Types of Seat
It is very important to ensure that your child travels in an appropriate child restraint, which:
- Conforms to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44.04 (or R 44.03) or to the new i-size regulation, R129. Look for the 'E' mark label on the seat.
- Is suitable for your child's weight and size
- Is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
There are many different types available. They are divided into categories, according to the weight of the children for whom they are suitable. These correspond broadly to different age groups, but it is the weight of the child that is most important when deciding what type of child seat to use. i-size seats are designed to keep children rearward-facing until they are at least 15 months old.
|Type of Child Restraint||Weight Range||Approx. Age Range|
|Rearward-facing baby seat||Group 0
0 - 10kg (22 lbs)
|Birth to 6-9 months|
0 - 13kg (29 lbs)
|Birth to 12-15 months|
|Up to at least 15 months|
|Combination seat (Rearward and Forward-facing)||Group 0+ and 1
0-18 kg (40 lbs)
|Birth - 4 years|
|Group 0+, 1 & 2 (55 lbs)
Birth to 25 kg
|Birth to 6 years|
|Forward-facing child seat||Group 1
9-18 kg (20 - 40 lbs)
|9 months - 4 years|
|Group 1, 2 and 3
9 - 36 kg (20 - 79 lbs)
|1 to 11 years|
|High-backed Booster Seat||Group 2
15 - 25 kg (33 - 55 lbs)
|4 to 6 years|
|High-backed Booster Seat||Group 2 and 3
15 - 36 kg (33 - 79 lbs)
|4 to 11 years|
|Booster Cushion*||Group 2 and 3
15 - 36 kg (33 - 79 lbs)
|4 - 11 years|
|Booster Cushion*||Group 3
22 - 36 kg (48 - 79 lbs)
|6 - 11 years|
Group 0 rearward baby seats, Group 0+, 1, 2 combination seats and Group 2 forward-facing seats are less common than the other types.
Many child seats cover more than one group and are adjusted as the child grows. They may be called combination seats, extended seats or multi-group seats. For example:
- Group 0+ and 1 seats start off rearward-facing until the baby is at least 9 kg and are then turned forward-facing - some stay rearward facing until the child has reached 18 kg.
- Group 0+, 1 and 2 seats (which are not very common) start rearward-facing up to 18kg and are then turned forward-facing (they can be turned forward facing from 9 kg).
- Group 1, 2 and 3 seats are forward-facing. The child uses the seat's integral harness, or an impact cushion, until they are 15 kg and then uses the car's seat belt, which secures the child and the seat.
- Group 2 and 3 seats are high-backed booster seats, although they can also be booster cushions without a back. On some of the high-backed seats, the back can be removed once the child reaches 22 kg, but it is far better to keep the back on the seat.
* Change to the law about booster cushions
The regulations about booster cushions are being reviewed and may change so that booster cushions will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. However, no decisions have been made yet, and a date for the change has not been set (some reports say December 2016, but this is not confirmed).
If the changes go ahead, they will only apply to newly sold booster cushions, not ones which are already in use and meet existing safety standards. So, parents who use old booster cushions that comply with the existing regulations will not be breaking the law if they continue to use them after any rule change. They will not be required to buy new booster seats to meet any rule change.
Click on the links below for more information about each type of child restraint:
- Rearward-facing baby seats
- Forward-facing child seats
- Booster Seats and Booster Cushions
- Isofix Seats
- i-size seats
Child Car Seat Safety Recall
Argos have issued a product safety recall for Mamas & Papas Mercury child car seats:
Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1 Black
Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1 Grey
Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1-2-3 Black
Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 1-2-3 Grey
Mamas & Papas Mercury Group 2-3 Black
In the event of an accident the car seat shell may crack and so not provide the protection it should provide. If you have purchased one of these seats, stop using it immediately and return it to your local Argos store for a full refund. These seats are manufactured exclusively for Argos; other Mamas & Papas seats are not affected. For further information, contact the Argos Customer Service Team on 0345 600 5388.