It’s important for parents to know that the rules around the use of baby car seats and child booster seats are changing. If you have kids aged 12 and under, this guidance will get you up to speed.
The rules concern the use of ‘backless’ car booster seats that are used for smaller children. Parents may welcome the clarity of the new legislation, as there is currently a fair amount of confusion about how best to keep children safe in the car whilst following the law. You’ll need a baby car seat that gives your child support and offers the best safety to protect them. A booster seat offers no protection for a child if your car’s involved in a side-impact crash.
Changes to the Law
As of this December, any child that weighs less than 22kg or is less than 125cm in height will no longer be allowed to sit in a booster seat without a back. Currently, the law says that only children under 12 or 135cm in height must sit in a car seat, but it says that children who weigh just 15kg can be in a booster seat. 15kg is the average weight of a typical three-year-old, which flags up where the confusion occurs.
The changes to the law are being made because experts are worried that booster seats without backs fail to provide the right level of protection for smaller children. Talks are still in progress about the best way to legislate for safety, according to a spokesperson from the Department for Transport. This means that the final details of the revised law are yet to be confirmed.
It is expected that the updated law will only affect new purchases of seats. Parents will be able to continue to use their backless boosters if they have a child over 15kg. However, parents may well decide to invest in new seats that are completely compliant with the latest legislation and expert views – particularly given how vital the subject of car safety is for parents.
However, regardless of the law, most parents will want to know that experts are clear on the subject of safe seats in the car, and they say that high-back booster chairs are the best option for all children aged under twelve or 135cm in height. These seats are those which have seat belt guides and backrests and help children to sit securely and with their seatbelt correctly adjusted.
Regulators have previously clashed with experts and child-protection groups over the laws surrounding car seats and have been accused of muddying the water, so regulators andretailers have ended up inadvertently giving buyers conflicting and confusing information about the best seats to buy, particularly with regards to the i-Size child seats, which are regulated separately but in parallel to existing laws.
Invest in the Safest Baby Car Seats
Confused? You aren’t alone, but it helps to know that Adorable Tots has a wide range of tried and tested car seats for babies that comply with all legislation and which offer enhanced safety features for complete peace of mind. Features include Isofix bases, padded seats and comfort moulding, safe headrests, snap releases and more.
The Kiddy Guardian Fix Pro2 has some fantastic features to ensure the safety of your child. These include:
● Kiddy Shock Absorber (KSA)
● Kiddy Impact Sheild
● Extendable and elevated leg support
● High Performance absorbing material
● Integrated diagonal seat belt guides
● Comfortable head rests
Also available are reverse-facing car seats which are the right choice for very young babies and also preferred by parents of toddlers too in many cases. They are recommended for safe use in other European countries. These aren’t legislated for in the UK but can be a good option for parents, particularly when babies or toddlers can stay entertained by siblings and not be upset by being unable to see their parents.
The Kiddy Evolution Pro2 features include:
● Enhanced belt guide or Isofix base
● Shock absorbing slatted frame
● Height adjustable belt positioning
● AGR Stamp tested and recommended by experts
Whilst it is necessary to purchase a car seat that has the highest safety levels, it is important to understand how to fit them properly. A Watchdog investigation into five of the biggest high street retailers, offering child car seat fittings, uncovered shocking results and revealed more than 90% of fittings were wrong. Car seats need to be fitted ensuring that the seat belt is tight without being too slack, the belt is not twisted and that the seat is stable. It is vital to check your car seat on a regular basis.