The often-overlooked variable in CRSs
Did you know that the car seat itself is a key factor in the installation of a child seat?
In homologation tests, a “standard” seat is used, but the reality is that this seat bears little resemblance to those actually fitted in cars, either in terms of hardness, shape, angle of inclination or the materials used in their manufacture. Additionally, car seat dimensions do not have to comply with any kind of standard measurement and each manufacturer designs them according to its needs within the vehicle for optimum passenger comfort and safety.
This lack of uniformity in terms of seats means that there are also differences in how the child restraint system is installed in each vehicle, meaning that the safety of something as delicate as a baby or child is affected by these differences in a very significant way.
For example, in the case of a baby, whose head should be reclined without falling forward, these variations mean that, when talking about identical CRSs, in some cars the head will be correctly positioned, while in others it will not be. In forward-facing CRSs, something similar happens, but in this case, a lower seat tilt has the opposite effect on the child’s head, and their head would actually droop towards their chest when they fall asleep, which is something to be avoided.
For this reason, we are introducing a new concept here, something we have not yet talked about directly, and that is that our child’s safety depends not only on the child restraint system (CRS) we choose for them, but also on the car seat in which the CRS is installed.
In short, the “car seat-child restraint system” combination must be complementary in order to offer the maximum guarantees of both safety and comfort.
Buying a CRS in a specialist store
The retail expert who will guarantee which child restraint system is best suited to our car seat can only be found in a specialized store.
If we go to a department store to buy a CRS, it is likely that we will acquire a good child restraint system, and it will probably be cheaper than in a specialized store, but we will have neglected the second part of the equation, which is our car, and, therefore, the child safety aspect will not be complete.