As a parent, ensuring the safety of your little ones is a top priority. Here at Baby Birds we are passionate about car seat safety, and aim to give all of our customers the correct, safe information that will follow parents throughout the journey of parenthood. In the quest for knowledge on the best practices for child safety in vehicles, the Baby Birds team recently attended the Cybex Car Seat Masterclass in London. This eye-opening experience provided us with valuable insights into car seat safety, international safety standards, and the importance of rear-facing for the well-being of our precious passengers.

Understanding Safety Standards:

The masterclass began by delving into the crucial safety standards that govern children’s car seats worldwide. The R129 and R44 safety standards were emphasized, outlining the guidelines that manufacturers must adhere to when designing car seats. These standards take into account the age, weight, and height of the child, ensuring a comprehensive approach to safety. In store, we aim to only supply car seats with the best testing available, including R129 approved and Swedish Plus Tested seats.

Age and Height Considerations:

In the European Union, children from birth to 12 years or 150cm fall under the umbrella of car seat regulations. The class stressed the importance of protecting not just external injuries but also bones and internal organs during car journeys. It was eye-opening to learn that many parents often overlook the significance of using a car seat after the infant stage, and assuming they are safe to be forward facing, or not even using a car seat in some cases for older children. In the UK, children have to use a booster until 135cm, but so many parents aren’t aware of this.

Transitioning After the First Year:

An interesting revelation was the impact of forward-facing car seats on a child’s comfort and safety. After the first year, children’s legs can become cramped when facing backward, leading many parents to switch to forward-facing positions prematurely. However, the masterclass emphasized that it is five times safer for children to continue facing rearward, providing better protection in case of a collision. This important message was echoed throughout the master class, and was a key theme to take away from the event.

Navigating the Confusing Choices:

One of the challenges faced by parents is the overwhelming array of choices and jargon associated with car seats. The masterclass aimed to demystify this confusion, providing clarity on terms like Isofix, car seat bases, Isize, and the significance of the year 2013 in car seat safety. This will then supply our team with the tools to make this conversation easier to understand for customers and parents.

The Isofix Revolution:

Isofix, a term commonly thrown around in discussions about car seats, took center stage during the masterclass. Understanding that not all car seats fit all cars, the introduction of Isofix was a game-changer. Car seat bases, another crucial element, were explained as tools to enhance the stability of car seats. The compatibility between car seats and cars, ensured by Isofix and the iSize standard, guarantees a secure and snug fit for optimum safety. An important message and reminder, we aim to pass onto all customers and parents.

I-Size and Its Advancements:

The masterclass highlighted the i-Size standard, a progressive approach to car seat safety introduced in 2013. Unlike traditional weight-based standards, i-Size focuses on height, providing a universal fit to all i-Size cars. The requirement for both the car seat and the car to have Isofix compatibility ensures a standardized and secure system.

Rear-Facing for Superior Protection:

Perhaps the most critical takeaway from the Cybex Car Seat Masterclass was the emphasis on rear-facing positions for children. The class stressed the importance of rear-facing until at least 15 months, as this position offers superior head impact protection in case of an accident. Rigorous tests, including the Swedish Plus Test, were highlighted as benchmarks for evaluating a car seat’s ability to withstand side-impact collisions. In store, we always recommend ERF (extended rear facing) seats, that can rear face until approx age 6. The longer a child can rear face for, the better.

Knowledge Gained:

At Baby Birds, our team comprises individuals with varying levels of experience, each contributing unique perspectives. We all found the event helpful, and gave us the tools to help our customers with the best information possible. Here’s a glimpse into what each team member took away from the enriching experience.

  1. Ais shares, “I never knew how many crashes are side impact, and the event really opened my eyes to the importance of side impact protection.”
  2. Emma said “I found the different levels of car seat safety standards around the world really interesting.”
  3. Jasmine stated “The different levels of car seat testing were really interesting and key to know for this job.”
  4. Katie, a new member’s perspective “As a new member of the team, I found the whole event so helpful to expand on my knowledge.”
  5. Molly shares “Confirmation on the legislation on booster seats and their usage was so helpful,” she shares.
  6. Jade believes “Learning about the different heights and weights for different age groups will really help with giving advice,” emphasizing the practical implications for assisting customers.
  7. Maisie said “For me, that was actually my first day working for Baby Birds, so everything was new, but I learned so much!”
  8. Max shared “I found the whole event so helpful, packed with information. I never knew how many parents were not aware of how to properly install their car seats!”


In conclusion, the Cybex Car Seat Masterclass was a journey into the intricacies of car seat safety, unravelling the complexities for parents and caregivers. Armed with a deeper understanding of safety standards, the importance of rear-facing, and the advancements in car seat technology, we now feel more equipped to make informed decisions for the well-being of our precious cargo. As we continue to help and advise customers in the journey of parenthood, the lessons from this masterclass will undoubtedly serve as a guiding light, ensuring that your little ones ride in the safest possible manner.

A heartfelt appreciation goes out to the entire team at Cybex and the dedicated professionals from Child Car Seat Safety. Their warm welcome and insightful guidance have equipped us with valuable information, enabling us to offer the most accurate and secure advice to our customers. We are committed to ensuring that every piece of information we provide empowers our customers to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

We were even lucky enough to be shown the next step in car seat safety, but this news will have to wait until another blog post.