Nursery Today magazine

Maxi-Cosi works on i-Size legislation

Maxi-Cosi plays a major part in developing the new i-Size legislation published today and aims for a major change in child car seat safety

The new EU i-Size safety regulation comes into force on July 9th 2013 and leading car seat manufacturer, Maxi-Cosi, is leading the change by preparing industry stakeholders for the new regulation and sharing its knowledge to ensure that consumers better understand the reasons for and benefits of the new i-Size regulation.

Specifically developed for car seats used by children from birth up to 105 cm in length, the new regulation aims to improve protection and safety in several ways: most notably by extending rearward facing travel from 9kg (generally 9-12 months) to a minimum of 15 months. This will significantly reduce injuries to the head and neck of children involved in a crash. In addition, i-Size includes minimum safety performance criteria for side-impact collisions. Previously, no performance criteria for side-impact protection were necessary for a child car seat to be legally sold.

Car accidents are still the leading cause of child deaths in Europe. Each week 10 children are killed on the road and around 1150 children are injured (SOURCE: WHO 2007, working Group 18 Report Child Safety). The new regulation is set to make child car seats significantly safer compared to the current regulation, dated from the 1990's. Maxi-Cosi has been highly involved in developing the new EU child safety regulation and is promoting i-Size strongly to raise awareness of this new safety legislation now and in the coming years.

Although the i-Size regulation is new, Maxi-Cosi has been building many of the regulation's specifications into their child car seats for many years. In addition to producing child car seats that comply with the new regulation, Maxi-Cosi is dedicating effort and resources to create awareness and a change of behaviour when installing child car seats.

 "For Maxi-Cosi the introduction of the new i-Size regulation is not just about good child car seats, it is also importantly about creating awareness and a change in behaviour around the installation of car seats," said Francois Renaudin, Advanced Research Group Manager Dorel Europe.

Extended rearward facing

One of the biggest changes to be brought about by this new safety regulation is the extended length of time recommended for the initial rearward facing child seats. The current ECE R44/04 EU regulation requires that children weighing less than 13 kg be placed in rearward-facing seats. However, it also allows children above 9 kg to be placed forward facing (which is about 8-9 months). The new legislation requires that i-Size rearward facing seats must be used up to at least 15 months. This increase in the rearward facing period is necessary because the child's head is relatively heavy during the first year and the neck is not strong enough to withstand the impact of a frontal collision.

Reduced premature up-sizing


Many parents move their baby to a forward-facing car seat too early, typically at around 9 months . This is because the current legislation uses a confusing weight-group categorisation that can be mistakenly understood to allow up-sizing at 9 months. Many parents mistakenly believe that the child outgrows the seat when their child's feet stick out of the car seat. The new regulation helps avoid this premature switch by stipulating that i-Size rearward facing child car seats are necessary for children up to the age of 15 months.

Reduced installation errors

A recent study into children's death relating to the use of car seats revealed that 31% of children were not restrained at all and 17% were being transported in incorrectly installed car seats

(SOURCE: Casimir study; www.casper-project.eu <http://www.casper-project.eu> ). The i-Size legislation aims to dramatically reduce the number of deaths relating to incorrect installation by stipulating that the simpler ISOFIX click-and-go system is used - not the car's own seat belts. This will help to minimize incorrect and potentially dangerous seat belt installation.

One size fits all

Unlike conventional car seats, which do not always fit properly in all cars, all i-Size compliant car seats will fit perfectly in cars with i-Size seating positions.

Maxi-Cosi's involvement in the development of the new legislation


As a leading manufacturer of child car seats, Maxi-Cosi has established an advanced Technical Centre in France. This centre encompasses everything necessary to conceive, design, build and test child car seats in an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art facility. This facility, along with Maxi-Cosi's experience and expertise in child car seat design and manufacturing, was deployed by the UNECE <http://www.unece.org/>  (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to help develop and define the new i-Size legislation. In particular, Maxi-Cosi proposed and defined the ISOFIX support leg compatibility rules for car manu_facturers. This support leg stops the child car seat rotating forwards in the event of a collision and provides extra stability.

The company also proposed a side-impact test procedure which has been accepted European-wide by other experts and is now part of the new regulation. Maxi-Cosi introduced its Side Protection System in 2002 in its Priori and Rodi car seats and has been an integral part of Maxi-Cosi car seats ever since.

It contributed to the new classification of products by child size (rather than weight) by supplying the results of a 3D measuring survey of up to 2000 children from birth to 12 years old. The new length classification will help make it easier for parents to check that their child is ready to be moved in to the next stage car seat.

In addition to preparing a complete portfolio of i-Size compliant car seats, Maxi-Cosi is preparing industry stakeholders for the new regulation and is sharing its knowledge to ensure that consumers better understand the reasons for and benefits of the new i-Size regulation.

The new regulation does not replace the current ECE R44/04 regulation

The i-Size legislation does not replace the current ECE R44/04 regulation, so parents do not need to replace their existing child car seat. Parents can continue to use an ECE R44/04 car seat that is fixed to the car using ISOFIX or the three-point seat belt. The introduction of i-Size simply means that consumers now have an extra option when buying a car seat for their baby/toddler - an option that complies to the new i-Size safety legislation.

For more information on i-Size, visit http://www.maxi-cosi.co.uk/gb-en/safe-world/isize.aspx <http://www.maxi-cosi.co.uk/gb-en/safe-world/isize.aspx>



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