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Car Seats 

Car Seats: specifications, types

Weight group

The weight of the child for which the car seat is designed.

In total, there are 5 main weight groups: 0 (0 – 10 kg; a rather rare option nowadays), 0+ (0 – 13 kg), 1 (9 – 18 kg), 2 (15 – 25 kg), 3 (22 – 36 kg). However, many car seats are produced that belong to several groups at once: 0 + / 1 (0 – 18 kg), 1/2 (9 – 25 kg), 2/3 (15 – 36 kg), 0 + / 1/2 (0 – 25 kg) and even 1/2/3 (9 – 36 kg) and 0+/1/2/3 (0 – 36 kg). Such versatility affects the price, sometimes quite noticeably. On the other hand, a chair that matches several groups at once remains relevant for a child longer, and it usually costs less than two (or even more) separate products, each for a different weight category.

Note also that the weight group is directly related to age; see "Age group" for details.

ADAC security test result

The results shown by the seat in crash tests according to ADAC standards — the General German Automobile Club, an authoritative European motorist organization.

Car seats in such tests are evaluated in several categories, but this paragraph takes into account only one parameter — the safety of the child, his safety in emergency situations. The results of such a test are indicated by the number of points; at the same time, the lower the score in the end, the safer the product. At the same time, it should be noted that the ADAC criteria are noticeably stricter than those according to which the chair is evaluated during mandatory certification; tests are carried out with different directions of impacts (frontal and lateral), with dummies of different “ages”, etc. Therefore, the ADAC test result quite reliably describes the real level of protection that the product provides in case of accidents.

According to this indicator, modern car seats can be divided into the following categories:

very good (< 1.5) ;
good (1.6 – 2.5) ;
satisfactory (2.6 – 3.5) ;
acceptable (3.6 – 4.5) ;
— unacceptable (more than 4.5).

The downside of a good estimate is usually a higher price; however, in the event of an accident, this price may turn out to be a very low price for additional protection that...can save the life and health of the baby.

In conclusion, we note that ADAC test methods are constantly being improved, and tests are carried out every year. Therefore, when choosing a chair and comparing it with analogues, you should also pay attention to the year of production; usually, newer products with the same number of points give a higher actual level of protection than older ones.

Age group

The age of the child for which the car seat is designed. Many models combine several age groups at once; such products, naturally, are more expensive, but remain relevant for the baby longer.

Note that this indicator is directly related to the weight group; Here are the main age groups that are found nowadays, and the weight categories to which they correspond:

— 1 – 6 months (weight group 0); rare today.
1 – 12 months(weight group 0+); almost completely replaced the category "0".
8 – 48 months(weight group 1).
3 – 7 years(weight group 2).
6 – 12 years (weight group 3). Note that if only this weight category is indicated for the chair, then it is a so-called booster : a lining without a back, which is placed on the standard car seat and allows the grown-up child to use "adult" seat belts. If the record “6 – 12 years old” is combined with another weight category, then we have a full-fledged chair with a back.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that this characteristic is not strictly defined: after all, children of the same age can differ in development and physique. So when choosing, it is worth considering first of all weight, and only then — age; and if the chair corresponds to the height and physique of the child, there is nothing wrong with age discrepancy.

Fastening

Seat belt. Fastening with a regular car seat belt. In chairs in weight groups 0, 0+ and 1, only the chair is attached in this way; The safety of the child is ensured by the seat's own seat belts. In weight groups 2 and 3, the car's belt serves both to fasten the seat and to fix the child himself.

Anchor strap. Additional strap to increase the security of the fixation, used in chairs with Isofix and Latch systems (see below). At one end, such a belt is attached to the upper part of the back, the other — to a special bracket installed in the floor of the car behind the seat or in the boot. Due to this fastening, the likelihood that the seat will “bite with its nose” during sudden braking or a frontal impact is reduced, and the overall safety of the small passenger is increased.

Leg stop on the floor. Additional fastening in the form of a stop going from the bottom of the car seat to the floor of the car. By appointment, it is similar to the anchor belt described above: it increases the reliability of the installation of the chair and reduces the risk of a “nod” when the machine stops abruptly. Most often used with the Isofix mounting system.

ISOFIX. The system for fastening child car seats in the weight category up to 18 kg is used mainly in cars of European manufacturers. The chair with this installation is a...ttached to two locks in the rear lower part, sometimes additional fastening is provided from above and/or from below; the specificity of the fastening is such that it is impossible to install the chair on it incorrectly. To use Isofix, the car must be equipped with the appropriate braces, however, even if they are not available, such seats can usually be securely fastened using a standard seat belt — although this option is not entirely justified in terms of cost, because. chairs with the Isofix system are quite expensive.

LATCH. Fastening system similar to Isofix. It is used mainly in American cars and, accordingly, in car seats of American manufacturers. Regular fastening is carried out at three points — two at the bottom of the chair and one at the top — in such a way that incorrect installation of the chair is excluded. Like Isofix, Latch seats can also be fastened with a regular car seat belt.

Installation

Along the way. Installing the car seat facing in the direction of the car. In this way, car seats of weight groups starting from 1 and above are installed.

Against the course of movement. Rearward facing car seat installation. Thus, chairs of weight groups 0 and 0+ are installed, intended for the smallest children. In such children, the cervical muscles are not yet sufficiently developed to hold their heads in the event of a more or less strong frontal impact, therefore, when the seat is located in the direction of travel, such an impact can lead to damage to the cervical spine, even fatal. When located against the direction of movement, the back of the chair prevents a critical displacement of the head.

Sideways. An option used in some models for the smallest. Such "car seats" are usually oblong cradles that are difficult to fit into a car in any other way. Some models have a swivel / folding cradle design that allows you to turn it into a chair and turn it to face against the direction of travel or along the way; however, in the form of a cradle, such devices are still located sideways, hence the name. Note that from the point of view of safety, this option is generally less preferable than the location against the direction of travel, however, such designs perform well in side impacts.

Adjustments

Adjustment of an inclination of a back. Adjustable seat backrest. In different weight groups, this moment is solved in different ways. In groups 0+ and 1 (and intermediate 0/1 and 1/2), it is not the back that leans relative to the fixed base, but the entire chair, and in groups 2 and 2/3 only the back leans. The ability to adjust the backrest is of great importance if the child is in the car for a long time — by tilting the backrest, you can give him the opportunity to sleep or relax.

Headrest height adjustment. According to safety requirements, it is necessary that the head of the child rises above the headrest by less than a third, therefore, as the child grows, it becomes necessary to raise the headrest.

Adjustment of height of belts. The ability to adjust the height of your own car seat belts — such a need arises as the child grows.

Adjustment of width of a back. The ability to adjust the width of the backrest allows you to optimally adjust the car seat not only for constantly changing height, but also for the child's complexion.

Horizontal position of a back. The backrest of the car seat is horizontal. The horizontal position is optimal for children under the age of six months, since it avoids unnecessary stress on the spine, therefore group 0 chairs usually have thi...s function.

Removable back. The ability to completely remove the back of the car seat and install only the seat of the car seat on the car seat. This function expands the possibilities of the chair: it can be used both for its intended purpose, with a backrest, and as a booster (for more information about boosters, see "Weight group — 3").

Turning system. The system of rotation of the chair relative to a fixed base. This makes getting the child in and out more convenient: for the duration of these actions, you can turn the chair facing the car door, and for the duration of the movement, set it to the “working position” along or against the direction of travel.

Equipment

Removable cover. Removable car seat cover for cleaning and/or washing. This function is especially useful if the chair is used when feeding a child.

Anatomical pillow. Depending on the age group, it can either be a special horseshoe-shaped pillow to support the child's head (for the youngest children who are still unable to hold their head on their own), or a special soft headrest that fixes the head from behind and to the sides (for older children).

Sun visor. Plastic (most often) visor to protect the child from the sun or bright light.

Cape on the legs. Canopy covering the legs and lower body of the child. It is used in chairs of age group 0.

Cup holder. A device used in infant car seats to hold a bottle of drink or formula for feeding. Most often done removable.

Additional side protection

The presence in the chair of structural elements that additionally protect the child from side impacts. At a minimum, such elements include sidewalls for head protection made of impact-absorbing material such as polyurethane foam; in addition, torso protection may also be provided. If you are looking for a car seat with the maximum level of protection, you should choose from models with additional side protection.

Belt type

The type of belts installed in the car seat. The most popular options are five-point, which can cover absolutely any age category. Three-points are more common in neonatal models. And the bumper is not at all connected with the belts, but it also reliably protects the child. At the same time, there are also two-point and six-point (exclusive rare options for the cradle) and car seats without belts. More details about each of them:

— Two-point. A belt covering the child's body in the waist area. A rather specific option, found in two varieties — cradles for the smallest (see "Weight group") and boosters, in which the main fixation is provided by a standard car seat belt.

— Three-point. Three straps (two go over the shoulders, one between the legs of the child) converging in a buckle located in the abdomen.

— Five-point. In addition to the shoulder and crotch straps (as in three-point), they have two additional straps at the waist. Such a system is more expensive, but more reliable than a three-point system.

— Six-point. A specific format positioned as a safer alternative to five-point harnesses. Such belts are passed from the shoulders crosswise, in the area of the belt they are hooked on special stops on the chair, then they wrap around the hips and are fixed in the clasp between the child's legs. It is be...lieved that such an arrangement of the belts reduces the risk of injury to the abdomen and genitals, since the clasp is located in the seat of the chair and does not crash into the body of the baby in the event of a collision. At the same time, such belts are more difficult to set up and use than five-point belts, so they are rare.

— Bumper. The bumper is actually not a belt, but a special rigid device, lined with soft material for the comfort of the baby. Such a device tightly fixes the baby's torso from the chest to the groin, leaving only the head, arms and legs free and does not require additional seat belts. One of the advantages of this design is that in an accident, the impact load is evenly distributed not over narrow belts, but over a fairly large bumper area. In addition, in some models, such a device can be used as a game table. Among the shortcomings of the bumper, one can note a weak fixation of the upper body, as well as the fact that in warm weather the child can be hot in such a chair.

— None. The complete absence of own belts in the design of the chair. This feature is found in models of older age categories, where it is supposed to fasten the child with a standard car seat belt.

Material

Polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from polyester fibers. The child car seats with polyester upholstery have a pleasant to the touch surface. The material itself is not hygroscopic and is not subject to bacterial contamination. It is sufficiently resistant to mechanical stress and does not fade in the sun.

Microfibre (fabric). Microfibre is made from polyamides. The main feature of microfibre is the unique structure of the fabric. This material consists of numerous micropores, which explains the good ventilation of microfibre. Microfibre-based upholstery provides a pleasant tactile sensation. The material belongs to the category of well-ventilated and breathable. Despite the synthetic origin, microfibre absorbs moisture well, but it is easy to wash and dries quickly.

— Alcantara. The Alcantara-finished child seat has an attractive appearance and excellent performance. Alcantara is an artificial suede leather, it is a very wear-resistant and practical material. It is easy to clean, does not absorb moisture and does not require any special care. Alcantara is made from a mixture of polyester and polyurethane fibers, as a result of complex chemical processing. It is considered one of the most prestigious finishing materials.

Eco -leather. Children's car seats with eco-leather upholstery are highly practical, reliable and dura...ble. This material "breathes" well, while not allowing the stock to rot, has high wear resistance and is absolutely hypoallergenic. An important difference between eco-leather and natural leather is the thickness of the material — eco-leather is noticeably thicker, but thanks to this, it also has higher strength characteristics. But at the outward glance, good expensive eco-leather cannot be distinguished from natural.

Skin. Genuine leather upholstery is typical for premium child car seats. This material looks prestigious and solid, while possessing the highest strength and wear resistance. The natural origin of the skin excludes the appearance of any allergic manifestations in the child on the car seat. Also, genuine leather is valued for the fineness of the dressing, provided that the material maintains high strength characteristics. In addition, it perfectly "breathes" and is able to absorb moisture.

Suede. Suede lining will give the child a feeling of comfort and coziness. Like genuine leather, suede has good durability. This material is water-repellent and does not require any special care. Suede is obtained by chemical processing of natural leather, followed by tanning.

Country of brand origin

The country of origin of the brand under which the product is marketed. Often indicated by the nationality of the company or the location of its headquarters. At the same time, the actual production capacity of the brand often differs from the country of origin.

It should be noted that the quality of products depends not so much on geography, but on the peculiarities of the organization of processes and quality control at all stages of production. Therefore, national prejudices regarding brands from certain regions, as a rule, are not supported by anything. It is necessary to pay attention to the country of origin of the brand only if the task is to fundamentally support or bypass the manufacturer from a particular state.
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