Car Seat Safety Jargon Buster
With so many regulations and so much terminology out there for all the different types of car seats available, it can be a little bit confusing and overwhelming! This jargon buster should help you get to grips with what it all means:
What is ECE R44?
ECE R44 is a European car seat safety regulation that was introduced in the 1980’s and amended over time with the latest update being R44/04 in 2004. This update was introduced to ensure that manufacturers of child restraints followed a minimum set of safety standards when producing car seats.
Read Next: Top Tips For Car Seat Safety
What is i-Size (R129)?
Introduced in July 2013, i-Size is the first part of the newest European car seat safety regulation called R129, which aims to increase the safety of children in cars by bringing the safety performance of car seats to a new, higher level.
The 5 Key Points of I-SIZE
- Improved protection for head and neck, for frontal and side impact
- Mandatory rearward-facing travel up to 15 months
- Uses ISOFIX to avoid incorrect installation
- Fits almost all cars with ISOFIX
- Easier to choose a car seat - classification by height (cm)
What is ISOFIX?
An international standardised fitting system which provides the safest, easiest and quickest way to install a child car seat correctly without the need of vehicle seat belts. An ISOFIX base provides a rigid, permanent connection between the child car seat and the car chassis and indicates when the car seat is fitted correctly.
What does top tether mean?
ISOFIX car seats use two standard anchor points located at the base of the seat, plus an anti-tipping forward device: either a support leg or top tether. The top tether can be located at the back of the rear seat, at the bottom of the boot or on the ceiling. In most new cars this anchor point is highlighted with the top tether logo (displaying an anchor). The top tether hook of the car seat needs to be firmly attached to the hook, to secure the third ISOFIX point.
What does support leg mean?
The support leg is the second anti-tipping device and is positioned at the floor of the car between the back seat and the front seat, or between the front seat and dashboard. To work correctly, the support leg of the car seat should be stable.
What is a buckle crunch?
When car seats are fitted with the adult seat belt, the webbing of the seat belt must be holding the seat in place, not the seat belt buckle. If any part of the plastic seat belt buckle casing is on or over the plastic frame of the seat, it is an unsafe fit, which is called buckle crunch.