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Car Seat FAQs

We have compiled below our most commonly asked questions and queries around the subject of car seats.

We know that car seats are a very complex and confusing area and we hope that these FAQs will help you make the right choice for you and your baby.

General car seat advice
Choosing the right car seat for your child
Correctly using your car seat

General car seat advice

  • What are the different types of car seat available?

    Infant Carrier - These rear-facing car seats hold the child in a semi reclined position. They are designed to be used from birth and can be removed from the car and carried with the child inside. They are usually designed to fit onto buggies, strollers or pram chassis to make what is sometimes called a Travel System.

     

    Toddler Seat - These seats are designed primarily for children that have outgrown an infant carrier, however some are also designed to be used from birth. They can be rear-facing or forward-facing, depending on the weight or height of child they are approved for. They may also be ‘convertible’, with both rear- and forward-facing installation options.

     

    High Back Booster Seat (sometimes called just Booster Seat) - These seats are designed for children that have outgrown a toddler seat. They raise the child so the car’s seat belt is positioned correctly across their body. They include a backrest.

     

    Booster Cushion - These products also raise the child, but they do not include a backrest. Cosatto do not sell booster cushions.

  • What are All Stages, Combination, Convertible or Multigroup seats?

    These are the various names given to car seats that are designed to cover more than one of the car seat types detailed above by adjusting the direction of installation, position of the child and/or the way they are held in the seat. They are therefore designed to be used for longer. Please check the exact detail on each car seat before purchasing.

  • What is an Isofix base?

    An Isofix base is a product that is designed be installed using your car’s ISOFIX points and stay there. This then allows you to quickly and easily ‘click’ your car seat on and off it.

  • Is using an Isofix base for an infant carrier safer?

    Infant carrier ISOFIX bases provide greater convenience, allowing infant carriers to be easily installed and removed from the vehicle. They are not inherently safer, however as they are secured using the ISOFIX points, they are much more likely to be fitted correctly, therefore making them safer than an incorrectly fitted seat.

  • What types of installation/attachment methods are available?

    Generally car seats can be held in place in the car in one of two ways Belted or ISOFIX (see next questions)

  • What is meant by Belted (or Seat Belt) installation?

    This is where your standard car seat belt can be used to secure the car seat by threading it through the seat (e.g. in infant carriers or toddler seats), or around both the seat and the child (e.g. in high back booster seats).

  • What is ISOFIX?

    This is an installation/attachment system developed for child car seats. There are two anchor points in each car seating position (small metal bars near the base of the backrest) and two connectors on the car seat that ‘clamp’ onto those bars. All cars manufactured since 2006 should have ISOFIX anchorage points but please check your vehicle. There must also be a way of stopping the car seat from moving and rotating around the metal bars. The most common are:

     

    Top tether: A strap from the back of the car seat that clips onto a special point in the car, usually behind the seat back/headrest or in the boot somewhere.

     

    Support leg (foot prop): A leg from the base of the car seat that presses on the floor of the car.

  • Is ISOFIX installation safer than belted?

    ISOFIX installation is not inherently safer than a vehicle belt installation but it is usually much easier to use correctly every time (thereby reducing the risks related to human installation error). In random checks, many car seats are found to be incorrectly fitted. However a car seat properly installed with a vehicle seat belt is just as safe as one installed correctly using ISOFIX.

  • What is ‘ERF’? What does it mean?

    ERF stands for Extended Rear Facing and is used to indicate where a car seat has been designed to rearward face for longer.

  • Why is ERF (or Extended Rear Facing) considered to be important?

    It’s proven that rear facing seats are safer for babies and younger children in the event of a frontal collision (70% of all accidents). A young child’s neck, head and spine are very fragile. Rear facing seats offer more protection and can help to reduce potential injuries. We recommend that you keep your child rearward facing for as long as possible.

  • Car Seat Regulations seem very complicated. Is there a simple explanation or guide?

    It is complicated, particularly for new parents, but the following will hopefully help to make things clearer. It does all become more familiar over time.

     

    In the UK (and the European Union) there are currently 2 Regulations running side by side. Children must use a car seat that is approved to either UN Regulation No. 44 (ECE R44/R44) or to UN Regulation No.129 (R129). No other car seats are legal to use, even if they have other approvals. In the case of R44, only seats that are approved to the third and fourth series of amendments are legal to use. These will be labelled R44.03 or R44.04 respectively.

  • What is R129?

    This are the latest regulations where car seats are designated according to the child’s height (an upper weight limit is also given for ISOFIX seats). There are no pre-defined groups (as in R44) and the car seat manufacturer can approve the seat for any specific height range. Therefore seats can be approved for a wide range of heights effectively making them Combination or All Stages seats

  • What is i-Size?

    i-Size is a category of seat within R129 that describes seats that are compatible with i-Size positions in i-Size certified cars. Most R129 car seats are i-Size.

  • What is R44?

    This are the older regulations where car seats are designated according to the child’s weight. There are five pre-defined weight groups that each seat must be approved to (Groups 0 & 0+ (Newborn to 13kgs), Group 1 (9kgs to 18kgs) , Group 2 (15ks to 25kgs) and Group 3 (up to 36kgs). Seats can also can be approved for more than one group making them a Combination or All Stages seat e.g Groups 0+1 (Newborn to 18kgs), Groups 2,3 (15kgs to 36kgs), or Groups 0+1,2,3 – (Newborn to 36kgs).

  • How Do You Know Which Regulation a Seat is Approved To?

    You can find out easily which approvals a car seat has by looking for the label fixed to the product somewhere (usually orange although they don’t have to be). An R44 approved car seat will have a label with a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’. An R129 car seat will have an orange label with a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘Regulation No. 129/XX’ where XX denotes the series of amendments.

  • Is the R129 regulation better or safer than R44?

    The simple answer is yes. ECE Reg 129 (often referred to as R129 or i-Size) is the latest safety standard and has several changes and improvements on the older ECE R44/04, which has been around for some years. R129 improves the compatibility between the child and the car seat and the vehicle seat. Other improvements are…

     

    • The first ever standardized side impact testing
    • Stricter criteria for head injuries and abdominal pressure to ensure better protection of the child
    • Mandatory rearward facing travel to 15 months
    • Tested using new, advanced technology crash test dummies (called Q dummies) that simulate a child’s body with greater accuracy
    • Seat usage is classified based on a child’s height instead of weight.

     

    However, do not assume that your child will be safer in an R129 car seat. If it is not suitable for your child or the vehicle in which it is being used, stick with an R44 car seat.

  • When will R44 be phased out?

    In the EU and Northern Ireland R44 seats will no longer be available for sale after Sept 2023. The situation for the rest of the UK is less clear and R44 seats will probably be available for longer. Exact details are still to be confirmed.

  • What is ‘ADAC’. What is it and what does it mean?

    ADAC stands for Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club and is a German car club (similar to our AA or RAC) that conducts consumer tests that differ from those required by the Regulations and then provide a rating to the public. In the UK, ‘Which?’ utilises the data from the ADAC testing alongside its own usability tests and gives its own score rating.

  • What is the ‘Plus’ or ‘Swedish Plus’ test?

    The ‘Plus Test’ or ‘Swedish Plus Test’ is a voluntary test on car seats that are intended for the Swedish market. The test is only carried out in Sweden. The nature and requirements of the testing are such that only rear way facing (RWF) car seats can successfully pass them. Forward facing child car seats cannot comply to them. It should be noted that this test has been developed for Swedish roads and road conditions and unlike R129, it doesn’t include any side impact testing.

  • Consumer Tests says one seat is better than another, is this true? I thought all seats that passed the law were safe?

    All car seats available in the UK and Europe are manufactured to comply with mandatory safety and regulatory standards, comprising either R44 or R129. These Regulations set minimum levels of car seat performance that are based on detailed studies and evidence from real collisions and are designed to target the most common types of collision and injuries to ensure children’s safety in car seats across Europe. Therefore all available car seats must meet the minimum standard and are therefore safe. There are other tests conducted by various organizations, often referred to as consumer tests, but as the exact details of these tests are not disclosed, it is not really possible to comment on them or the results.

  • What is a Vehicle Fitting List?

    A vehicle fitting list is a list of compatible cars and seating positions for the particular car seat. It may also be called a vehicle application list, installation list, compatibility list or fit checker. Here is ours - https://www.cosatto.com/pages/car-seat-fit-checker

  • Should I choose the most expensive seat to do the best for my baby?

    The way to think about it is that it is a bit like buying a car. You can choose a basic low priced hatchback and it will still probably have seat belts, airbags and power assisted brakes etc. I will be safe as it has passed all the regulations. Or you could choose a top of the range Volvo or Mercedes and that is likely to have more comfort and safety features such as collision avoidance or lane control so you could argue that they are safer. However please remember that the most important thing is fitting the seat correctly every time. A £100 seat correctly installed will probably be safer for your baby than a £500 seat installed badly.

  • Do all car seats fit all cars?

    No. So you need to choose your car seat very carefully. For example, even if a child car seat states "Universal" on it, this doesn't mean it fits into all vehicles, it means it is secured using a universal fixing system - in other words, a seatbelt and not all seat belts are the same length!! Always check that the car seat that you are considering buying is suitable for the car(s) it will be used in. Here is the Cosatto Fit Checker which will show you which Cosatto seats are suitable for you - https://www.cosatto.com/pages/car-seat-fit-checker

  • When does a child no longer need a car seat?

    The law in the UK states that a child needs to use a suitable restraint until they are 12 years of age or 135cm tall, whichever they reach first. However, it doesn't mean you have to stop using the child seat! High back booster seats are designed to last up to at least 150cm, so you can continue to use it and get the extra protection that it offers.

  • Are children allowed in the front seat?

    In the UK - Yes, if necessary and as long as they are using a suitable child seat. But the safest place for a child is always on the back seat.

  • Why are car seats so heavy?

    The primary function of any car seat is as a safety device and the weight is often because of extra materials required to meet the ever increasing safety requirements.

  • How is a car seat removed in an accident?

    The harnesses and buckles of car seats are designed so that the child can be removed quickly when required. Emergency services are trained to deal with any situation and if it is more appropriate to remove the child in the seat, they will do so and know how to do this.

  • What is an anti-rebound bar?

    An anti-rebound bar may be used on some car seats to provide extra rebound prevention for rearward facing car seats. During a frontal impact crash, the car seat will first move forward toward the location of the crash, and then rebound back toward the vehicle seat. An anti-rebound bar can help prevent the seat from rebounding in such a way that the child makes contact with the vehicle seat.

Choosing the right car seat for your child

  • How do I choose a car seat?

    There are many key factors to consider when selecting a car seat.
    Firstly, look for seats that are appropriate for the size, weight and age of your child.
    Secondly, consider what type of installation method will work for you. If your vehicle has ISOFIX anchor points), you may be able to choose between an ISOFIX installation or Belted installation. (see above)
    Thirdly use a vehicle fitting list to check which car seats are suitable for the car(s) you will be using it in.
    Then decide how long you would like your child’s car seat to last? There are seats that are designed for specific stages of your child’s life (eg iSize Infant carrier - birth to 87cm) and then there are All Stages (sometimes called combination seats or multistage seats) that are designed to grow with your child for a number of years (eg our All in All Range which last from birth to approximately 12 years of age). Both types have their advantages and disadvantages and you should carefully review the product information before choosing.
    Finally consider what features will help you and your child? Rotating seats may help with putting your child in and out, extra padding along with recline features that can help for comfort on longer journeys.

  • Are All Stages seats better than single stage/type seats?

    Each type has their pros and cons which you need to weigh up. Seats that are designed for a narrow weight or height range mean that over the life of your child, you will probably need to buy at least 3 or 4 different seats as your child grows, which can get quite expensive. All Stages (or Multistage) seats can last your child for a much longer time and therefore represent very good value but may mean some comfort and ‘elbow room’ compromises along the way particularly as your child gets older. They all pass the same safety regulations.

  • Is using an ISOFIX base for an infant carrier safer?

    ISOFIX bases provide greater convenience, allowing infant carriers to be easily installed and removed from the vehicle. They are not inherently safer, however as they secured using the ISOFIX points, they are much more likely to be fitted correctly, therefore making them safer than an incorrectly fitted seat.

  • Do I have to use a base for an infant carrier?

    No, the Regulations do not make it mandatory to use a base, although there are some seats for which a base must be used. You should always read and follow the user manual.

  • Can you bring a new-born baby out of hospital with a baby-toddler (Combination or All Stages) seat? My hospital insists on it being an infant carrier.

    Yes you can. As long as the seat you are using is approved for newborn babies and your child is within the weight/height requirements for your seat, you are allowed to use the seat to bring your new baby out of hospital. Please refer to the seat’s instruction manual for details.

  • Is an ISOFIX car seat safer than a belted car seat?

    ISOFIX car seats are more likely to be fitted correctly, therefore making them safer, however, well fitted belted car seats (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions) can be equally safe.

  • What is the difference between a top tether and support leg? Do you have to have one or the other? Is one safer?

    Depending on the type of car seat, you do not have to have one or the other, but both are permitted in the Regulations and both equally safe if installed correctly. A top tether is routed towards the back of the vehicle to an approved anchorage point (either in the area behind the vehicle headrest or in the boot of the vehicle). The support leg is in contact with the vehicle floor where the adult foot would usually be placed.

     

    Some vehicles with underfloor storage compartments, are not suitable for use with a support leg although some storage compartments are strong enough. Always check the vehicle handbook and follow the advice given above when selecting an appropriate car seat.

  • Is a car seat that swivels or rotates safe to use?

    Yes absolutely. The swivel feature is there for convenience and ease of use. Always ensure that it is not left sideways facing during travel.

  • What types of child securement methods are offered by Cosatto car seats?

    Cosatto offer seats that have Harness and/or Seat belt methods to secure your child

     

    Harness: This is a series of straps with a buckle that are built into the car seat. A harness is used in baby and toddler seats. A harness may also be called an integral harness.

     

    Seat Belt: This is part of the car’s standard safety equipment for adults. A seat belt is used to hold the child (and car seat) in high back booster seats.

  • Is a car seat with a shield better than a one with a harness or vice versa?

    Both systems are capable of fulfilling the safety and performance requirements of the regulations. There is no evidence from real life collisions that one is better than another. Cosatto don’t currently offer any seats with the shield child securement method.

  • How do I know if the car seat I want will fit in my vehicle?

    Pleaseuse our Cosatto Fit Checker to check the compatibility. This will only show you the seats that are suitable for your child and your car. https://www.cosatto.com/pages/car-seat-fit-checker.

     

    Please call us if you need further assistance.

  • What is the Cosatto CAR SEAT FIT CHECKER? Is it similar to a Vehicle Fitting List?

    It is our version of a vehicle fitting list. It is an essential part of choosing the safest car seat to ensure that it is suitable for your car(s). This online tool quickly shows you all the Cosatto car seats that are suitable for your baby and your car. Please note it is intended as a very good guide. A physical fit is always recommended to ensure complete compatibility. https://www.cosatto.com/pages/car-seat-fit-checker.

  • Are i-Size car seats compatible with non i-Size vehicles?

    Not always. i-Size car seats will include a vehicle fitting list for non i-Size cars. Check the vehicle fitting list for your child seat and vehicle combination. Here is the Cosatto Fit Checker. https://www.cosatto.com/pages/car-seat-fit-checker.

  • Is a second-hand car seat ok to buy/use?

    We do not recommend it, and you should NEVER buy from an unknown source. This is because even if there are no visible signs of damage, you never know if the seat has previously been involved in an accident or has suffered wear and tear to its buckles, harnesses, locking points etc. Car seats that have undergone an impact are no longer considered usable as the structural integrity may have been compromised in the crash.

  • Does a car seat need to have an ‘ADAC’ rating or score to make it safe?

    Quite simply, no. As ADAC is a German organization, they generally select for testing, products that are widely available in Germany. Therefore since only a relatively small number of car seats are chosen to be tested each year, many available seats will not have ADAC scores - but this does not mean they are not safe. All car seats on sale need to meet the minimum legal requirements of R44 and R129.

  • Why do Cosatto car seats not carry an ‘ADAC’ rating or score?

    ADAC anonymously select their seats for testing and we cannot ask them to test ours. As Cosatto is not widely available in Germany at the moment, none of our seats have so far been selected to be tested. Hopefully as our popularity in Germany grows, it is likely that some of our car seats will be selected for testing by ADAC in the future.

  • What do you mean by ‘ADAC levels of testing’?

    Whilst not a requirement under legislation, our latest range of car seats includes models that are tested in line with ADAC levels of testing. Examples of these tests are frontal impact up to 64km/per hour and side impact at 50km/h. These are both higher than is required under the latest R129 (i-Size) regulation

  • Which Cosatto seats are tested to speeds in line with levels set by ADAC?

    The current Cosatto car seat models tested in line with levels set by ADAC include ‘All In All Plus’, ‘All In All Rotate’, ‘RAC Come & Go i-Size Rotate’ as well as the most recently launched new models – ‘All In All Rotate i-Size’, ‘Acorn i-Size’ and ‘Tote’ infant carriers.

  • Why are not all Cosatto car seats are tested to speeds in line with levels set by ADAC?

    There isn’t a specific reason. Car seats are developed and tested in line with the standards available at the time. As our range of car seats grows and as the landscape of the regulations of R44 and R129 continues to change, so will the number of models tested to speeds in line with levels set by ADAC.

  • What speeds do you test to?

    In accordance with the latest Safety Standards, R44.04 and R129 (i-Size), all our car seats are tested using a combination of 31mph/50kph for frontal impact, 18mph/29kph for rear impact and 15mph/24kph for side impact (R129 only).

     

    In addition, in close collaboration with Accredited Crash Test Laboratories in both Europe & Asia, we are also testing to speeds above and beyond those required by both R44.04 and R129 (i-Size). In line with levels set by ADAC, we are testing more and more of our car seat models to speeds of 40mph/64kph for frontal impact and 31mph/50kph for side impact.

  • Why do you not publish specific details of the various speed tests carried out?

    In line with all other car seat manufacturers, we don’t share the specific details of the testing carried out on each car seat. However we can confirm that they increasingly perform at levels above and beyond those required by Law.

  • Why are Cosatto car seats not ‘Swedish Plus’ tested?

    Since none of our current models are rear facing only (RWF or Rear Way Facing) models, they are not appropriate for Plus testing.

  • Will Cosatto car seats be ‘Swedish Plus’ tested in the future?

    We are currently developing an RWF (Rear Way Facing) car seat that will successfully pass the ‘Swedish Plus’ test. Hopefully, it will be launched very soon.

  • Why don't Cosatto crash-test car seats at even higher speeds eg 70mph?

    In line with all other car seat manufacturers, the various recognized crash tests we use currently are designed to replicate the vast majority of the serious accidents seen.

     

    In reality, very very few accidents actually have full impact speeds of 70mph due to the application of brakes, avoidance action and the technology that is used in modern vehicle car construction. To manufacture a seat to withstand that level of impact would also probably be impractical and incredibly expensive.

  • Why do some infant carriers have 3 point harness and others 5? Does 3 or 5 point perform better?

    In a rearward facing car seat both 3 point and 5 point harnesses can be used and it makes no difference to performance or safety. For forward facing car seats only 5 point harnesses should be used. Infant carriers are always rearward facing. Always ensure that the harness is properly secured and fits your child snugly.

  • What is the Cosatto 5 Point Plus (5PP) ‘Anti Escape System’? What does it do?

    The 5 Point Plus system is attached onto the harness making the space that your little one would usually slip their arms through, considerably smaller, effectively leaving less room to wriggle. In tests, 9 out of 10 children could not get their arms out of the 5PP harness, making it virtually impossible to escape.

     

    Research has shown that 70% of children manage to wriggle out of their car seat harness, putting themselves at the risk of injury and distracting the driver from the road.

     

    Cosatto are the only car seat manufacturer to have integrated this system into all of our harnesses on all our suitable car seats.

  • What weight can I use the car seat harness until?

    The majority of Cosatto our car seat harnesses can be removed when your child is 15kg and must be removed at 18kg. With the exception of our New All In All Rotate i-size where the harness is tested and can be used up to 19.5kg

  • Why do you not do higher weight limit harnesses?

    As we develop new seats we are adding new features all the time. Our new All in All rotate i-size harness can be used up to a maximum weight of 19.5kg - All in All Rotate i-Size – Cosatto Store. At 18kgs, most children will be suitable for high back booster using the vehicle seat belt to secure them.

  • Why does my older child need a high back booster seat?

    Vehicle seatbelts are designed to safely restrain adults by sitting across the widest part of the chest bone, shoulder and hips. High back booster seats help guide the seatbelt across the same parts of a child but also give the additional protection for their developing bodies.

  • Have booster cushions been banned?

    Booster cushions have not been banned. From January 2017 no new models can be approved. However existing models that were type-approved before the change, can continue to be manufactured, sold and used. Cosatto do not sell booster cushions.

  • Can I use a booster cushion?

    They are still available and legal for children taller than 125cm and over 22kgs, however Cosatto don’t sell or recommend them. High backed boosters are much safer. Please see the question regarding High Backed Boosters above.

Correctly using your car seat

  • What happens if my car seat isn’t installed correctly?

    Quite simply it won’t do it’s job and your child is unsafe. This might seem an obvious statement, but in random checks, it has been regularly found that over 70% of child car seats are incorrectly installed. Always check and double check the installation of your seat- every time!

  • When do children outgrow their car seat?

    All children outgrow their car seat when they reach the weight and/or height limit stated on the label and in the user manual, however, some children might also grow too large for their car seat before they reach these limits (for example, they can grow too large either at the shoulder or the pelvis) and the user manual should explain what to look out for.

     

    If the child’s head is higher than the back of the car seat and this cannot be extended to accommodate it, the car seat is too small.

     

    This will be much less likely in R129 approved car seats because these Regulations specify the inner dimensions of the seat and this means it should be able to fit most children covered by the height limit. It is essential, therefore, to read the user manual and keep for future reference.

  • How can I tell if my car seat is approved to the latest requirements?

    It will carry a label that confirms that it meets the requirements of the relevant Regulation (either R44 or R129).

  • Am I breaking the law if I don’t have a R129 car seat?

    No, you can still legally use an R44 car seat as long as it is suitable for your child and the vehicle in which it will be used.

  • Do I need to change my R44 seat for an R129 seat?

    No. R44 regulation are being gradually phased out but that doesn’t infer that your seat is unsafe. As always, things move on. Your R44 seat is perfectly safe You can continue to use your seat for the foreseeable future.

  • What are the coloured markings on the child seat for?

    Depending on which safety regulation your car seat conforms to, you will see either red, blue or green markings on the child seat. These are there to show you how to correctly fit the seatbelt around the child seat or, in the case of older children, around the child and the child seat. Follow the blue guides for a rearward facing seat, red guides for forward facing seats and green guides can be used for either forward or rearward facing seats.

  • How tight should the harness be?

    It should be as tight as possible whilst keeping the child comfortable. It is recommended to remove heavily padded clothing when adjusting the harness (or shield if you have one). No more than two fingers pressed together should be able to be passed between the child and the harness. You should also not be able to create a loop when pinching the harness between finger and thumb on the vertical part of the harness.

  • My child escapes their seat harness. Is it faulty?

    This is not a design fault. Please follow the car seat instruction manual/video guides, tightening the harness and repositioning the harness straps where necessary. A determined child can escape almost anything so please try to educate your child that this can be dangerous in the event of a collision or hard stop. Try to teach your child the important role of their car seat and the positioning of the harness.

     

    The Cosatto, unique, 5 Point Plus (5PP) ‘Anti Escape System may offer the perfect solution to help with this problem.

  • What is the Cosatto 5 Point Plus (5PP) ‘Anti Escape System’? What does it do?

    The 5 Point Plus system is attached onto the harness making the space that your little one would usually slip their arms through, considerably smaller, effectively leaving less room to wriggle. In tests, 9 out of 10 children could not get their arms out of the 5PP harness, making it virtually impossible to escape.

     

    Research has shown that 70% of children manage to wriggle out of their car seat harness, putting themselves at the risk of injury and distracting the driver from the road.

     

    Cosatto are the only car seat manufacturer to have integrated this system into all of our harnesses on all our suitable car seats.

  • Where should the headrest sit on my child?

    The headrest offers protection to the vital head area and it is important that as much of the back and side of the child’s head is covered as possible. Often on some car seats, the harness positioner or seat belt guide is mechanically linked with the headrest. In this case the position of the shoulder strap (of either harness or seat belt) is used to identify the best position. As a result, the headrest, being rigidly connected, is also perfectly located.

  • Where should a harness sit on my child?

    It is dependent on whether the car seat is forward or rearward facing. In a forward facing car seat, it should be level with or a little bit above the shoulder. In a rearward facing car seat, it should be level with or a little bit below the shoulder. No more than two fingers pressed together should be able to be passed between the child and the harness.

  • My child’s head slumps forward - is this a problem?

    It’s important to select the right seat for both your child and the vehicle(s) in which it is going to be used. Babies are unable to lift their heads themselves and therefore this problem may possibly cause an airway obstruction and should be avoided. Use any recline that the seat may have to prevent this where possible. For older children their overall positioning in the event of a collision is of primary importance and their head falling forward is of lesser importance. Where possible do not accelerate or brake hard to help in this area.

  • I have heard about something called the ‘2 hour rule’. What is it and is it important?

    Car seats are primarily for travelling cars - they are not meant to be a feeding chair, carry cot or rocker. So please keep the time that you child is in a car seat down to as little as possible, certainly for the first few months. Avoid long journeys but if you do need to make them, its recommended that a responsible adult sits in the rear with your child to monitor their welfare. After the first few months, it is still recommended that you don’t keep your child in their car seat for a long time. Make sure they have regular breaks away from the seat to get out and stretch. The ‘2 hour rule’ actually comes from the Highway Code recommendation for adult drivers - but remember, children are not small adults.

  • I’ve been told that I shouldn’t put my child in a winter coat or thick clothing when in the car seat. Is this correct?

    The added bulk of thick clothing means that if the child is propelled forward in a crash, the car seat harness will be too loose to be properly effective. It’s a much better idea for the child to be without a coat in the car seat but perhaps covered with a blanket after they’re buckled in. This has the added benefit that the child can regulate their own temperature too by kicking off the blankets if they get overheated.

  • How long should my child travel rearward-facing?

    The R129 Regulation (see detail above) stipulates that your child should be rearward facing until at least 15 months old. However, many of our car seats allow children to rear-face for longer and we recommend keeping your child rear-facing at least until the limit of your car seat is reached.

  • I hear that some midwives are still saying that you must turn your child round at 9kg (9 months) when you say it’s safer for up to 4 years?

    You do not have to turn your child around at 9 months. It is safer to have your child rearward facing for as long as comfortably possible. The R129 (see detail above) regulation stipulates that your child should be rearward facing until at least 15 months old. Most midwives keep abreast of current Regulations but, as these can be quite complex and subject to change, we recommend you always double check if you are not sure.

  • When is a car seat considered too old to be used anymore?

    There are currently no set limitations unless specified in the car seat manufacturer’s instructions. However, by using an older car seat, you will not benefit from the improvements in technology that a newer seat may provide.

  • There’s a gap between the child seat and vehicle back rest, is this OK?

    It is unlikely that there will be a large gap between a well fitted car seat and the vehicle seat, however, it is also unlikely that a small gap will affect the performance of the car seat. ISOFIX car seats (both those with a top tether and those with a support leg) are secured independently of the seat of the car and other than perhaps moving the child’s head slightly further forward than anticipated, a small gap is probably not an issue. For a belted car seat, a gap may indicate that the car seat has been incorrectly fitted and could make it unstable. If you are concerned, always check the instruction manual to ensure that the seat is installed correctly.

  • There’s a gap under my child’s seat, is this OK?

    It is unlikely that there will be a large gap between a well fitted car seat and the vehicle seat, however, it is also unlikely that a small gap will affect the performance of the car seat. ISOFIX car seats (both those with a top tether and those with a support leg) are secured independently of the seat of the car so a small gap is probably not an issue, but always check the instructions.

     

    For a belted car seat, a gap may indicate that the car seat has been incorrectly fitted and could make it unstable. If the manufacturer’s instructions specifically permit adding something to fill the gap, then add only the product that the manufacturer recommends in the user manual, otherwise never add anything under the car seat.

  • My car seat secured with ISOFIX moves slightly from side to side, is this ok?

    Yes, this is quite common and perfectly acceptable. To be sure. Just make sure that all ISOFIX anchorage points are properly connected and secure, often indicated by a green indication or audible sound.

  • Why is the angle of the backrest of my Cosatto booster seat able to be adjusted?

    It is designed to accommodate the different angles of vehicle seats to ensure a snug fit.

  • Can I remove the back rest of my Cosatto booster seat? If not, why is it detachable?

    The backrest is often detachable to allow for easier transportation when not occupied by the child. If you purchased a seat with a backrest, it is advisable that this is always used.

  • When should I move my child from an infant carrier to a next stage car seat?

    A child has outgrown their infant carrier when they reach the maximum weight or height (please refer to your car seat manual) and you should move to a next stage seat as soon as possible. Please note that children must also remain rearward facing in either an infant carrier or a next stage seat until at least 9kg (under the ECE R44/04 standard) or 75cm and 15 months (under the ECE R129 standard).

  • My child is nearly at the minimum weight / height for their next stage seat, can they use it now?

    If your child is still within the weight or height limits for your current seat, don’t feel you need to rush them out of it, as their bones are still developing and need the protection the seat offers. However if you wish to move them to next stage seat, as long as their weight and height are suitable for the new seat, that is fine too.

  • Do your car seats have expiry dates?

    All Car seats come with usage guidelines to make sure your little ones are as safe as possible. Your car seat would be classed as expired if;

     

    • It no longer conforms to the current safety legislation.
    • It has been damaged
    • Your child using the car seat currently is over the age/weight for the seat

  • Can I use my car seat for 2nd child?

    You can of re-use your car seat for a 2nd child so long as the full instructions have been followed, the car seat has been stored correctly, has no visible signs of damage and hasn’t been dropped or involved in an accident. If you look after your car seat and use them according to the manufacturers guidelines then they will stay safe and stand the test of time.

  • If I drop the car seat, is it ok to use?

    In general no, it should not be used, however if you have any doubts you should contact us for advice. Where there is any visible damage, it should definitely NOT be used. Also any increase in the flexibility of the car seat will almost certainly mean that it has sustained some damage and should be replaced.

  • How do I know if my car seat has been involved in an accident?

    You should only use a car seat if you know the full history and are therefore certain of it’s integrity.

  • Can I still use my car seat if it has been involved in an accident but doesn’t have any signs of damage?

    We would always recommend replacing any car seat that has been involved in a crash. Even if it looks fine, there could be internal damage that could make it unsafe. The seat has already done its job by protecting your child and, therefore needs replacing. Most insurance companies will cover this cost – it is always advisable to request a police report on the accident too.

  • Can I use my Cosatto car seat abroad (outside of the UK)?

    If you are already using a car seat in the UK, it can be used anywhere in the European Union (EU) and some other countries outside the EU. It’s quite complicated so please feel free to contact us for specific details.

  • Can I use my Cosatto car seat on an aircraft?

    Currently, none of our car seats are certified for aircraft use.

  • Do I need to use a car seat when travelling in a taxi?

    Yes. If prior notice is given, most reputable taxi companies should be able to provide a car seat for your journey.