Isofix vs. Regular Car Seat
It’s difficult to understand all the different terms if you are looking for a car seat for your baby.
References to Isofix might especially confuse you if you have never heard the term. If this is your first child, or there is a big age gap between your children, you might not be sure about what Isofix is.
You might not know whether you can or should choose Isofix over a regular car seat. Let us tell you more about what Isofix is, how it works, why it is a better option and how to check if your car has Isofix.
ISOFIX is a car seat fitting system. It is an international standardised system for car seats and refers to the International Organisation for Standardisation standard ISO 13216, which details the system for anchoring car seats.
If you are traveling abroad, instead of ISOFIX, you might hear the system called LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) in the USA. In Canada, it is called Canfix.
You might also hear it called UCSSS (Universal Child Safety Seat System). Instead of just using a seat belt to secure a car seat in place, it uses an attachment point built into the car.
The system is designed to ensure the safety of children traveling in vehicles.
Why is Isofix Better?
As a new parent, media bombards you with many messages about keeping your child safe. One focus is often on making sure you fit the car seat properly.
Many older car seats involved you having to position the car seat correctly on the base of the back seat.
Then you had to ensure you had secured the seat belt correctly around the car seat so it didn’t move. That meant as a parent you also had to rely on others knowing how to properly secure the car seat, and that the car seat fitted your car.
Isofix doesn’t rely on you as the parent hoping you have placed the car seat in the right way. It doesn’t rely on you hoping you have the seatbelt position correctly around the car seat. Instead, the system allows you to easily fix the car seat directly to the base of the vehicle seat.
By fixing the car seat directly to the vehicle, there is less movement of the car seat. This means there is less likelihood of injury if you are involved in an accident, unlike a car seat secured by the seatbelt.
And surveys suggest over 90% of parents correctly fit Isofix car seats. Using the Isofix system gives you peace of mind.
Why Choose Isofix?
Isofix is a universal car seat system that meets international standards.
This removes any uncertainty about how to fit the car seat, or whether the car seat will fit not only in your car but also in the grandparent’s car.
Most Isofix systems also have a traffic light indicator system to tell you whether the seat is installed correctly.
That means you can easily tell whether your baby’s car seat is properly secured before you set off.
That gives you peace of mind that your baby is secure.
How to Check if Your Car has Isofix
In the UK, for any vehicle model launched from November 2012 and in all vehicles manufactured after November 2014, Isofix is mandatory.
This means if your vehicle falls into either of these categories, it should come with Isofix as standard. In fact, many cars manufactured from 2006 come with Isofix.
If you are unsure, you can check your car’s manual or look for Isofix labels between the seat cushion and the back seat.
You might even see the fitting points.
Alternatively, you can check with the car seat manufacturer as many of them list which cars work with which Isofix fitted seats.
Maxi-Cosi offers an awesome tool to find out if your car is suitable for an isofix car seat. You can use this tool here.