The market for child seats is large and is becoming increasingly important. Numerous exhibitors will present their new models at Kind + Jugend. But what should trade pay attention to? And what are the manufacturers’ new developments like? Luna Journal talked about it with the ADAC.

Together with the leading German consumer safety Group Stiftung Warentest, the ADAC has been testing child seats for safety, handling, ergonomics and pollutant content in complex procedures for years. This year, 23 infant carriers and child seats in all sizes available in Germany were examined in detail. 17 models were rated “good” by the testers, two others “satisfactory”, one scored “sufficient”. Some of the seats rated “good” are clearly above the legal requirements. However, three seats also failed and were rated “poorly”. In two of them, the testers found increased levels of pollutants, in a third the seat shell broke into several parts. The “Maxi-Cosi Axissfix Air” was the first child seat with integrated airbags to be tested and approved. For the readers of the Luna Journal, the ADAC provides valuable background information about child seats and tips for sales talks.

What has happened in terms of child seat safety in recent years? How satisfied are you with the development and where do you see a need to catch up with the manufacturers?

We see enormous progress in the field of side impact protection, but also in the handling of many models. New ideas are coming onto the market to further reduce the strain on children, such as airbag systems, force limiters in the seat belts, etc. Fortunately, fewer and fewer problems are also becoming apparent in the testing of harmful substances; it looks as if manufacturers have now included this point in their specification book.

What do you think about new products such as child seats with airbags or infant carriers with a recline function?

It is generally positive that there are always new approaches that try to make the seats even safer, even easier to handle and install in the vehicle and ultimately to react flexibly to the requirements of everyday use in terms of handling and ergonomics. Developments in recent years have shown that there are always new solutions to minimize the strain on children, such as airbag systems or load-bearing systems similar to those in a car. Or monitoring systems that check whether the child seat is correctly installed. Another positive aspect is the simplified installation of many child seats, because only a correctly installed child seat can fully exploit its potential, especially seat systems that are installed against the direction of travel have shown very great progress in the past.

What do you recommend to retailers as preparation for sales talks? What factors should play a role in the seats that traders recommend to parents?

Of course, it is important to choose a seat according to its safety and comfort aspects, etc., but factors such as “Does the child like the seat”, “Does it feel good in it? A very important point is also: Does this seat fit into my vehicle, do the dimensions fit, can the seat be installed in my car (Isofix table of the child seat), can the Installation be done without problems. It is, therefore, always advisable to compare the test results. But maybe the best seat is not the one that fits my vehicle best. An inspection at a specialist dealer can save a lot of time and trouble.

Detailed information about the latest child seat test is available on the ADAC homepage. Kind+Jugend offers a large selection of infant carriers and child seats to trade visitors. The list of exhibitors includes 120 suppliers of baby car seats. 89 exhibitors offer child car seats in categories 9 to 18 kilograms and 83 companies show child car seats for classes 15 to 36 kilograms. 47 exhibitors present booster seats. With “BebéCare” from Italian exhibitor Artsana and “Nuna PIPATM litelx” from Dutch company Nuna International, two car seats have also been nominated for the Kind+Jugend Innovation Award in the category “World of Travelling Kids”.


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Image: ADAC