Car Seat Regulations- The Law and Their Changes

A car seat is used from the first time you bring baby home from the hospital right through to they are going up to high school so it’s a key decision to make.

A baby car seat is a small portable seat with an equipped restraining device used to harness young children and can be attached to a car ensuring child’s safety. There are the different baby and car seats depending on child’s age, height, and weight.

When you’re buying a car seat for your baby or child, it’s crucial that you know the current car seat legislation. There are lots of different rules (and exceptions to these rules) depending on how old your child is, which makes it really complicated. So we’ve tried to keep it as clear as possible…

The Law and Changes

The law, which changed in 2006, says that all children travelling in a car must use the correct car seat appropriate to their weight or height, until they are either

  • 135cm in height or
  • 12 years in age – which ever they reach first.

After this point, they must use an adult seat belt.

Recent Changes

Recently, there have been news article reporting  backless booster seats being banned or made illegal.

Booster seats will definitely not be banned under any new laws.  In fact, the BPA (British Products Association) and car seat makers who help develop the laws have confirmed backless boosters cushions will never be banned, as it is safer for children to use booster cushions as opposed to using nothing at all.

The changes that are taking place however, are simply an amendment to the height and age increase in when children should use backless booster seats.

Currently booster cushions fall under the Group 2/3 car seat category, meaning they can be used from around 4-years-old.  The new extension recommends children use backless boosters once they are 125cm or taller, which is roughly about 7-years-old.

No, it just means that new models of backless booster seats will only be suitable for children taller than 125cm or weighing more than 22kg.

Rear Facing or Forward Facing

The seat must be rear facing until the child is over 15months old. After the child is over 15 months old the seat maybe be forward facing. Based on weight the children used different seats that will allow efficient harnessing of the child ensuring proper safety of the child. A child’s car seat is only to be used if the car seat has a diagonal strap or if it is fitted directly to the anchor points. You must also deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing seat in front of a seat.

After the child is over 12 years of age it is advisable they may use seat belts. Based on height there are seats referred to us ‘I -size’ seats.

Stroller Integration

One advantage of a car seat is that a large number can connect to a travel system thus no need of worrying during a walk or carrying out your shopping. Traveling and taking vacations can be fun, but parents with infants find it difficult moving about with children but with a portable baby car seat, everything is made easier. While looking for a best car baby seat make sure that the seat:

  • Protect the neck. The baby seat should be well harnessed and allowing a space of 2cm above the head.
  •  Protecting the chest. The chest is a very delicate organ and much care should be taken and thus the seat should be fitted while facing the rear of your car when having a stage 0 car seat.
  • Prevention is better than cure and therefore for parents, it is a must have to own a baby seat as it provides safety to vital organs in the body thus ensuring proper child growth.

Common Practice

Parents should ensure that they have the best baby seats that will be user-friendly, affordable, durable and easy to install. The seats are of different prices depending on their quality, but I would advise parents to buy those that will last longer as the child grows. Click here to see a review of the top ten car seats on the market.

The following allows for a super-safe car seat for your baby:

  •  The tight is right. Make sure that the baby car seat is well fixed and it sho0uld not be loosely fixed. One can be fitted by a professional.
  •  Seat belt readiness. The seatbelt is only to be used by older children and they should use it if it is well harnessed and restraining them in their seat positions.
  •  The seat should have harnessing straps. The harness straps should be at or above child’s shoulders. The harness chest clip should be at child’s armpit.

Instead of choosing the style and brand of car seat, your first decision while looking for a car seat should be the best for your child. You would not want to buy many seats for your growing child so the best choice is choosing the best combination for your child and you will end up using minimal. On the other hand, making poor choices will make you spend more; cheaply is expensive.

You will need a proper and safer way to transport your child or move around conveniently. My advice for you is to look for the best car seats in the market and not only the best but also that will give you the best services you require. You must make a wise decision for the best welfare of your family.

Weight Based Seats

Your child’s weight determines what size seat they require for safe travel.

Only EU-approved weight-based child car seats can legally be used in the United Kingdom. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’.

Look for the ‘group’ that the car seat relates to in order to ensure you are buying the correct seat for your child. Below is a breakdown of what the weight, the group and the relevant description of the seat should look like.

Child’s weightGroupSeats
0kg to 10kg0Lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness
0kg to 13kg0+Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness
9kg to 18kg1Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield
15kg to 25kg2Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield
22kg to 36kg3Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield
Now you have all the facts, it’s time to find the best infant car seat for you and your child.

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