Being familiar with the laws regarding children’s car seats is very important. Are you confident that you know the correct child car seat to use, according to a child’s age? Do you know what age a child can travel without a car seat?
In this article, we’re going to review what the law is regarding children’s car seats, what type of child seats to use, and the consequences of breaking the law. Read on to find out more.
According to UK child car seat laws, children must use a car seat until they are either 12 years old or at least 135cm in height. Once they are able to sit in the car without a car seat, they must wear an adult seat belt and it is your responsibility to make sure they do so.
It’s recommended that children travel in the back of a car for their safety and stay in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. This is usually until they are 15 months old.
Once children move to a forward-facing car seat, it’s recommended that they stay in the back of the car for as long as possible. This is to minimise impact injuries from the car or airbag, should there be an accident.
The right car seat for your child depends on their height and their weight. You can choose a car seat based on either of these factors but they must be EU-approved.
Height-based car seats are known as ‘i-Size’ seats and, as mentioned, a child must remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old. After which they can move to a forward-facing car seat appropriate for their height.
For your height-based car seat to be EU-approved it must have a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129’ on the label.
The type of seat your child can use depends on their weight. On the Gov.uk website, you will find a list of weight-based categories that car seats fall into. Check this before buying your car seat.
For your weight-based car seat to be EU-approved it must have a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’ on the label.
In most cases, a child under 12 or under 135cm in height must always travel in a car seat when in a car. The exceptions are:
For further information, please check Gov.uk.
A driver can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 years old is travelling in their car without a car seat or wearing a seatbelt. Even over a short distance.
Always make sure you abide by the law to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
We hope this article has provided some clarity regarding the laws relating to children’s car seats.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more help and advice.