Legal minimum requirements

Additional in-house testing

Swedish plus testing

Legal minimum requirements

So we have discussed what the law is, this is the legal minimum requirement for a seat to be sold in the UK.

This is however not what we would deem adequate and does not give a good enough representation of the dangers posed to children in the event of an impact. For this reason, Bijou Baby does not recommend car seats that are only tested to the legal minimum requirements.


This is purely a comment to say that whilst the seat has passed the legal minimum requirement, there is no evidence of how it would perform and how safe a child would be in the event of a collision at a speed greater than 32mph and no evidence of the forces applied to the neck.

Additional in-house testing

Many reputable manufacturers conduct additional in house testing (Joie, Cybex, Maxi Cosi, Britax, Axkid, BeSafe etc.) which is above the minimum legal requirement.

We would always recommend sticking to manufacturers that perform such additional testing.

Please note, many manufacturers that claim they do additional in house testing do not publish details on what these tests involve or how well a seat performed, therefore we generally recommend looking for additional items such as independent testing and Swedish plus testing.

Swedish plus testing

The Swedish Plus Test is the world’s toughest crash test. This is next level testing and really ensures children are as safe as possible. It is a voluntary test that manufacturers can opt to put their seats through.

The testing is the only test in the world that ensures your child is not exposed to excessive forces on the neck that could be fatal in a collision. Evidence has shown that a child cannot withstand a cervical force greater than 130kg. The Swedish plus test measure this force during testing and has a maximum limit of 122kg.

Not only is this test performed at an increased speed of 35mph, but the breaking distance is reduced compared to other tests, meaning an increased impact. This combined with the advanced Q-dummies that are used means many seats will not pass the test. Seats are also tested in every possible use meaning seats that forward face, or have the option to forward face, just cannot pass the test based on the forces applied to the neck.

Many seats put through this test are completely destroyed during the process. Shocking when you consider this is only a 35mph impact!!!

Car seat testing and safety ratings explained

At Bijou Baby I’m passionate about raising the awareness of car seat safety and have put together a number of resources to help support and guide families to ensure they have the opportunity to get the best and safest car seats for their children at the right budget. In this section I’ll look at the legal requirements for car seats as well as what form of testing is carried out and how to ensure that the seat you choose is as safe as possible.

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