Approximately 30 children under 12 years old are killed in cars every year. In some of those accidents, a child car seat could have saved the child’s life. It is a legal requirement that every child under 12 years old travelling in a car sits in a car seat or booster. Shockingly only a fifth of parents understand that it is illegal. In fact, child car safety experts recommend that throughout childhood, a child should have about three car seats.
The child car seat you use depends on the weight of your child. Babies can use rear-facing baby seats until they are 13kg (group 0+). Children from nine to 18kg can use forward or rear facing baby seats (group 1), and then move on to front-facing child seats (also known as booster seats) from 15 to 25kg. Booster cushions can be used for children over 22kg.
Cybex Aton Q
The Cyber Aton Q is an ideal car seat for babies and even premature babies as it offers impact protection, ISOFIX compatibility and an eight height-setting adjustable headrest. Aimed at from birth to around 18 months, the car seat won the 2014 Which? Best Buy in the child car seat category.
Silver Cross Simplicity
According to recent research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, 80 per cent of child car seats are used incorrectly. Silver Cross designed this easy-to-install, ISOFIX compatible and safe car seat to combat the problem. The Silver Cross Simplicity car seat is targeted at children from birth to 13kg.
If you have issues getting your child in and out of the car seat, the Maxi-Cosi Axiss rotates either way to face you. Although it is on the expensive side, the car seat also has forward facing seat indicators confirming the seat is locked in place. The seat is aimed at approximately nine months to four years, but doesn’t feature ISOFIX fittings.
Maxi-Cosi 2 Way Pearl
The Maxi-Cosi 2way Pearl is one of the first car seats that adheres to the new European i-size legislation. The rear-facing seat can be used by children from six months until four years old. It can also be used as a forward-facing seat from 15 months old. The Maxi-Cosi 2way Peal also offers ISOFIX anchorage compatibility.
Britax King II LS
Aimed at nine months to four years old kids, the forward-facing Britax King II LS car seat offers a whole host of safety features from a harness indicator to a five-point safety harness to ensure your child is safe on their travels. Unfortunately this car seat is not ISOFIX compatible.
Kiddy Guardian Pro 2
Suitable from nine months to 12 years old, the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 features an impact protection shield instead of harnesses which it is claimed is safer for your child as well as the ISOFIX fastening system. The car seat received the Which? Best buy award for design.
Graco Nautilus Elite
The 3-in-1 Garco Nautilus Elite car seat is easy to adapt while you child grows. The seat is aimed at nine months to 11 years old children. Featuring a useful cup holder and storage pockets, the seat is simple to fit and compatible with most cars, although it doesn’t have ISOFIX fitting.
Cybex Solution Q-Fix
Weighing in at only 7.1kg, the Cybex Solution Q-Fix is one of the lightest car seats made for group 2-3. The car seat also has an anti-head lolling device for those long journeys and ISOFIX fitting. Targeted at four years old and above, the car seat also has automatic height and width adjustment to make it easy to adjust as your child grows.
Diono Monterey 2
Aimed at four to 12 year old children, the Diono Monterey 2 has a high back booster seat with padded protection. The multi award-winning seat has metal wings for side impact protection during collisions and ISOFIX nylon strapping.
Concord Transformer T
The Concord Transformer T was the Which? Best Buy 2010 winner. Ideal for four year olds and above, the large front-facing seat has a foam-padded back for longer journeys, ISOFIX fittings and can be easily adjusted to your child’s size with the push-button size adjustor.
Volvo recently announced an inflatable car seat concept, which can inflate in 40 seconds, deflate and be transported when required. Although the concept is only in the initial stages of development, it is an interesting concept for the future of child car seat safety.