Child Restraint Systems (CRS) 2018

Child Restraint Systems (CRS) Child Restraint Systems (CRS)

Child seats, along with seat belts, represent the safest way to travel with young children in a vehicle. Their effectiveness in preventing fatal accidents or serious injuries is somewhere between 50 and 80 percent. Legislation on child restraint systems is very clear and the Department of Traffic regularly carries out awareness campaigns on the importance of using approved restraint systems. But it is never enough; while nearly 90 percent of children currently use child seats or seat belts, the fact is that nearly half the children who die in car or van accidents in Spain are traveling with no protection whatsoever.

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When choosing the best child restraint system, there are decisive factors to bear in mind. The main one is that weight is always more important than age, because weight is what determines the level of resistance the child seat needs to provide.

According to the R44/04 standard, there are various types of child seats, depending on the weight of the baby or child:

GROUP

WEIGHT (key factor)

APPROXIMATE AGE (should not be used as the basis for choosing the type of seat)

Group 0

Up to 10 kg

Up to approximately 9 months old.

Group 0+

Up to 13 kg

Up to approximately 15 months old

Group I

From 9 to 18 kg

From 8 months to approximately 3 or 4 years old

Group II

From 15 to 25 kg

From approximately 3 up to 7 years old.

Group III

From 22 to 36 kg

From approximately 6 up to 12 years old.


In recent years, height is gaining ground as the most important factor to take into account. In fact, the new R129 standard, also known as i-Size, uses height as the basis for determining if the seat is the right one for your child.

We help you choose the seat you need

Before finding the option most suitable for your needs, you should never forget that age is a guiding criteria and that we consider the most important aspect to take into account is weight, or, if you are following the R129 or i-Size Standard, it will be the child's height.

Purchase a child restraint system that is officially approved (R44-04 or R-129) and from a specialist center where they can advise you and let you try out the seat in your car.

From 0 to 13 kg (Group 0 and 0+) / From 40 to 85 cm and from 45 to 105 cm (i-Size)

Although it is not the age that counts here, this group includes young children up to approximately 15 months old.Group 0 ó 0+

  • Baby seats are the most common type. They are known as “maxi-cosi” although this, in reality, is the name of a manufacturer of child seats and children's products. Bassinets and carrycots may be used for newborns. They are installed crosswise on the rear seat with the baby's head pointing towards the inside. Only for the first few months.
  • Always install the child seat on the rear seats in a rear-facing position. Although the seat should be positioned in this way until the child is 15 months old, we recommend doing so until the child is at least 4 years old. When using bassinets or carrycots, they should be installed crosswise on the rear seat with the baby's head pointing towards the inside. Only for the first few months.
  • The child restraint system chosen may only be installed on the front passenger seat if the rear seats are already occupied by other children with child seats, if the car does not have rear seats or it is impossible to install child seats on these seats. In this case, install the child seat in a rear-facing position and disable the airbag.
  • A CRS is installed with seat belts or with the isofix system (if the car is equipped with it). Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct installation of the seat.

From 9 to 18 kg (Group I) / up to 105 cm (i-Size)

While reminding you that age is not what counts here, this group includes young children from approximately 8 months to 4 years old. If we are looking at the R129 standard, the i-Size car seat for children up to 105 cm is for children between approximately 6 months and 4 years old.

Group I
  • In the same way as in the previous group, the child seat must be installed on the rear seats and in a rear-facing position. Although the seat should be positioned in this way until the child is 15 months old, we recommend doing so until the child is at least 4 years old.
  • The safest seat is the rear middle seat.
  • If a rear-facing child is seated in the front passenger seat (because of one of the exceptions foreseen in the regulation), do not forget that the front passenger airbag must be deactivated.

From 15 to 25 kg (Group II) / over 100 cm (i-Size)

Bearing in mind that age is not what counts here, this group includes young children from 3 to 7 years old.

  • Group II
  • At this weight, the most suitable CRS is a booster with a backrest. We should bear in mind that a backrest is compulsory for this group whether it is approved under the R44/04 or R-129 regulations.
  • The child sits on top of the booster seat and fastens the vehicle's seat belt. This kind of child seat “elevates” the occupant so the car's seat belt can be adjusted correctly to the child's body, resting across the most resistant parts of the body (the hips, chest bone and collarbone). The diagonal strap of the belt should pass over the collarbone and shoulder without touching the neck. The horizontal strap should be as low as possible over the thighs, never on the stomach or abdomen.
  • It must be installed on the rear seats (check the legislation) and it is advisable that it is positioned on the central rear seat.
  • Although it is installed using the seat belt, some child seats offer the possibility of accompanying this with the Isofix system (if the car is equipped with it). Follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to correctly install the child car seat.

From 22 to 36 kg (Group III)

From approximately 6 to 12 years old (the weight and height of the child is what counts, not the age).

  • Group III
  • Use a booster seat with a backrest that allows the 3-point car seat belt to be adapted to the restraint system.
  • It might seem like the child is too big for a child seat but take into account that he or she has not yet reached the required height to wear a seat belt only.
  • The booster seat should be installed on the rear seats, preferably on the central rear seat, and facing forward.
  • It is very important to correctly position the seat belt: the horizontal strap should go over the pelvis, never over the abdomen, and the diagonal strap of the belt should pass over the middle part of the chest bone and collarbone without touching the neck.

Next step:

Seat belt. When the child exceeds 36 kg in weight or 135 cm in height. We recommend continuing to use restraint systems up to 150 cm in height and until the seat belt can be fitted correctly.

Are there any CRS that can be used for various weight groups?

Yes, it is common to find seats in groups 0/I that can be used from birth up to when the child reaches a weight of 18 kilos or seats in groups II/III that can be used from 15 up to 36 kilos. However, bear in mind that the more weight groups a seat covers, the more difficult it becomes to guarantee the same level of safety for all weights; for this reason, usually the safest seats are the ones designed for just one specific weight group.

If you are still unsure about your choice, get more information. It is worth taking your time to choose the most appropriate CRS; the lives of your children could depend on it.

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