buyer's guide

everything you need to know about car seats, ISOFIX, i-Size & more

Protecting your little one is our number one priority. This car seat buyer's guide takes you through one of the most important purchases you'll make. And makes it easy.

We'll help you choose the perfect car seat for your child's weight, size and height. And we'll make sure it's safely and securely fitted too. That's a promise.

  • Do come to Kiddicare for free car seat fitting & safety checking on all car seats
  • Do have a car seat ready to bring your baby home from hospital
  • Do keep your child in a rear-facing infant seat for as long as possible
  • Do make sure your seat belt is long enough, particularly for rear facing seats
  • Don't assume that all car seats fit all cars. They don't!
  • Don't accept a hand-me-down car seat. You never know, it could be damaged
  • Don't use a rear facing car seat in the front without deactivating front air bags

a beginner's guide to car seats

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car seat groups

To help navigate the huge choice of car seats available, manufacturers have sorted them into categories. The most important factor is weight not age – remember little ones grow at different rates!

Kiddiecare Handy Car Seat Group Guide
Car seat group Baby's weight Baby's approx. age Type
Group 0 0 - 10kg Birth - 6 months Lay flat
Group 0+ 0 - 13kg Birth - 12/15 months Rear facing
Group 0+/1 0 - 18kg Birth - 4 years Combination & rear facing only
Group 1/2 9 - 18kg or 25kg 9 months - 6 years Combination & rear facing only
Group 1 9 - 18kg 9 months - 4 years Forward facing
Group 1/2/3 9 - 36kg 9 months - 12 years High back booster with harness
Group 2/3 15 - 36kg 4 years - 12 years High back booster & booster cushions

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your questions about car seats

How long should I keep my child rear facing?

As long as possible. Lots of parents are moving their children from rear to forward facing too early. The danger is that in the event of an impact, baby's neck isn't sufficiently developed to support a relatively heavy head. Keeping babies rearward facing for longer is the safer bet.

What are the benefits of single group versus multi-group car seats?

Single group car seats are optimised in shape for your child's weight with additional comfort feature, eg most group 1 car seats have easy-adjust comfort recline. Dedicated Group 0+ car seats are more portable and can be used as part of a travel system.

Multi-group car seats adjust to grow with your child and are ideal for parents who regularly drive children of varying ages or for grandparents.

I'm on a budget. What's my best option?

A Group 1/2/3 is the best value option, growing with your child from 9-36kg, approx. 9 months to 12 years.

When can my child stop sitting in a car seat?

Car seat legislation says that children up to 12 years or 135cm tall must use the appropriate car seat and restraint so they're protected if you have an accident.

How do I know when to move my child up a group?

Move from a Group 0+ to a Group 1 car seat when:

  • baby's weight exceeds 13kg
  • baby can confidently sit up unaided
  • the top of baby's head is higher than the top of the baby car seat

Move from a Group 1 to a Group 2/3 car seat when:

  • the weight limit is exceeded
  • your child's eye line is higher than the top of the seat

If in any doubt pop into a Kiddicare store and our Pit Stop crew will help.

ISOFIX

What's ISOFIX?

ISOFIX is a European standard fitting system that doesn't use seat belts so it minimises the risk of incorrect installation. Rigid metal clips connect the car seat to the vehicle chassis resulting in reduced forward head movement and a smoother, safer ride for your child.

In most cars ISOFIX seats simply clip in and out of two metal bars between the base of the seat and the back rest, or they click on and off an ISOFIX base. Most ISOFIX seats need a third anchorage point which can either be a support leg or a top tether.

What groups are available as ISOFIX?

ISOFIX is available on all car seat groups up to Group 1/2/3. Some Group 0+ seats and some Group 1 seats (9-18kg) have a separate base unit, all others have a built in base unit.

Most new cars since 2008 have ISOFIX but not all. To see if your car is compatible look for two metal bars at the base of the seat back, check your vehicle manual, check the manufacturer's fit finder website or better still – come to Kiddicare and we'll advise.

i-Size

What's i-Size?

i-Size is new European car seat standard that offers better protection if you have an accident. The key changes are:

  • Rear facing travel mandatory until 15 months
  • Side impact testing as standard
  • Height classification not weight
  • ISOFIX-only seats

Do I have to change to an i-Size car seat?

Not at all. i-Size isn't an obligatory change, it's another option for customers. It will run alongside the current R44-04 car seat regulations which still have a lot of life in them.

* on orders over £29.99 to UK mainland


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safety considerations for your car seat

before you set off

  • Check there are no twists in seat belt or harness
  • Check the position of the adult belt buckle. Only the seat belt webbing should sit frame of the car seat
  • Check that the harness is firmly fitted; you shouldn't be able to fit more than two fingers between the harness and your child's chest
  • Check your car's headrest isn't obstructing a forward facing child seat
  • Remove your child's padded coat and replace with a travel blanket or fitted footmuff for secure fitting

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