When it comes to buying car seats, it is seriously overwhelming. There are so many choices, ones that last for one stage, ones that last for two stages and then three stages. I didn’t even realise there were three stages! Then you have rear facing or forward facing, the money to consider, you obviously want the best for your child but that can also be very expensive and life adjusting to having another person to provide for and the not so great maternity pay may not allow you to get the one you would like. Just as you think you may be getting your head around everything and have narrowed your choices down, you hear about the new law which throws everything up in the air once again.

Car seat guidelines

However, according to the Department of Transport, no new law has actually passed. Car seat safety for children over the age of 15 months is currently being reviewed but no dates have been set for any changes yet.

The current law states that all children travelling in a car must use the correct car seat appropriate to their weight or height, until they are either 135cm in height 12 years in age, whichever they reach first.

Children up to the age of 3 must travel in either a rearward or forward facing car seat, which is properly fitted. They should be strapped into the car seat with a 5-point harness or impact shield. 

All children aged from 3 to the age of 12 (or 1.35m height) must use the correct car seat. It is important to get advice and buy car seats from a reputable store.

The legislation called i-Size, was introduced in July 2013 as part of the new UN safety standard for car seats. New UK legislation came into force on 27 March and 1 April 2015. This doesn’t replace the current legislation but sits alongside it. It’s likely to be 2018 for there to be enough i-Size compliant car seats in circulation, for i-Size to replace the current law and become the only safety standard. The i-Size laws are still being developed by safety experts, law makers, car seat manufactures and car makers.

One of the key differences to the current law is that i-Size requires children to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15-months-old. Currently, only children under 9kg in weight have to sit in a rear-facing seats.  

i-Size regulations also require greater side-impact protection, providing a safer environment for your child’s head and neck if you are involved in a crash.

The aim is also to make it easier to choose the right car seat. Under i-Size, car seat suitability will be measured by a child’s height, rather than their weight.

Car seat guidelines

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4 Comments

4 Comments on What are the car seat guidelines?

  1. Rachel
    October 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm (2 years ago)

    I have to admit, the whole car chair thing baffles me still, it is like a minefield x

    Reply
  2. Laura
    October 25, 2016 at 12:29 am (2 years ago)

    It can be quite confusing but I think the most important thing is just to make sure they are safe and comfortable but the rules do seem to keep changing all the time

    Laura x

    Reply
  3. Miracle Max
    October 26, 2016 at 8:09 am (2 years ago)

    Such a great post. As a new first time Mum I found car seat shopping a minefield. Jo x

    Reply
  4. Kat
    October 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s such a minefied, isn’t it. I spent so long researching our first car seat and I was really happy with my choice. After getting lost in all the new regs, we’ve just upgraded to one of the new ones and I’m just glad we don’t have to do it again for a while! This is really useful, which I’d seen it sooner! :o) xx

    Kat

    Reply

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