car seat FAQs

 

Q: How do I choose a car seat?

A: There are several key factors to consider when selecting a car seat.

 

First, what type of seat is appropriate for the age and size of your child? If your child is under 13kg and 85cm, they may use an infant carrier. Another option is a convertible car seat, which can grow with your child for a number of years. All Joie convertible car seats are suitable from birth. Convertible seats can then be used with the 5-point harness restraint until your child is 18kg or 105cm, at which point they should move to booster mode.

 

Second, consider what type of installation method will work for you. If your vehicle has ISOFIX anchor points, you may choose between an ISOFIX installation or vehicle belt installation.

 

Finally, how long would you like your child’s car seat to last? You may find it more convenient to use 3 different seats at different stages of growth (infant carrier, convertible, booster seat) or you may want to use just one seat all the way through. We offer seats to accommodate all of the above, just sort by groups on our car seats page to find your perfect fit.

GROUP 0+: Birth to 13kg
GROUP 1: 9-18kg
GROUP 2: 15-25kg
GROUP 3: 22-36kg

 

Q: What is the difference between ECE R44/04 and i-Size (ECE R129/01)?
A: ECE R44/04 is the current car seat testing regulation for Europe. i-Size is the new standard that was ratified in July 2013. i-Size is currently running parallel to R44/04, and has several significant differences from R44/04 regulations:

  • 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
  • New, advanced technology crash test dummies (called Q dummies) that simulate a child’s body with greater accuracy
  • Required ISOFIX installation for infant carriers and combination car seats
  • Seat usage classified based on a child’s height instead of weight

To learn more about i-Size, visit https://www.joiebaby.com/askforisize.en/

 

Q: If the car seat I own isn’t i-Size do I need to buy a new seat?

A: No, as long as your car seat fits with current safety regulations (R44), is the right size and is in good condition there’s no need to buy an i-Size approved car seat.

When buying your next seat do consider it though as they will have been tested under the latest safety standards – always reassuring.

 

Q: Should I be choosing a car seat based on weight or height?

A: This can be confusing as there are currently two sets of regulations running parallel.

The newer regulation, known as R129, or i-Size (explained further above) states that car seats should be fitted by height as parents are more familiar with this measurement. Any new ISOFIX car seats introduced to the market after 2018 will be fitted this way. The older regulation, R44, fits car seats by weight. Existing car seats that met the first regulation are still safe and legal to use so both are feasible. For ease if you’re a new parent go with height as this will become standard.

 

 

Q: How long should my child stay rearward facing?
A: At Joie, our mission is to keep kids safer. For this reason, we consulted with doctors and child safety experts worldwide to better understand the effects of a car crash on a child’s growing body. They agree rearward facing as long as possible is the safest way to go. When a child is riding rearward facing, the car seat absorbs the impact, protecting the child’s head, neck and spine — even up to 73% more than forward facing. To learn more about rearward facing and our extensive range of seats that face rearward all the way up to 18kg or 105cm, visit www.lookbacklonger.com

 

Q: When should I move my child from an infant carrier to a convertible car seat?

A: A child has outgrown their Joie infant carrier when they reach 13kg or 85cm. Children must also remain rearward facing in either an infant carrier or a convertible car seat until at least 9kg (under the ECE R44/04 standard) or 75cm and 15 months (under the ECE R129/01) standard. Here at Joie, we recommend rearward facing as long as possible, even beyond the standard requirements.

 

Q: Can I use a rearward facing car seat in the front passenger seat?
A: Rearward facing seats may sometimes be used in the front passenger seat, provided the airbag is deactivated. However, when possible we recommend placing child seats in the rear vehicle seats. Always observe the instructions in your vehicle manual.

 

Q: How do I know if Joie car seats fit in my vehicle?
A: Vehicle fitting lists for Joie car seats can be found on our fit lists page. And of course the best way to know is to visit your local retailer and have the seat personally fitted in your vehicle.

 

Q: Why does my child need a booster seat?

A: Vehicle seat belts are designed to safely restrain adults by falling across the user’s hips and shoulder. Booster seats help elevate older children so that the vehicle seat belt can also make contact with the proper areas of their body (rather than falling across the abdomen or neck as it might if the child sat directly on the vehicle seat. This way, in the event of an impact, the vehicle belt can safely restrain the child.

 

Q: The booster seat laws changed recently – what are they now?

A: Car seat manufacturers are no longer allowed to make new backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cm (4ft1) or weighing less than 22kg (3 stone, 6.5 pounds).

Children’s measurements vary widely, but as a general guide this is approximately the size of a 7-8 year old.

This rule has been introduced because high back boosters offer more side impact protection and help to secure the child properly in the seat. They also help the car seatbelt to fit properly across the child’s body and provide the best protection should a crash occur.

This does not mean no backless booster seats will be available in shops for children of this height – just that car seat companies cannot design and make new backless booster seats for children less than 125cm tall or lighter than 22kg.

 

Q: Are backless booster seats unsafe for my child?

A: Backless boosters are still, for the moment, certified as safe and legal.

The new law is designed to gradually phase out the existing recommendation of using a backless booster seats for children 15kg or over.

That said, we recommend that parents make the change over to a high-backed booster when possible, and for as long as possible – up to the legal minimum height requirement of 150cm.

We advise any parent to keep their child in some form of booster seat until they are naturally tall enough for the seat belt to fit snugly on the shoulder and hips and therefore take the force of an impact.

On average this means keeping your child in a booster seat until 150cm or 12 years old. While this may be tricky they really do provide better protection for your child in the event of a crash.

 

Q: Can I still use my backless booster seat even though my child is smaller than these new regulations?

A: Yes, you can still use it legally, as long as the booster seat complies with current regulations.

However, the new law is designed to increase the safety of your child so we always recommend high-backed boosters as the best option because of the superior side impact protection and improved fit of the car seatbelt across your child body.

 

Q: Are Joie infant seats travel system compatible?
A: Joie infant seats are compatible with many Joie pushchairs, as well as other pushchairs using the Maxi-Cosi® car seat adapter. To be sure if a seat pairs with your Joie pushchair, please refer to the compatible products section on its individual product information page.

 

Q: Can I use my car seat on an airplane?
A: The Joie Juva, Gemm and i-Gemm infant carriers are certified for aircraft use. If you own one of these seats, then yes! Your car seat can tagalong to make travelling with baby simpler. Please be aware of your airline’s requirements – in many cases, you will be required to notify them of car seat usage in advance.

 

Q: I’ve been in an accident – can I still use my car seat?
A: We recommend replacing any car seat that has been involved in a crash. Even if it looks fine, there could be internal damage that would make it unsafe. Just to be sure, replace the seat. Most insurance companies will cover this expense – to be safe, please request a police report on the accident.

 

Q: Do car seats expire?

A: Car seats have a “best before” date, so although not a legal requirement it is best to replace harnessed seats after 7 years and booster seat 10 years from the date of manufacturing.

 

Q: Why do car seats expire?

A: Plastic degrades over time, so after a number of years they will not perform as initially designed. At Joie, we do not use any recycled plastics in our seats to ensure the maximum safety and length of usage for parents. We also use highly resilient metal within the structure of many of our seats for additional strength.

 

Q: Can I use a second-hand car seat safely?

A: We do not recommend using second-hand car seats. 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. Car seats that have undergone an impact are no longer considered usable as the structural integrity may have been compromised in the crash. In the case of second hand seats, it’s not worth the risk!

 

Q: Do I need to use a child car seat in a taxi?

A: Yes. Most good taxi companies will provide a car seat, if prior notice is given when booking.

 

Q: What is a top tether?

A: A top tether is an adjustable belt attached to the car seat which is placed over the backrest of the vehicle seat and attached to an anchorage point. The purpose of the top tether is to help prevent excessive movement of the car seat in the event of an impact, reducing the risk of injury.

 

Q: What is a load leg?

A: A load leg is a support which extends from the base of a car seat to the floor of the vehicle. The purpose of the load leg is to absorb energy and prevent excessive movement of the car seat in the event of an impact.

 

Q: What is an anti-rebound bar?

A: An anti-rebound bar may be utilised on certain car seats to provide added rebound prevention for rearward facing car seats. Upon frontal impact in a 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.

 

Q: Why do some Joie car seats not have a rebound bar?

A: Rebound bars are not a requirement – many car seats naturally reduce rebound following an impact based on their shape and where they come in contact with the vehicle seat. Most Joie seats provide rebound protection without the need for the additional anti-rebound bar.

 

Q: What is ISOFIX?

A: ISOFIX is an alternate installation method for car seats. If your vehicle is equipped with ISOFIX anchorage points, you can install an ISOFIX car seat by simply clicking the seat’s ISOFIX connectors onto the vehicle’s anchorage points, without the need to utilise the vehicle seat belt.

 

Q: Is ISOFIX safer than a vehicle belt?

A: ISOFIX is not inherently safer than a vehicle belt installation. While ISOFIX is easier to use correctly every time (reducing the risks related to human installation error), a car seat properly installed with a vehicle seat belt is just as safe.

 

Q: ISOFIX vs ISOSAFE

A: There are two types of connectors for Joie car seats, referred to as ISOFIX and ISOSAFE. ISOFIX means that the car seat must be installed using these connectors (with either a load leg or top tether). ISOSAFE means that the connectors are primarily to keep the seat stable and in place, and not to be used as the installation method. ISOSAFE seats include many of our boosters (which require the vehicle belt for proper installation).

 

Q: What are car seat harness clips and should I be using them?

A: Car seat harness chest clips are designed to make it harder for children to slip the car seat harness off their shoulders. However, as most clips are not permitted under EU regulation, we would advise against using them as you may end up compromising the safety of the car seat.

 

Q: Why shouldn’t my child wear a winter coat when strapped into a car seat?

A: The added bulk 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 covered with a blanket after they’re buckled in to keep warm. This has the added benefit that the child can regulate their own temperature too by removing one of the blankets if they get overheated.