10 Child Car Seat tips and the Law

  1. In the UK Children must use a child seat or booster seat in either the front or rear passenger seat until they are aged 12 or 135cm tall – whichever is first. Infants under 15 months must be in a backwards facing seat. In emergency situations children over 3 may do short, low speed journeys without a child seat but with the seat belt.
  2. In the United States and Canada there are different laws in each state or province. Check yours here.
  3. While a child seat or booster seat is required it must meet approved safety standards. Look for the circle with an E in it and there should also be a code for example : ECE R44-04 or ECE R44-03 if the last two digits are either 01 or 02 they are no longer legal. For a full details go to UK.GOV website.
  4. Buying a good car seat is important – don’t buy second hand and only buy from a reputable supplier.
  5. Your vehicle may have airbags that need deactivating – especially in the front. Always read the vehicle’s technical manual.
  6. Your vehicle may have  ISOFIX points – if it does buy a suitable seat. ISOFIX don’t require you to use the vehicle’s seat belts to fix the seat.
  7. After a few years the cushioning may become uncomfortable – check it or ask your child that it’s OK every-so-often.
  8. When the child is old enough or tall enough not to require a booster seat they must wear the seatbelt while the car is being driven.
  9. Some child seats have an expiration date. It’s wise to check this before you purchase the seat.
  10. If you are involved in an accident then the seat should be replaced – even if there is no visible damage to the seat. Be sure to include the seat in your insurance claim.

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