Car seat selection criteria
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Car seat selection criteria

You can buy a car seat even in a supermarket. But will such a model be safe? What criteria should be used when choosing a car seat?

Price is not everything

For most buyers, the most important criterion when choosing a car seat is its price. Parents want a model to be not only good, but also cheap. Unfortunately there is no such car seat. A cheap car seat, so called anti-mandate, can be bought in every supermarket or discount store. Unfortunately it does not provide any protection for the child during the collision, and it can even be dangerous for its life.

A car seat that is suitable for the child’s age and weight

A car seat should always be properly adjusted to the weight and height of the child. There are car seats for different age groups on the market:

  • Group 0+ (0-13 kg) – popular booty, backward-mounted;
  • Group I (9-18 kg) – a seat for a child from about a year to 3 to 4 years. Seats in this group are designed for children who can sit up independently;
  • Group II (15-25 kg) – the seat for a child 4-6 years old;
  • Group III (22- 36 kg) – seats for children aged 6 to 11 years;

There are hybrid car seats available on the market, i.e. models dedicated to more than one age group e.g. group I + II+ III means that the car seat is dedicated for children from 9 to 36 kg. Many experts say that it is not worth buying this type of car seats, because they are not adjusted to the child’s requirements.

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Fit in the car

There is no universal car seat. A car seat must always be adjusted to the make and model of car. Each car model has a different seat belt arrangement and location of ISOFIX, i.e. factory installed fixtures in the car.

The ISOFIX system allows the seat to be securely fastened in the car. Some models have a leg that provides additional stability by keeping the seat tightly anchored to the floor of the car.

Good rating in tests

Every child car seat on sale has a safety certificate (ECE R44-03, ECE R44-04). However, this is not enough – even the so-called cradle, which is dangerous for children in an accident, has such a certificate.

The seat should have certificates and information about safety tests. It is worth choosing models that meet the i-Size standards and have certificates issued by ADAC (strict safety tests).


Carrying a child backwards causes a lot of controversy among parents. Experts in the field of accident biomechanics point out that it is worthwhile for a child to ride backwards for as long as possible, because it is much safer for him.

Children who are transported rearward-facing in RWF car seats come out of accidents in much better condition than their parents. A RWF seat provides maximum protection for the child’s neck and head in a frontal or side impact crash.

Not all parents realize that a child has a slightly different structure than an adult – its head is larger in relation to the rest of its body, it has weak neck muscles and an underdeveloped spine. While an adult’s neck can handle the jolt of an accident, a child’s head can’t – it flies inertly forward, falling onto its chest.

New or used?

A car seat should be new. If you decide to buy a used car seat, it should only be from family or good friends. Then you have a guarantee that the car seat was not involved in any accident. Otherwise, it is suitable for throwing away.

Features of a good child car seat:

  • rear-facing installation up to 18 kg;
  • iSOFIX or special leg assembly;
  • adjustable backrest and headrest;
  • five-point seat belts;
  • backrest and headrest angle adjustment – especially important for 0-13 and 9-18 seats;
  • side protection system;
  • high scores in safety tests;
  • upholstery made of breathable fabric;

A good car seat should keep your child safe while driving. It should be chosen according to the age of the child and the specific car. Do not save money, a car seat is an investment in your child’s health and life!

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