Car seat safety certification explained
In the UK and the EU, car seats are tested and approved to one of two standards:
- ECE R44 uses child weight as the classification guide
- ECE R129 / i-Size uses child height as the classification guide
This is the European and UK standard for car seat testing. All car seats must, by law, comply with this standard.
ECE R44 car seats are divided into three groups and it is essential that you choose the right seat that fits your child’s size.
- Group 0+ (birth to 13 kg)
- Group I (9 to 18 kg)
- Group II/III (15 to 36 kg)
R44 seats can be installed using either the ISOFIX system or the vehicles seat belts.
ECE R129 (i-Size)
This is the latest EU standard and aims to make travelling in a vehicle even safer for babies. It introduces more stringent testing, more accurate test simulations and more detailed product specifications.
It is predicted that i-Size will gradually overtake and replace ECE R44, but it is a certification - not a legal requirement.
The benefits of i-Size
- Child classification is based on height, not weight This makes it much easier for parents to choose the car seat that best fits their child. A car seat with the optimum child fit will provide the most protection and the best safety performance – and it will be more comfortable too.
Increased side impact protection i-Size testing requires increased levels of side impact performance and improves child head containment within the car seat.
- Rearward facing travel for longer i-Size regulations extend the period children travel in a rearward facing position, making it mandatory for children up to 76cm high (approx 15 months old).
- ISOFIX for safer installation. All i-Size seats are ISOIFX compatible, making installation easier and safer. Incorrect installation of a car seat vastly reduces it’s safety performance.