Joie - Ask The Expert Video Part 2

R129 is the latest car seat testing standard and, in 2013, the first stage of its introduction saw i-Size variations enter the marketplace using the ISOFIX installation method only.

In the latest updates, it now allows belted installation seats under R129. Whilst these carry the same high levels of testing and safety, they require a fitting list to advise the installation into i-Size vehicles. They may not allow for 3 seats to fit side by side due to their width but offer simplified fitting through the mandated single belt path, compared to the previous R44 belted seats.

i-Size is an enhancement of the ECE R129 safety standard. Due to width requirement, it offers a guaranteed fit in vehicles with i-Size approved seating positions. Thanks to these stricter sizing requirements, it potentially allows for 3 seats to fit side by side in larger vehicles.

This depends on the type of car seat but generally for R44 seats, it will be approx. 6 months minimum and, for R129 seats, a minimum of 60cm. However, for larger multistage seats that utilise a progressive insert whilst rearwards facing, these can adapt to the growing child and be used beyond the minimum requirement through to 12months+.

Installation of an ISOFIX car seat is usually a quick process. Simply extend the ISOFIX arms and connect to the vehicle ISOFIX points. Use the insertion guide, if required, to make for easy access to these and, once clipped on, simply retract the seat back against the vehicle seat.

For seats with a load leg, extend this to the floor and ensure it has sufficient contact to turn the indicator green. Be careful not to extend this too far, creating a gap under the base.

With seats that utilise a top tether instead of the load leg, once the lower ISOFIX arms have been connected and the seat retracted back, simply attach the top tether and pull the adjustment strap until all slack has been removed and the indicator is showing green.

This can depend on local laws but the minimum for any EU country is 135cm and 12 years of age. Although, for some it can up to 18years of age and 150cm.

Best practice is to continue using a child restraint until the 3-point seat belt correctly sits across the body and is positioned away from the neck.

This depends on the type of car seat but ensure you are aware of the upper weight capacity and height restrictions of any seat you are using, as these limits must be adhered to.

Visual indicators such as when the seat is at the highest harness or the headrest position is a good time to check the weight and height of your little one, as it will indicate how close they are to the limit of the seat.

The minimum legal requirement for a child to sit forward facing is now 15 months under R129 regulations. So, even for those using an older R44 car seat, it would be advisable to keep your little one rearward facing until this age as a minimum and the longer the better. Many car seats support rearwards facing through to 4 years.

Yes, lateral facing car cots are tested to the same car seat standards, including frontal and side-impact crash testing. Compared to infant carriers, a lateral-facing car cot performs exceptionally well for head injury protection in side impact testing. As well as providing the ideal travel solution for parents of a sleeping newborn, they also offer tremendous safety.

Yes, as with many other safety devices and equipment, car seats should be replaced after any accident as there may be hidden structural damage. Even if there was no occupant in the car at the time of an accident, if the car seat was in the vehicle, it must be replaced.