Baby and Child Car Safety

Paying attention to child car safety is paramount - by following relevant laws and guidelines, the risks can be minimised and you can enjoy a comfortable ride, secure in the knowledge that your children are safely and securely strapped into the car.

For some car safety tips – from the familiar to the slightly less known – read on:

Child Car Seats: The Rules

  • The correct car seat for your child is determined by their weight.
  • Each child must have his or her own seatbelt – never use a single belt to strap in two or more children.
  • In the UK, all baby and child car seats must be approved by EU standards.
  • Always check any second-hand child seats and booster seats thoroughly, to ensure they still meet standards and are undamaged.

Types of Child Car Seat

  • Babies up to 13kg: Rear-facing baby seats.
  • Children from 9 to 18kg: Child rear-facing car seats.
  • Children from 15 to 25kg: Forward-facing child seats (booster seats).
  • Children over 22kg: Booster cushions.

Many manufacturers produce seats that can be adapted to adjust as your child grows and fulfil more than one function – check the seat label and instructions to see if this is the case.

Using Your Child’s Car Seat in the Front

You must ensure you deactivate any front airbags before putting a baby seat in the front of the car – airbags are designed for use with an adult in the chair and the position of a baby seat can mean the airbags become more dangerous than life-saving should they be deployed.

Side-Facing Seats and Vehicles Without Seat Belts

Avoid using a side-facing seat entirely. If your car does not have rear seat belts, then children over three years old can travel in the back without a car seat. No child under three will be able to travel without an appropriately fitted car seat or seat belt.

Cars with Integral Child-Sized Seats

Some cars come with their own child-sized seats for use with your children. An ‘E’ in an orange circle indicates that the seat has been approved for this use and is usually alongside a label which indicates the weight category of the seat (often 15kg). Only use an integrated seat if it is approved and of the right size category for your child.

Car Sears in a Seat with Only a Lap Belt

Most car seats require a full three-point belt in order to be properly fitted and are not compatible with a car position which only provides a lap belt. If your car does not have a fill diagonal seat belt, you may find yourself unable to fit a child seat.

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