New child and baby car seat laws has come into force which could result in a £500 fine if a child is found to be in an incorrect seat.
Your child must sit in a car seat until they are 12 years old or 4’5” tall, depending on which comes first and applies to both cars and commercial vehicles.
Why is the law changing?
The law is changing with regard to backless booster seats though – they’re going to be banned for children under 4’1” and weighing less than 22 kg because experts believe they’re not as safe as seats with backs.
This change only applies to new backless booster seats entering the market – if you already own one, you can continue to use it along with any seat which has already gained approval against existing regulations can continue to be manufactured, sold and used. However it may not offer the same protection.
Here’s what you need to know about the new car seat laws:
- Any car seat used in the UK has to be EU-approved, make sure yours is marked with an E.
- Babies under 15 months old must sit in a rear-facing seat, but after that children can face either the front or the back of the car.
- A new, bigger seat must be bought if your child’s head exceeds the level of the top of the seat – but according to experts, this should only be done when your baby can hold their own head up for at least half an hour at once.
- Babies weighing under 9 kg should travel in a baby carrier rather than a child seat.
- Once your child is older and bigger, you can sit them in a backless booster seat, but only when they weigh about 15 kg, which is usually around the age of three and a half.
Fitting a child car seat
You must only use a child car seat if your car’s seat belt has a diagonal strap, unless the seat is either:
- Specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt
- Fitted usingISOFIX anchor points
You must also:
- Deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in a front seat
- Not fit a child car seat in side-facing seats
For further information, please visit the following Government web page.
Information contained within this post is to be used as guidance for the topic. Please seek professional advice when buying your child car seat.