It can be great fun to take us children out in the broom broom, but it is also a real pain for mums and dads! We want to say hello to the birds, count the trees and fall asleep in the comfort of Mum’s arms. What we don’t realise though is that every car journey, whether long or short, must be as safe as possible.
When I have to choose, I always get into a tizzy, whether it is about my din dins at the restaurant, a new toy or the car seat for my broom broom. The reason for this is that you have to check so many things such as the standard approval label. Who knows how but Mum and Dad always know what’s best for me, and one thing is certain: you’ll never go wrong by choosing safety.
The first step towards safety is to choose your car seat according to the European law that recommends considering not so much the age, but the weight of your baby. But that’s not all.
Even the baby’s size and shape are important aspects to be taken into consideration because only a suitable, well-chosen car seat will ensure the maximum level of protection.
It’s not easy to choose a car seat that is suitable for every stage of your child’s growth. For this reason, it’s very important to understand the meaning of the labels, paying attention to all the identification details.
Every time we start off on a car journey, we are always a little bit worried: I’m afraid that I won’t be able to fall asleep, Dad that he won’t find the way, and Mum that she hasn’t strapped me in properly. Luckily, they have invented a super new system to fit the car seat directly to the seat of the broom broom: it’s called Isofix and it makes us all feel much happier.
The Isofix system is the most innovative securing system that allows the car seat to be fitted directly to the body of the car by means of two rear connectors without having to use the seat belts. It guarantees the maximum level of safety in the event of an accident, thanks to a third anchorage point called the “Top Tether” behind the backrest which prevents any rotational movement of the car seat. What is more, it’s easy and quick to install and always guarantees the car seat is fitted correctly, while minimising the risk of incorrect installation.
When you are buying a car seat, it’s important to check if it’s suitable for your car. In fact, there are different types of Isofix:
The Top Tether anchorage point varies depending on car: consult your instruction manual to check whether the anchorage point is on the rear shelf, in the car boot or behind the seat.
The Isofix Universal system has been fitted, either as an optional or as a standard fitting on all new cars since 2006. Since 2011, it has become a compulsory fitting on all new car models. Therefore, since 2011, all new car models are equipped to take any child car seat provided with universal Isofix attachments.
I love growing up, even if at times it’s really complicated because everything seems to go contrariwise. The more I grow, the smaller other things become: my teddy-bear at sleepy bye-byes, my favourite little shoes and even my car seat in the broom broom! Thank goodness we can always find the right car seat for me at Cam. And what if I grow into a giant?
A complete range of car seats to accompany your child from birth to the age required by law with specific car seat groups or multi-groups.
Before purchasing any car seat, make sure that:
European law ECE R44/04 regulates children’s car journeys and specifies 5 groups of restraint systems considered appropriate according to the child’s weight. This law requires the use of a restraint system from birth to 36 kg. in weight. Moreover, it specifies that all children weighing up to 9 kg must be carried in a rear facing car seat placed on the rear seat of the car or on the front seat having always deactivated the air-bag system. However, it would be better to use the position on the rear car seat as long as possible (even over 10 kg. and until the weight and body structure of the baby allows you to do so) as it’s the safest position in the event of an accident because it provides the best protection for the child in the case of frontal and side impacts. Finally, we highly recommend following the indications provided by the car manufacturer in the instruction manual during the installation and use of the child car seat.
I always wonder how Mum knows that I’m really safe in my car seat. Perhaps because Dad chose it. Or maybe because they trust Cam that tests its car seats in the best European laboratories. But I won’t believe it till I see it. This is why crash tests were invented, to keep even the biggest cowardy custards like me quiet.
See all the impact tests checking the reliability and safety of the Cam child car seats at the best European laboratories. Watch the videos to believe it!
A crash test is performed to check the safety of the child car seats and their components, but, in particular to check their compliance with the laws in force. Usually it’s requested by the manufacturing company and carried out by national or international authorities that perform child car seat tests according to impartial and safe scientific standards. After testing a car seat, some laboratories or organizations assign a rating to the tested car seat that is usually expressed in “stars” from 1 to 5, certifying the quality of the product.
All Cam car seats have successfully passed the standard approval tests carried out by CSI, the Italian laboratory for certification and behavioural analysis, one of the most highly recognized authorities on a European and international level for product quality certification. The dynamic tests simulate a front and rear impact at a speed respectively of 50 kph and 30 kph, according to the European reference law ECE R44/04, as well as a tipping test.
Today I found out that even child car seats need servicing from time to time, just like my broom broom. Dad says it’s our job to keep them clean and check that everything is ok. So today we became mechanics and we serviced the car seat for the first time: it was fun and now we’re ready for our next trip!
When we talk about safety, Mums and Dads just can’t get enough of it. They always want to know absolutely everything there is to know and some of them have some very curious questions. Fortunately, Cam is always at their disposal and ready to provide all the information and advice they need. So nobody is worried and I can have sweet dreams.
The European law recommends considering not so much the baby’s age but the baby’s weight. And not only that. Even baby’s build is an important aspect to be taken into consideration because only an appropriate car seat chosen especially for the child, ensures the maximum level of protection. For further information, please refer to our group chart in the section “How to choose” on the Cam website.
If baby can sit unaided, if he exceeds the maximum weight limit, or his height is about to exceed that of the headrest, then it is time to go from a group 0+ to a group 1. When the baby weighs more than the maximum weight limit or when the level of his eyes is higher than the highest point of the car seat, it is right to go from a group 1 to a group 2-3.
There are car seats on the market called multi-group as they can cover different weights and age ranges. They are tested for different groups and have the advantage of being adjustable so they can be adapted to baby’s growth.
Specific group car seats are considered to be ideal because they offer maximum performance according to the weight and age of the child and are more compatible with the child’s build. Moreover, specific group car seats offer greater comfort and convenience, such as the versatility of the group 0+ and the reclining back rest of group 1.
First of all, you should fit the car seat following the securing instructions in the manual, fastening the car seat in the forward or rear facing position, depending on the group. Before fitting, it’s better to check on which seat the car seat can be fitted. In any case, never fit the car seat on a seat in a position that is not allowed by law.
There are no restrictions concerning the fitting of universal car seats belonging to any group in cars that are equipped for a universal car seat. If you buy a semi-universal car seat, you should check the list in the instruction manual to see if it’s suitable for your car. If you have bought a car seat with a universal Isofix system, you should just ensure your car is provided with universal Isofix attachments. Always check the car instruction manual to see the positions and car seat models that can be fitted.
A car seat equipped with the Isofix system is safer because it is secured directly to the body of the car without using the safety belts and minimizes the risk of an incorrect fitting. For further information, please consult the “Isofix System” section on the Cam website.
The Top Tether anchorage point varies depending on the car model: consult your car instruction manual to check whether the anchorage point is on the rear shelf, in the car boot or behind the seat. For further information, please consult the “Isofix System” section on the Cam website.
Bearing in mind that the car seat must be fitted correctly to the vehicle and the child must be fastened securely in the car seat, the safest position is the central rear seat as this is the most protected place in the case of front or side impact.
Do not forget that a child’s body is more delicate than an adult’s and, therefore, more prone to injury. A child travelling in a car without a car seat or in a car seat that does not comply with safety regulations or that is not suitable for his weight or not fitted correctly, risks serious injuries (very strong impact against the dashboard, the windscreen or the front seats of the car), even in the case of minor accidents or sudden braking.
Each used car seat has its own history and you never know how it has been used up to that moment, if it has always been fitted correctly or if it has been involved in a car accident. Very often the instruction manual, that is extremely important for fitting the car seat correctly, has been lost as well as the accessories for baby’s comfort (boosters, padding, head huggers, etc.). Having been bought some years ago, the car seat may not even comply any longer with the European law in force (ECE R44/04). For all these reasons, buying a new standard approved car seat, suitable for your baby and your car is always highly recommended.
It’s important and very advisable to replace the car seat after an accident, even a minor one, because although there may be no visible external damage, the inner part of the shell may be damaged and, therefore, no longer safe.
When a car accident occurs, very strong forces come into play because the kinetic energy of all the passengers depends on their body mass which must be multiplied by the speed squared. Just think that in the case of an impact at 40 k.p.h., a child weighing 16 kg. becomes like a weight of 1,000 kg. if the child is not fitted correctly in a car seat. An impact at 50 k.p.h. can be compared to falling from the third floor of a building.
In Italy, the highway code (Art. 172) specifies how children aged under 12 and below 1.50 m. in height must travel in the car and it states that they must be fastened to a standard approved restraint system that complies with the child’s weight/height. The European law (ECE R44/04) provides for 5 groups of restraint systems considered to be appropriate: group 0, group 0+, group 1, group 2 and group 3.
If a driver fails to use a child restraint system as required by law, he risks being fined from €80 to €323 and losing 5 points from his driving licence. If one of the child’s parents is a passenger in the car, but not the driver, the fine will be given to the parent and not the driver.