About the ECE Norm
Internationally agreed technical regulations
The ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) norm describes a set of internationally agreed technical regulations for motored vehicles and related equipment like child safety seats. This regulation is approved by some non-European countries like i.e. Japan.
The test method according to ECE norm
To gain approval by law, all child seats must undergo the same accident simulation according to the current ECE R-44 regulations. There is a frontal collision that takes place at a speed of 50 km/h, a rear-collision at a speed of 30 km/h, and a rollover. Depending on the weight category, dummies of varying sizes are used in various crash situations.
An overview of the different ECE groups
A child has to be secured with a car safety seat up to the age of 12 years or the height of 150cm. ECE-Standard 44 defines five groups, each of which is designed for a particular weight category. As a rule of thumb, if the child is too heavy or tall for one group, it should move up to the next. We strongly advise parents not to move their child up too quickly, as a seat, that is too big, can be just as ineffective in a car crash as one that is too small.
The different groups and the average age of the child using them are displayed in the graph below. It should be noted that the age is not a criteria but should be seen as a guideline, as it refers to the age and weight of an average child. As a result, the weight categories overlap, allowing for added flexibility for those children who do not reflect average trends. This is designed to prevent children from moving up a group too early or too late.