Car Seat Safety-Do you know the Law and how to fit a car seat correctly?
Any child carer who transports children in a car should be fully aware of child seat safety. This is not covered in a childcare qualification, and so it is up to the individual to make sure they know the law, how to fit a child seat, when the child has grown out of their seat, and how to look and care for the car seat to keep the child safe.
What is the Law in the UK?
Children should be using a car seat until they are 12 years of age, or have reached 135cm tall. A child aged 3 years or over can travel in the back seat of a car under certain circumstances. They only exceptions are:
- The child is travelling on an unexpected journey e.g an emergency.
- They are travelling in a mini cab or taxi.
- They are travelling on a bus, coach or van.
Not all countries have the same law or safety standards, so if you are travelling abroad, always check the country’s rules. For example, France and Ireland state the child needs to be 150cm tall to not be in a car seat.
What type of car seat do I need?
There are two car seat standards that you need to be aware of to meet car seat legislation across Europe: R44 and R129/i-Size. Children up to the age of 12 years old or under a set height should always travel in a car seat that meets one of these approved standards. Remember, it’s the driver of the vehicle who is responsible for making sure that the car seat is appropriate for the child’s age or size.
R44 car seat regulations
ECE R44/04 is an international standard that is recognised in over 100 countries around the world. Car seats are divided into groups according to the weight of your child:
• Group 0+ (birth to 13 kg)
• Group 1 (9 to 18 kg) • Group 2/3 (15 to 36 kg)
You need to make sure your child is travelling in the R44 car seat that is appropriate for their weight.
R129/i-Size car seat regulations
i-Size is a newer standard that has been introduced to improve child safety on the move. Choosing the correct seat for your child is based on their height, making it easier for parents to get it right. i-Size car seats have also undergone more thorough testing than the older R44 car seats and offer improved head and neck protection. This gives parents even more peace of mind that they are the safest choice.
Educating yourself on these guidelines could safe a child’s life. Its claimed 37% of children are travelling in the wrong size car seat!
There are courses you can go on to learn about car seat safety, what types of car seats there are, how to fit car seats correctly and legislation on car seats, or alternatively check out this free guide here:
Maxi Cosi also has a lot of information on their website about legislation, choosing a car seat and correct fitting.
There is also information on the Gov website on the Law in the UK:
When did you last educate yourself on car seat safety?