Child car seats Safety Regulations and Laws.



In Product Reviews | |

It is normal for children in the UK to use a child car seat until the age of 12, or once they reach 135 centimeters height.  Since the majority of drivers have to deal with fitting a child seat in their car, we’ve put together some useful tips with trusted Audi dealer, covering everything you need to know about child car seats.

The UK’s child car seats law

As mentioned beforehand, a child will generally have to use a child car seat until they’re 12 years older as soon as they are 135 centimeters tall.

A child will then have to wear a seat belt once they’ve surpassed one of the above conditions. If a child under 14 is spotted not wearing a seat belt while someone is driving, the driver can be hit with a fine of up to £500. Furthermore, be aware that it is against the law for more than one person — regardless of their age — to be occupying a single seat that’s fitted with a single seat belt.

But what happens when you own a classic car that doesn’t have any seat belts at all? For one thing, children under three years old are not allowed to be carried in this type of vehicle. Youngsters over the age of three can be carried though, but only in the back seats. What’s more, all these rules will only be in place for vehicles which were originally made without seat belts.

The same rules explained above must be respected in the case where a child has a medical condition or a disability. However, a disabled person’s seat belt or a child restraint that has been designed for a youngster’s needs are allowed to be used. Furthermore, doctors have the authority to issue an exemption certificate that states when a child is unable to use a seat belt or child restraint due to their condition.

These points essentially come to the same conclusion: that a child car seat is an obligatory and essential equipment to buy. You can choose the equipment based on the height or the weight of your youngster.

Height-based seats: what to consider

I-Size seats, which are meant to eventually fit in all cars, must be approved by the EU before they can be used in the UK. You’ll know if this is the case if there’s a label on the equipment that includes a capital letter ‘E’ within a circle and the text ‘R129’.

It is essential to ensure that a height-based seat is suitable for the younger children too. Until the child is over 15 months old, the seat must be rear facing in the car. Then, once past this age, you can change the child seat setup to forward-facing.

Weight-based seats: things to consider

Like height-based child car seats, weight-based seats can only be used in the UK after they’ve been approved by the EU. This time, you can check if this is the case if there’s a label present that comes complete with a capital letter ‘E’ placed in a circle and the text ‘ECE R44’.

Unlike the first type of seats we looked at above, there are different types of weight-based seats available, depending on the weight of the child. Below are five different options…

Weight of the child Group Seats available
0-10kg 0 A lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrierA rear-facing baby carrierA rear-facing baby seat that makes use of a harness
0-13kg 0+ A rear-facing baby carrierA rear-facing baby seat that makes use of a harness
9-18kg 1 A rear-facing baby seat that makes use of a harnessA rear-facing baby seat that makes use of a safety shieldA forward-facing baby seat that makes use of a harnessA forward-facing baby seat that makes use of a safety shield
15-25kg 2 A rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a seat beltA rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a harnessA rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a safety shieldA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a seat beltA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a harnessA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a safety shield
22-36kg 3 A rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a seat beltA rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a harnessA rear-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a safety shieldA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a seat beltA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a harnessA forward-facing child car seat that is designed with either a booster cushion or a high-backed booster seat and makes use of a safety shield

How to find the right child car seat for you & your youngster

It is essential to consider how you’ll make use of the child car seat and the type that best suits your conditions before purchasing one. A seat that is light in its weight will be a wise choice if you need to regularly lift it in and out of a vehicle, for instance, as will one that has been designed with a base which stays in the car. Will you be participating in quite a few long road trips with your child? If so,

then look for a seat that can safely recline so that your youngster can be kept comfortable and more likely to fall asleep while they are travelling from A to B.

Ask for assistance from a member of staff when you visit a store to buy your child car seat. Unless you are certain that the equipment is suitable for your youngster and will fit into your vehicle, it’s also best to avoid purchasing a child seat over the internet or via mail order.

Reasons to avoid buying second-hand child seats

It is not recommended to purchase a second-hand child car seat, even though used ones are cheaper than brand new child seats. There’s a few reasons for this, including the fact that you will not know the history associated with the equipment — it may have suffered from an accident over the years, for instance, as the damage isn’t always visible to the naked eye.

With small or no damage at all, second-hand seat might still deteriorate with time. What’s more, they may not be designed to conform with the safety standards which are currently being enforced.

In addition, used child seats might not come with the instructions, which are important to correctly install the equipment as it should be.

Avoid any possible issues by choosing a brand-new child seat. You don’t need to break the bank, and you could even make use of the various child seat discount schemes provided by your local Road Safety Department.

So, you now have all the essential information you’d need before purchasing a child car seat in the UK. All that’s left to say is for you and your family to enjoy safe travels!

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules

https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law

https://www.gov.uk/seat-belts-law/if-your-vehicle-doesnt-have-seat-belts

https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/

https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/choosing-child-car-seats/

https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/second-hand-child-seats/

https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/fitting-child-car-seats/

https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/choosing-using/positioning-child-car-seats-in-cars/