Last year it was announced that there would be changes made to regulations on child car seats. After being delayed for some time, these changes are now expected to be enforced from 1st March 2017.
Current UK law states that backless booster seats can be used by children up until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, so you can select an appropriate booster seat based on either your child’s height or weight.
This means that children who are only 15kg (around 3 years old) can use backless booster seats. Experts have agreed that these types of booster seats or booster cushions are unsuitable for such young children, as they don’t provide adequate protection.
What do I need to know?
The new law that is coming into effect will mean that backless booster seats will only be approved for children over 125cm or at least 22kg. These changes will only affect new seats coming into market, so if you have a backless booster seat or cushion currently, you won’t be fined for continuing to use it. The change applies only to new booster seats that are bought and guidelines in stores will be to only buy a backless seat if your child is over 125cm or weighs more than 22kg.
The changes were called for after experts found that booster seats with a high back provided more protection against side impact crashes and guided an adult seat belt across the child’s body properly. It is hoped that eventually backless booster seats will be phased out due to them being unsafe for young children.
So from 1st March 2017, if your child is under 12 years old or under 4ft 5″ tall, they must sit in a child booster car seat.
Can be rear or front facing if you child is older than 15 months
For the first few months the baby must be facing the back of the car
Only EU approved seats can be used in the UK – you can identify them by the capital E in a circle on the label
When your child’s head reaches the top of the seat, you should get a bigger one
If your baby weighs less than 9kg, they should travel in a baby carrier instead of a child’s car seat
Our recommended child car seats
- Graco Milestone All in one Car Seat, £114.99
This booster seat is suitable for newborn’s all the way up to children 12 years of age. This seat easily converts to and from three riding modes. You can purchase it from Amazon here.
- Mothercare Sport Car Seat, £55
This car seat is suitable for children that weigh between 9kg and 18kg. It offers 5 reclining seat positions and has a removable hand-wash cover. You can buy it direct from Mothercare here.
- Graco Affix Car Seat in Stargazer, £64.99
For children between 4 years to 12 years of age (15kg-36kg), the Graco Affix Car Seat provides complete support for your child in a high backed seat and has an integrated cup holder to keep your child’s drink at hand. You can purchase the Graco Affix Car Seat here.
- Halfords Essentials High Back Booster Seat, £25
For children aged between 4 years and 12 years (15kg-36kg) this booster seat offers great value for money for those who are on a tighter budget. It offers great protection with side impact protection technology for a good price. You can get one from the Halfords website here.
- Britax Adventure Group 2-3 Black Car Seat. £74.99
This lightweight, high back booster seat is installed so it is forward facing and uses the cars three point seat belts. It offers great protection with side impact protection and adjustable head rest for support. It also includes a cup holder! Purchase from Argos here.