Child car safety is something that’s very important to me; Riley and Harry are two of the most important people in my life and i firmly believe that it’s my job as their mama to be their protector, so i will always do everything in my power to ensure they don’t come to any harm. Child car seat safety is something i’ve written about before, but there’s always a period of confusion when laws change and with the new booster seat rules expected to come into force later this year, you may be wondering if your current seats will meet the new regulations.
So here’s everything you need to know about the current UK law and the stricter rules that are being introduced later this year limiting the use of backless booster seats for children.
Current Child Car Seat Law
- Under current UK law all children travelling in a car must use the correct sear until they reach 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. In some European countries like France and Germany, this height limit is 150cm.
- Safety experts recommend that you use a child car seat for all children under 150cm/4.5ft 11in.
- Children under 3 must be in a child car seat. If there’s no room for a third child seat in the back of your vehicle, then children aged three and under can use the front seat provided they are in a suitable child car seat.
- You can’t take children under three on an unexpected journey in a vehicle without a seatbelt of the correct child car seat. The only exception to this rule is if it’s in a licensed taxi or minicab and the rear seats are separated from the driver by a fixed partition and the child travels on the rear seats.
- If you ignore the law you are liable to a fine of £500.
What is the new law?
Under the new rules, backless booster seats will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg.
Currently, children weighing as little as 15kg can travel in backless booster seats, but experts agree that this type of child car seat is unsuitable for such young children.
Do I need to buy a new child car seat?
The new law is expected to come into effect in December 2016, but will only apply to new products on the market so parents who already have a booster seat for their child can continue to use it without breaking any rules.
However, a small child isn’t held as securely in a backless booster seat and the seatbelt isn’t guided across their little body in the best way. Most importantly, a backless booster seat offers no protection for a child if your vehicle is involved in a side-impact road traffic accident.
Some parents may decide not to fork out some extra pennies for a new seat, but a new high back booster seat doesn’t have to cost much at all, they start from as little as £19.95 on Online4Baby. That small cost could save your child’ life and you can’t put a price on that.
What should I consider when choosing a new car seat?
- High back
- Head protection
- Shoulder protection
- Red guides to feed seatbelt through
- Isofix fitting
- Don’t be distracted by colour or design
Riley is 4 years old and Harry is 3 years old and both use Britax Evolva 1-2-3 Plus car seats which feature head protection, shoulder protection and high backs that adjust to grow with your child, making them safe and suitable for children from 9kg – 36kg (9 months-12 years). It’s a brand i trust and a product that i would highly recommend.
How do you feel about the upcoming changes? Will you be purchasing a high back booster seat for your child?