What Every Parent Needs to Remember About Car Seat Laws
On the 1st of March this year, new child seat laws came into force in the UK. The law was passed in order to help limit the amount of injuries and fatalities that can occur during a car crash, from improperly used or fitted car seats.
As with many newly passed laws, there is often a little confusion at the beginning, so here is what you need to know:
- Until your child reaches 12 years old, or 4’5” tall (whichever comes first) they must sit in a car seat.
- Children under 15 months must sit in a rear-facing seat. After 15 months old, they can face either way, rear or front.
- If your child’s head is higher than the top of the seat, then a new, bigger seat must be bought.
- Babies weighing under 9kg should be in a baby carrier rather than a child seat.
- Child seats should have a five-point harness and high back, head and side protection.
- Your car needs to have a diagonal strap, unless the seat is either specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt or is fitted using ISOFIX anchor points.
- Any front airbags should be deactivated should you fit a rear-facing baby seat in a front seat.
- Your child can use a backless booster seat, but this can only be used once they weigh more than 22kg and are over 4’1”. However, this law is only relevant to new backless booster seats. If you already have one, then you can continue to use them. Similarly, any seat that has already been approved alongside previous regulations can also continue to be bought and used.
- Whilst children are expected to travel in a suitable car seat, there are exceptions:
- Unexpected emergency journeys, that are short distances, and only if the child is over three years old.
- Journey in a minibus, minicab, taxi, coach or van (but not in the front).
- If three children are travelling in the back of the car and the third car seat will not fit in, then that child may travel without a car seat, but only if they are three years old or above.
- All car seats and backless booster seats should be EU-approved, so ensure your car seat is marked with an E.
Take a look at the wide range of car seats we have available.