As a long-time and leading manufacturer of child car seats, Bébé Confort has established an advanced Technical Centre in France. This centre encompasses everything necessary to conceive, build and test car seats in one ultra-modern, state-of-the-art facility. This facility, along with Bébé Confort's experience and expertise in child seat design and manufacturing, was deployed by the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to help develop and define the new i-Size standard.
In particular, Bébé Confort proposed and defined the ISOFIX support leg compatibility rules for car manufacturers. This support leg stops the child seat rotating forwards in the event of a collision.
Bébé Confort also proposed a side-impact test procedure which has been accepted European-wide by other experts. We contributed to the new classification of products by child size (rather than weight) by supplying the results of a 3D measuring survey of more than 2000 children from birth to 12 years old.
And, in addition to preparing a complete portfolio of i-Size compliant car seats, we are preparing industry stakeholders for the new regulation and are sharing our knowledge in order to ensure that consumers better understand the reasons for and benefits of the new i-Size regulation.
Why doesn’t the new i-Size regulation replace the older ECER44/04 regulation?
The two standards will run side by side for the foreseeable future. The i-Size standard is exclusive to ISOFIX child seats. The “ECER44” standard remains a norm for seatbelt-fixed seats and ISOFIX seats for a while.
This is necessary to enable the owners of older cars (which do not have ISOFIX anchor points) to remain within the safety regulations without having to fit anchor points.
At this moment the EU is only encouraging a preference for ISOFIX-based seats. In the future we can expect that only ISOFIX-based seats will conform to the EU safety regulations.
This evolution is similar to that for adult seatbelts. Firstly, all new cars had to be manufactured with seatbelts. Only when these cars became the vast majority of those on the road, was it made law for passengers and drivers to wear seatbelts.
What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is an international system, which provides the safest, simplest and quickest method of correct installation of a child car seat. Instead of using the regular car seat belt, the ISOFIX system secures the baby seat to the car chassis via two specially incorporated anchor points behind the car seat.
ISOFIX also helps reduce the forward and sideward movement of the seat and limits rotation through a special support leg. For the past 10 years, EU legislation mandated that all new cars must have ISOFIX anchor points as standard. Hence, currently approximately 60% of all cars on the road have ISOFIX anchor points.
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