelling in a vehicle. Car sunshades are a brilliant way to enhance this by blocking out potentially harmful UV rays. This ensures sun damage can affect not only the child but also the car seat, as excessive exposure could lead to bleaching of the fabric and cracking of the structure.
These accessories are also important for ensuring newborns and young babies are in the correct position when travelling. This enhances their comfort as well as the effectiveness of a car seat by making sure the child is sitting in the optimal position for protection.
Why Should You Choose Kiddies Kingdom for Car Seats?
If you are looking for a car seat that includes any or all of the above features, look no further than our collection. We make it simple for parents to buy the best products, including listing all the features clearly. As well as making purchasing easy, we can also help you fit a car seat correctly if you book an appointment to visit our showroom. Contact us today to learn more or speak with our car seat experts!