BLOG: Baby Car Seats & Bases: ISOFIX On Old Cars Problems Solved















With Team Road expecting a baby this Summer, we've entered the world of baby shopping full on. And whilst Mrs Road gets excited over tiny shoes and outfits, Mr Road has been busy sorting out the hardware... including anything car-related, like a car seat a base.
Mr Road swiftly found out this was a bit of a minefield – with a ton of products out there, all at vastly different prices and specifications. And what Mr Road initially thought would be a simple task, turned out to be a big headache – especially because Team Road's fleet consists of a B5 Audi S4 and P38 Range Rover V8 Vogue, both of which have no ISOFIX points. 
But I am getting ahead of myself... let's deal with some useful facts, which we found very hard to find, until we came across the amazing Mamas & Papas brand. Their stores not only stock the latest, greatest, coolest and well-priced range of baby gear, but their staff are utterly amazing – and could not have offered better advise, or been more helpful. Go there first and save yourself a lot of messing about is our advise!
In a nut shell, here's what we learned from the lovely Holly and team at Mamas & Papas:
   
Point one: Law: Child seats are compulsory for children up to 1.35m (UK) or 1.5m (Ireland) tall – depending on where you are travelling in the EU. As a helper, all child restraint systems with the ECE R44/04 certification comply with this law, but do note that side impact collisions are yet to be recognised by EU regulations as a standard safety measure for car seats. 
Point two: Categories: Car seats are grouped by the child’s weight. Age is an indicator, but for maximum safety you need to know how much your child weighs to choose the right seat. You also need to ensure that the seat you have chosen is approved for your vehicle. If in doubt, take your car with you when buying a seat and ask a trained staff member to demonstrate the fitting procedure. 
Point three: ISOFIX or not? The innovative, click-in-position ISOFIX technology was developed in 1997, by VW (& Britax). It's now an international installation standard for child seats in vehicles. Because ISOFIX connects child seats rigidly to the vehicle chassis rather than just using adult seat belts, it reduces installation errors and increases child safety enormously. In a recent survey, only 30% of child car seats are installed correctly when using an adult seat belt compared to 96% when using the ISOFIX system. You can tell if your car is ISOFIX compatible if it has this symbol, which indicates where the ISOFIX anchorage points are in your car. 

 





If your cars are old school like Team Road's are, you will not have ISOFIX points – but fear not! You can still fit the latest, safest, click-in-and-out car seat bases and seats using very cleverly designed, simple to install and still 100% safe (if properly installed) bases, utilising the standard adult car seat belt to secure the base.   
Point Four: What to look for: For safety and comfort, you need a car seat with the following features:  * A f ive-point safety harness (especially for a child aged from birth to four years), which fully restrains your child over the pelvic and shoulder areas keeping them firmly secured in every direction. And in the event of a crash, the harness evenly distributes the impact forces over the five points of contact minimising injury. 
* Easy headrest and harness adjustment, making life easy getting baby comfortable, without having to remove the shoulder straps, thus preventing re-thread errors.
* Deeply padded side wings. One in four accidents are side impact crashes and account for 20% of infant fatalities. Get the most padding you can. 
* Other useful things like quick remove covers that are machine washable, multi-recline positions allowing you to adjust the seat without disturbing your child and maximum comfort-factor, with lots of energy absorbing shoulder pads, pelvis pads and great fabrics.
* The cool factor!  

With all this in mind and after hours of careful internet and shopping research, Mr & Mrs Road decided Mamas & Papas not only offered the best range, the coolest/safest gear and great prices but – crucially – the best customer service, so we shopped there. 

Our choice of car seat was the £130 Aton (in a very cool denim fabric and which is fully one-click compatible with the travel system pram), along with an charcoal Aton base, which is ISOFIX or non-ISOFIX car compatible. It retails at £110, and is money very well spent for an easy life. 
Despite fears fitting the seat base with the adult car seat belt would not be as solid as ISOFIX, or indeed as safe or easy, we could into have been more wrong. It literally took five minutes to carefully thread the seat belt through the base and lock that into position with one click and extend the base's leg to the floor and lock that up. And we did as suggested to level the base off on the deep luxury leather of the Range Rover back seats, by installing the base on top of a folded towel (also useful in the event of leaks!). It could not have been more simple and is 100% solid and safe. And it looks great. Best of all, it unbelievably easy to use.  

The ultra light Aton base and car seat are a marvellous design – making it so easy to get in and out of the car, with just one click, no seat belt to obstruct and the oh-so simple lock/unlock turn lever to install and release the base, so you can move the base and seat between cars no worries. And the car seat can be swiftly removed and installed into the Aton pram in one click too – with no need to disturb the baby. It's amazing stuff summed up best by the grandparents who have all marvelled at the style, simplicity and ease of the car seat, base and pram set-up saying "it wasn't like this in our day!" Simples. 

So, if you are like Mr & Mrs Road – fretting over ISOFIX points and old cars – or you have a new ISOFIX-ready car and want an amazing car seat and base that's a dream to use, with first class customer service on tap, save yourself some stress and visit a Mamas & Papas store near you. Done! 

See loads more images of the seat, base and install on our Facebook page. 

Comments

  1. If your child isn't born yet, try the seat in your car anyway. Don't wait until the baby is born; if you're travelling home by car, most hospitals won't discharge you unless you have a child car seat.

    ReplyDelete
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  3. It is important that the baby car seat is the right size! Don't save money when it comes to safety!

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  4. Thanks for all the comments folks!

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  5. Hello
    This is really nice idea as far as concerning about child, We have all stuff for my kid in my car, Once i was stuck near billet road actually my car has been broken down then only i called some car recovery london and breakdown recovery service for help, they came up in 10 minutes and helped me

    Thanks

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