9. What are i-Size cars? And how does they affect the fitting of child car seats in cars (Car Fitting Lists)?
i-Size cars are cars that meet all needed specifications to have an i-Size car seat correctly installed. As from July 2013, the automotive industry is able to homologate their cars according to the i-Size standard. i-Size though is not mandatory for car manufacturers, while ISOFIX is.
One of the advantages of the i-Size legislation is that both the child car seat and the automotive industry are involved. The result is that the fit between car seats and cars is further improved: all i-Size car seats will fit all i-Size cars. i-Size car seats can also be used in cars with ISOFIX positions, and you can consult the fit in a compatibility list (Car Fitting List).
10. Can I use an i-Size homologated car seat in my ISOFIX car?
The vast majority of ISOFIX equipped cars are suitable for an i-Size car seat. i-Size car seats have always been intentded to be backwards compatible with ISOFIX cars. However, we strongly advise to check upfront with your shop attendant or online – using our Car Fitting List.
11. Why the name i-Size?
i-Devices are generally seen to be intelligent, convenient and well thought-out. These are the characteristics of this new safety standard. The word “Size” appears in the name because the length primarily determines how to choose a child restraint system, more so than age or weight.
12. What are Q-dummies?
‘Q-dummies’ are state-of-the-art dummies used in crash laboratories. In comparison to the previous generation of ‘P-dummies’ crash test results can be measured much more precise.
A very important improvement on the ‘Q-dummies’ is the use of sensors in the abdominal body parts. Before, the abdominal impact was not precisely measured because crash dummies were not able to.
As from January 2017 all newly homologated i-Size products are being tested using ‘Q-dummies’.
13. Can I keep using the current ECE R44/04 car seats?
Yes, you can. I-Size runs parallel with the current safety regulation ECE R44/04. Car seats complying with ECE R44/04 can still be used or sold until decided differently.
14. Is i-Size a new regulation or a legislation (law)? Does it replace the current ECE R44/04 legislation?
i-Size is introduced as a new legislation next to the current ECE R44/04 legislation. This means that, for now, new car seats can still be homologated as ECE R44/04 and consumers can remain using the ECE R44/04 products.
Both i-Size and ECE R44 are laws. Meaning that manufactures such as Maxi-Cosi can choose to make either i-Size or ECE R44/04 car seats. Likewise, consumers can choose to either buy an i-Size car seat (safest) or an ECE R44/04 car seat (safe).
15. Who has been involved in defining the i-Size legislation?
A multi-disciplinary task force was set up by the European Union to create the i-Size legislation. All parties below were involved:
- Dorel Juvenile Europe
- European Commission
Dorel Juvenile (Europe) is the holding company of Maxi-Cosi. As a long-time and leading manufacturer of child car seats, Dorel Juvenile has established an advanced Technical Centre in France. This center encompasses everything necessary to conceive, build and test car seats in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. This facility, along with Dorel Juvenile’s expertise in child seat designing and manufacturing were deployed by the UNECE to help develop and define the i-Size standard.
16. What is the effect of side-airbags on travelling rearward facing longer?
Side-airbags have no negative effect on child restraint systems, also not in rearward facing mode. In some but not all cases of a side-impact collision, the side-airbag will provide additional safety for the child. This effect of side-airbags does not differ whether the child is travelling forward or rearward facing.
Frontal airbags do have a negative impact on the safety of rearward facing children. Therefore frontal airbags have to be switched off at all times when travelling rearward facing on the passenger seat.
17. Longer rearward facing travelling is safer, does this mean current ECE R44/04 car seats like Pearl or Axiss are not safe anymore?
No, all Maxi-Cosi car seats are safe and meet all current safety standards and requirements. These products are also tested by independent test institutes like STIWA, ADAC, ANWB, ÖAMTC and TCS. Many of these tests also include side-impact parameters.
In addition, Maxi-Cosi has established an advanced Technical Center in France which also includes a crash sled for crash testing. In this center all products are being tested extensively on safety performance by Dorel, also on frontal and side- impact and misuse.
The current R44/04 car seats are totally safe while the newer i-Size car seats that allow rearward facing longer can be called even safer.
18. Why does the legislation not use minimal length for rearward facing but 15 months instead?
This is because research has shown that on average the neck of a 15 month old child is developed enough to withstand the forces of a forward collision. This is based on the child’s age and not his stature or weight.
Although transporting rearward facing is required to at least until 15 months, Maxi-Cosi recommends to transport children rearward facing as long as possible.
19. Why until minimally 15 months rearward facing? Why not 4 years?
i-Size legislation dictates to travel rearward facing up to minimum 15 months because until this age, the baby’s neck is not yet developed enough to withstand the impulsive force of an average frontal collision because of its relatively heavy head.
As from 15 months on, the neck is sufficiently developed and thus withstands the forces in forward collision better. The biggest leap in safety enhancement can be achieved by prolonging rearward facing travelling until 15 months (compared to 9 months in many cases).
This being said, it is important to know that Maxi-Cosi strongly recommends to use car seats as long as possible in a rearward facing mode. Many of Maxi-Cosi’s newest car seats allow rearward facing travelling up until 4 years!
20. Why is longer rearward facing travelling more common in Scandinavia compared to the rest of Europe?
This is mainly due to cultural differences. In Scandinavian countries the level of safety is a crucial factor. Compared to Scandinavia other European countries also value other elements like comfort and ease of use.
Also Scandinavian people tend to drive bigger cars, implying they have more space to install rearward facing solutions.
21. What will Maxi-Cosi do to enable longer rearward facing travelling?
Maxi-Cosi has been highly active in establishing the new i-Size legislation. Thereby, all manufacturers will be obliged in the future to enable longer rearward facing travelling with their products.
At the same time, the product development teams are working on solutions that allow for longer rearward facing travelling.
22. While ECE R44/04 uses weight, i-Size uses length as the reference to change age-groups for car seats. Why not use the child’s age?
The child’s age might seem the easiest solution, but it is not because children with the same age differ significantly in length (small/tall) and weight (light/heavy). Children are known to grow differently, as they can have growth spurts at different times.
Length is the main denominator since it tells best if a child fits a seat well and when a parent should switch to the next car seat. Age and weight can be used as a secondary indication.
It is also easier for parents, because it they rather know the length of their child – not the weight. The reason for this is that length is also used for clothing sizes.
23. What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is an international standardized fitting system, which provides a safe, easy and quick way to install a child car seat without the need of car seat belts. The name ISOFIX stands for ISO (International Standardization Organization) plus FIX (Fixation). ISOFIX car seats make use of two standard attachment points at the base of the seat in the car, plus an anti-rotation device to prevent forward pitching: this can be either a support leg or top tether.
From 2006, most new cars are equipped with ISOFIX and a top tether anchorage point. ISOFIX is also fitted in a large number of car brands built prior to 2006.
24. Why do parents currently up-size too soon?
There are different reasons why parents tend to switch too soon from rearward to forward facing travelling:
- It enables the baby to interact more with other car passengers. A common misinterpretation is the 9 kg limit for forward facing that is often mistakenly understood as 9 months.
- They think that the child has outgrown its car seat once the child’s feet stick out of it. Only when the baby’s head sticks out of the top of the baby shell, it is the right time to switch to a consecutive car seat.