Child Safety Seats
Keep your child safe and stay within the law
Legislation states that you must use the correct car seat for your child. However, the criteria used for different ages and the variety available make choosing the best seat complicated. Small children need the protection that baby and child seats are designed to provide. Seat belts are designed for adults and, when used alone, do not provide sufficient protection for young children. Children who have grown out of child seats still need to use booster seats until the age of 12, or when they reach the height of 135cm, whichever comes first.
If a booster seat is not used, the adult belt can sit too high over the stomach and if involved in an impact situation there could be a risk of damage to internal organs as well as the child sliding under the belt, throat injuries can also be incurred if the child is not tall enough.
As of the 1st March 2017 it is illegal to produce backless booster seats. This law does not effect the use of backless booster seats that have been purchased prior to the 1st March 2017.
- As of the 1st March 2017 it is illegal to produce backless booster seats. This law does not affect backless booster seats that have been purchased prior to the 1st March 2017. Somerset Road Safety recommends the use of child car booster seats with backs as in the event of a collision they will provide your child/ren with greater protection
- Ensure that the correct child seat is used and that it is compatible with the vehicle you are driving (It is advisable when purchasing a child car seat to visit retailers whose staff have been trained to fit child car seats to the make and model of your vehicle)
- Ensure the correct child restraint is used for the weight and height of the child
- If using a second-hand child seat, be aware of its history (i.e. has it been involved in an accident/impact?). Somerset Road Safety recommends that you always purchase a new car seat from a retailer with trained staff
- As from July 2013, in addition to the existing legislation, all new child car seats must comply with the new European i-size criteria
- A £100 fixed penalty notice can be applied for not using a child restraint
For more information on child car seats visit RoSPA's child car seat website click here.
i-Size is the new European standard for child car seats. i-Size seats will fit every i-Size approved vehicle and cars will need to be i-Size compliant to achieve the maximum Euro NCAP rating.
The i-Size regulations are designed to provide children with additional protection and safety in the car. i-Size does not replace the existing R44/04 legislation, but runs alongside it. The key differences are increased support for the child's head and neck and better protection in the event of both frontal and side-impact. The seat's five-point harness ensures that the child stays in the seat even in a roll-over accident.
i-Size also helps parents choose the right seat more easily by classifying seats by the child's length/height rather than weight. It can be used in most cars that have Isofix fittings, which have been standard in the majority of cars since 2007, and which make the seat easy to install correctly.
For more information on i-Size click here.
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