The labelling on child seats has changed across Europe, making it theoretically easier for children to be secured in a more appropriate seat, thus making them safer. Now, the “i-size” chart is in operation, which focuses on the height, rather than the weight of the child.
We know that in Spain the height of the child is already of great importance, with children under 135cm in height not allowed in the front seats (apart from a few exceptions), now the same theory is practiced on smaller children and child restraint systems.
‘i-size’ is an EU safety regulation for child car seats (ECE R129), which was introduced in July 2013 to make child car seats easier to fit, provide better protection from side impacts and keep children rearward-facing for longer. i-size only applies to Isofix seats.
UK legislation has already been amended to allow i-size seats to be used, this year the regulation has also been applied in Spain.
At the moment, the older seats are still permitted, so there is no need to change if you have these already, but those based around the new regulations offer better protection based on the tests conducted through the campaign.
i-size uses the child’s height to determine if the seat fits the child, rather than their weight. So, it’s important to check that your child’s height is within the range of the seat. Parents tend to know their child’s height better than their weight, which should make it easier for parents to judge if the seat is suitable for their child and when they should move the child into a larger seat.
Babies in i-size car seats stay rearward-facing until they are at least 15 months old. Currently, parents often move their baby to a forward-facing seat too soon.
i-size includes a side impact test to ensure that the seats provide better protection from side impact collisions.
i-size child car seats fit in cars that have Isofix fitting points, but you still need to check if the seat is approved for your car. Contact your car manufacturer and/or the child seat manufacturer, or visit our Child Car Seat Compatibility page.
i-size seats will fit any i-size approved vehicle. However, there are few such cars currently available. Their numbers will increase over the coming years.