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ISOFIX: What Do You Need To Know?

You may have heard in the news or on social media that within the last few weeks, the ACCC and the Federal Government have approved a new 2013 Australian and New Zealand Car Safety Standard that includes the use of the ISOFIX system.

While some of you may have been waiting for this for years, we find that many of our customers are confused by this new system and don’t understand how it differs from the current. So here we have listed some of the most common ISOFIX questions to help you know which system is best for you and your family.

What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is an international standardised fitting system, which provides the safest, easiest and quickest way to install a child car seat correctly without the need of vehicle seat belts. The name ISOFIX stands for ISO (International Standardization Organization) plus FIX (Fixation). ISOFIX car seats make use of two standard attachment points located at the base of the seat, plus an anti-tipping forward device: either a support leg or top tether. Please note, that even though ISOFIX is promoted as an Internationally Standard fitting system, each country or region will maintain their own standards when using ISOFIX.

Is it easier?
The answer to this question will depend on a few different factors. If you are planning on installing your seat once and keeping it in the same car until your little one outgrows it, there would be very little difference between ISOFIX and non- ISOFIX, however if you are planning on using one seat between multiple cars and they are all ISOFIX-compatible, the ISOFIX system would be much easier to use.

Is it safer?
In comparison to ISOFIX in other countries, the Australia and New Zealand ISOFIX is definitely safer as it includes an upper tether, however in comparison to non-ISOFIX car seats in Australia and New Zealand there has been very little evidence to show that one is better than the other when it comes to safety.

Is it more expensive?
It will depend on which seat you are looking at purchasing, but so far it looks like the ISOFIX seats are around $20-$100 more than their non-ISOFIX counterparts.

Can I use it?
It will largely depend on your car. New cars and European cars will most likely have ISOFIX fittings that are ready to use, however each make and model can be different so make sure you speak to the manufacturer of your car or read the manual before installing ISOFIX.

How is it different to ISOFIX in Europe or North America?
There are a few differences but the key is the inclusion of an upper tether within the Australian and New Zealand standard. This feature is crucial as it enhances safety in the event of a motor vehicle accident and will be required on all ISOFIX car seats. Another important distinction is that all Australian ISOFIX car seats will be fitted with guides that help you to ensure that your seat is fitted correctly.

Can I use an ISOFIX seat from another country?
You will not be permitted to use an international ISOFIX-compatible seat here in Australia, because even though the ISOFIX fittings are likely to be similar, Australian and New Zealand standards require an upper tether and fitting guides that majority of the international market does not.
What took so long?
Many customers are wondering why we’re only getting ISOFIX now when Europe and North America have had it for years, and the answer to that is a really good one: safety! It’s important to note that Australia is far more stringent when it comes to safety standards than most other countries and Australia has led the world in car safety standards for years now, so no element of car safety is ever accepted until a large amount of research and testing has been conducted.

So we hope that has answer some of your questions around ISOFIX, but for more information comment below or visit us in store and chat with a member of our friendly team!

So tell us, what do you think of ISOFIX? Let us know in the comments below!

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