From the 1st March, new baby car seat laws come into effect and it could have a huge impact on how your child travels. The changes, which will be brought in across Europe mean that backless booster seats will be banned for children smaller than 125cm (4ft 1in) or who weigh less 22kg (3st 4lbs).
The new rules have been brought in to improve child safety after car seat experts raised concerns that backless booster seats are unsafe for small children as they don’t hold them securely in their seat.
While the law changes will mean that car seat manufacturers will no longer be able to produce backless seats for this smaller size, parents who already own a backless booster will NOT have to get rid of them and can continue to use them.
The current child seat laws can be confusing but to help clear things up, here is a simple list of rules you have to follow when using a car seat:
The best way to find the car seat that’s right for your child is to pick on either its height or weight.
‘i-Size’ seats, ones which are height based should be rear-facing until 15 months old and should be changed once the top of their head is level with that of the car seat (only applicable once they can hold their own head up for half an hour or more).
If you’re using your child’s weight to pick which car seat is best, here’s how you work out the right seat for your child:*
1. If you’re using a rear-facing seat, you MUST deactivate any front-facing airbags.
2. When fitting a child’s car seat, make sure that the seat buckle is outside the frame and that the harness buckle is as low as possible, ideally across your child’s pelvis.
3. Keep the instructions with the child seat in the car.†
4. If you are unsure about anything, seek advice and if possible get someone to check the fitting of child seat for you.
5. Never modify the child seat or the car seat belt to make it fit.
* BBC News