When can I change my child's seat? When do you weigh more than 13 kg? When did I reach 9kg?
I think this doubt has become universal and it is a problem because we are changing the children ahead of time.
To start putting ourselves in the situation, let's see which groups exist in the market:
- Group 0: This type of device ranges from birth to 10 kg
- Group 0+: From birth to 13 kg. They are known as 'huevito' or 'maxicosi' (although this is only the name of one of the brands)
- Group I: From 9 kg to 18kg
- Group II: From 15 kg to 25kg
- Group III: from 22kg to 36 kg
- Then there are combinations of them: Group 0 + / 1, Group 1/2/3, Group 2/3, etc.
Where does this grouping come from and how was it designated?
This classification was established by the European Standard for Homologation ECE R44 / 04 in 1982 and they did so based on the average of the percentile 50.
For those of you who are not up to date on what the word percentile means (difficult if you are parents), is the statistical measure to check where a value is located based on a sample. That is, the percentile, allows us to compare the data of our baby with others of the same age and sex to know if your weight, height develops with 'normal' (Here we could spend hours talking about what normality is, but the post is not about that). Surely your pediatrician has ever told you that your 7 kg and 74 cm child is in the 30th percentile. This means that there is a 30% of the babies studied that are at the same weight or less and the remaining 70% are above . So the European Standard for Homologation chose the 50th percentile to make an average.
But, why does it raise doubts then to make the change of chair if the groups are so clear?
Well, because it is possible that the percentile table, which was used at that time, has become obsolete over the years. Apparently it seems that more and more children are weighing and taller than they were in 1982. But there is also another problem: 'the dummies that are tested are grouped by age'. With which according to the regulations children weighing X kilos must weigh X. And this does not appear to be the case in real life.
As an example I am going to give you the photos of a little one that they have sent me. He is 6 months old and weighs 9kg. Here I present it:
This little boy is 6 months old and already over 9kg. The 'normal' according to the regulations is that the 9kg is reached approximately at 12 months. But as we can see, this is not always the case.
And why do we see a problem in this?
For a relatively short time in Spain there have been rear-facing chairs. Until a few years ago all children traveled in favor of the march and this was a problem because many parents put their children in favor of the march much earlier (in age) than they should. Something that continues to happen because the percentage of families that take their children backwards is still too low in our country.
As we have said before, Group 0+ is approved up to 13 kg. So the baby should travel in it until approximately 2 years. But, Is there a 13 kg baby that falls into a 0+ group? The vast majority do not because their heads pop out (luckily now we also live with the homologation I-Size)
That's when the 'FALSE BELIEF' or 'URBAN LEGEND' that children when they reach 9 kg (regardless of age) they can now change to a chair PLEASE OF THE WAY !!!! And parents are in a rush because ‘they will finally be able to carry their baby facing forward ' and 'I'm sure it will be more comfortable that way ', ‘will have more fun ' and a lot of unfounded beliefs that make thousands of children circulate unsafe on the roads every day.
This means that in our country there is a high percentage of children between 6/9 months traveling in favor of the march and in devices that do not guarantee their safety. Let's go back to the little boy's example from before. I'm going to put you a series of photos and I'm going to explain what the errors are.
NOT for two reasons. The first is that their body is not yet prepared to receive a frontal impact without minimizing injuries and the second is because the shield will not protect the child from suffering a significant injury because it is at a height that is not recommended. If this family were to have a frontal impact with the baby sitting this way, his head would be stretched forward causing an unnatural movement of the vertebrae, which could cause a cervical fracture. I explain.
When we see the photos of the brands that manufacture this type of device we see this:
We do not see children under 8 months with the shield just below their chin as in the case we are studying.
According to these manufacturers, this 'cushion' / 'shield' has the function of allowing the child's body, in the event of a frontal impact, to travel forward without the harness holding back the sternum. That way the whiplash would cease to exist. This is how they explain it in their video where I have extracted these images:
But if you look at the drawing, we see a child who is taller than if he has the correct space to stretch his body forward (although the blow to the head will continue to take him away. And many other things as we explain in this Article.) So, does this drawing resemble the reality of the little one at all? I put it so that your eyes respond:
NO right? Therefore, do you think that the baby's neck will be able to make the journey described in your video? The answer is NO again. It makes me doubt if therefore the damage of the cushion in this case is at the same level as the harness. The solution to this problem is for children to travel in reverse until they are at least 4 years old. The result in this case is that this baby is one of the children who do not travel safely due to the lack of information on safety issues.
It is obvious that the percentile of the little one is above normal but it serves me perfectly to be able to explain clearly that you do not have to rush to remove your baby from the 0/0 + group
After all that we have exposed, my recommendation to all families that are in the process of changing seats is that:
'Put yourself in the hands of a professional who specializes in restraint systems to help you find the seat that fits your baby and your car. You don't have to do a master's degree in restraint systems, that's what advisers are for. Safety is not a matter of fashion '