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.
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.