The short answer is: Yes! But check this article from ComfyBummy for the details.
Are non-Isofix car seats safe to use? This question comes up pretty often, and we did some research to bring you the answers you are looking for.
Although we are very invested in a child’s comfort and proper sitting position, one more thing is equally important: safety.
A car crash is the most common cause of death in children between one and fourteen years old. In most cases, death or injuries happen because of a collision with another car. Injuries usually occur to the head and neck areas which are not protected by seatbelts.
Accidents can also happen relatively easily: even at a sudden stop or during turns. Again, that is one of the reasons for using an appropriate type of child restraint system that protects your child from injuries in case of a crash.
How to choose the right car seat for your child?
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a car seat for your child.
Child’s age, size, and weight.
Let’s start with infant seats which are the safest for infants up to 12 months of age (9 kg – 20 lbs). These car seats make them feel like they are still in mama’s arms, and the reclined bucket seat position keeps their head against the shell rather than flailing it around during a sudden stop. Another essential thing is special straps to hold your baby’s head and neck in case of an accident.
An infant seat should stay rear-facing for as long as possible (until the height and weight limits allow it). When moving from a car seat to a belt-positioning booster, make sure it fits both your child and the belt.
Remember to move your child from a 5-point harness into a belt-positioning booster as soon as their shoulders reach the top slots of the car seat and they are mature enough to stay adequately seated during a ride without leaning forward. Usually, this happens around 4 years old or when they weigh more than 22 kg (48 pounds), typically the weight of 6-7-year-olds.
If you are thinking about getting a convertible car seat, it will stay rear-facing for longer – up to 4 years which is also the legal requirement in many countries (check your local regulations). After switching to a front-facing position, these seats can be used until the height and weight limits are reached.
Always make sure your child fits properly in a car seat and always follow the height and weight limits mentioned in the user manual. Children should be restrained with a 5-point harness or seatbelt, depending on their car seat. Inflatable seatbelts are not safe for children because they do not fit well around the hips and shoulders.
And don’t forget about proper positioning! If you want your kid to be safe, make sure the harness is snug and lower on the thighs, near hips (no shoulders!). Some types of child restraints are not appropriate for newborns. For example, rear-facing seats should only be used in the car since they can be very dangerous when placed on any other surface (even a flat floor).
Ease of use
You also need to consider practical matters like size and ease of use. Some car seats are much easier to install than others which can be a problem, especially when you have more than one child who needs a ride.
In the end, remember to install and use a car seat correctly – do not assume that others will know how to do it properly. Ask your friends and family for help if you doubt or have problems installing or using a particular seat. Your child’s safety is only your responsibility!
When it comes to car seats, there are two types of installation: Isofix and seatbelt. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
The European standard Isofix is the safest way to install a car seat. You just need to push your car seat into an Isofix base that stays in your car, and you are good to go!
Let’s take a closer look at the Isofix system.
What is Isofix?
Isofix is a car seat installation system introduced by the European Union in 2004 to enable easier and safer attachment of car seats to vehicle seats.
The Isofix system uses metal bars attached to the vehicle’s floor, with special sockets on the car seat’s base that attach to these bars.
This makes it securely fastened to the car and easier to attach by the user.
Do all the cars have Isofix?
Isofix is a standard in most modern vehicles, which means that the metal bars are present in all cars that meet minimum requirements.
This also means that any car seat with an Isofix fitting can be attached to these bars. The requirement of the car seats is higher because you are adding extra forces when you connect it with 6 points harness.
You can check if your car is Isofix compatible by looking for the metal bars on the car’s floor.
There are also caps that cover them when they are not used, so you can see if someone removed one of them or these metal bars simply don’t exist in your car – which is very unlikely.
Are all Isofix bases the same?
No, they are not.
Each manufacturer has its own Isofix base with specific characteristics.
They can fit different types of car seats, have different ways for fixing them to the metal bars or even different dimensions of these bars. This means that you need to use only one brand when purchasing a new base – otherwise, your child’s car seat will not be safely attached to the car.
The Isofix bases are made up of metal bars that attach to the car’s floor and a plastic cap with holes on it.
Do you need to use a seatbelt with an Isofix base?
Yes, you should. This is a requirement from the European safety standards for car seats.
It’s called “Universal Anchor to the Car,” meaning any seat must be attached with both Isofix and seat belt to be considered safe enough.
This guarantees that the seat will not move while driving, which is very important for smaller children.
How to check if the Isofix car seat is installed correctly?
You can tell if your child’s car seat is correctly attached by looking at two white lines painted next to each other on top of one of the metal bars. These lines should be horizontally level and parallel to each other.
You can also check if the seat is appropriately fixed by pulling on it with all your strength and checking if it moves more than 15 cm (6 inches) in any direction.
Also, once you’ve found an Isofix base that fits your car seat, make sure to attach it with the car seat every time you use the vehicle.
Isofix or car belt – which is safer?
First of all, the difference between Isofix and seat belt installation is that an Isofix car seat has two metal bars underneath it that are firmly attached to the back seat. Those bars connect with a click when you push the child’s seat in place. So there’s not much room for mistakes when installing the seat securely in your car.
You can install the Isofix car seat with a seat belt too. But in this case, you have to pull the shoulder part of the seat belt very tightly over the child’s car seat, then push it down firmly on one side and do that for both sides. When your car has 3-point belts in the back, that means you have to pull the belt very tightly over the seat and across the child’s shoulder.
If you didn’t attach an Isofix car seat correctly, it could easily move during a crash or sudden braking.
When an accident happens, things can change very quickly. Your child needs the best protection you can give them!
That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right kind of safety gear for your little traveler.
This is why we recommend choosing a seat with an Isofix base, also when it’s more expensive. That way, you install the seat correctly every time.
To be extra safe, you can use Isofix car seats with an Isofix base for your youngest kids or those who are still rear-facing.
When it comes to the Isofix vs. Belt installation – it’s generally safer to use an Isofix seat than a belt – but that doesn’t mean that belts should not be used. Kids who are too small for an Isofix seat can be seated with a 3-point belt.
Is Isofix car seat worth it?
Yes! Isofix car seats are worth it for several reasons.
First of all, most of them are very lightweight and easy to carry around. If you travel a lot with your baby – that’s something you’ll appreciate.
Secondly, some models have a very slim profile after you fasten them to the metal bars. That way, they don’t take much space in your car – especially if you have a small vehicle or need more storage room.
Thirdly, many of these seats come with excellent safety features that protect kids in an accident. But make sure to always check if the car seat you choose comes with comfortable straps and is easy for your child to use.
When is your child ready to switch from infant seat to children seat?
There is no universal answer to this question since it depends on several different factors. But don’t worry – we have got you covered!
First things first: safety ratings and instructions should be the primary source for proper guidance. If a car seat is not recommended by experts and fellow parents or doesn’t include proper information regarding age, height, and weight requirements, it simply means it is not designed for your child.
And remember: We are all different, and there might be children who exceed height, weight, or age recommendations even though they feel uncomfortable in a regular forward-facing car seat. In the end, only you can decide if it’s safe to let them stay in a particular type of restraint until they turn four or five years old.