Car seat can be defined into specific weight groups. These weight groups are defined by the United Nations safety regulations and in the UK cover children from birth to 12 years of age. The basic weight groups are: group 0 & 0+, group 1, group 1-2-3 and group 3.
Don’t they grow so fast?! If your little one is already in need of a car seat upgrade, look no further than this guide to Group 1 car seats. Keeping your child safe on every journey is our main priority, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or practicality.
What is a Group 1 car seat?
The EU car safety standard relates to the weight of your child. Group 1 car seats are for babies who weigh between 9kg and 18kg, which is approximately between 9 months and 4 years old. In this group, children can move to forward-facing car seats, however it’s recommended that you keep your baby in a rear-facing seat until they are 13kg or 15 months old for safety. The new i-Size legislation dictates the best car seat based on height, although it does not currently override the existing EU rules.
On a side note, there’s also a Group 0+, which means that a baby weighing 0-13kg can use a rear-facing or carrier car seat but not a lateral car seat anymore.
What’s the best way to fix the car seat?
You have two choices when it comes to installing your new car seat: the traditional seatbelt method, or the newer ISOFIX approach.
ISOFIX car seats can be attached to the frame of your car, and are therefore safer than older styles of car seat. You’ll need a professional to fit the base, but this can be a worthwhile investment since clicking the car seat into place is so much easier and your child is safer. Lots of ISOFIX bases also come with a colour indicator, so you can be sure you’ve correctly fitted the car seat into the base.
What’s the difference between a combination and a forward-facing car seat?
A combination car seat can be switched to face either rear or forward, whereas a forward-facing car seat is fixed in the forward position. You might consider a combination car seat if your child falls into the 0+ category (0-13kg) and you already need to replace your existing car seat.
With a combination seat you can keep them rear-facing until they reach 13kg or 15 months old. Forward-facing only car seats are best for babies over 13kg.
What car seat laws should I be aware of?
All children under 12 years of age or 135cm tall must travel in a properly-fitted car seat. The exception to this rule is if you have to make an unplanned and necessary car journey – in this case children over 3 years of age may use an adult seatbelt for short distances.
If your child is in a rear-facing car seat and you have active airbags, they cannot sit in the front passenger seat.
Any other features to think about?
As well as safety, you’ll want to consider comfort and durability too.