UK law states that children should use a car seat until they are twelve years old or 135 cms tall, whichever comes first. However, safety experts recommend that you use a car seat for all children under 150 cms tall. The type of child seat you should use changes as the child grows.
Infants below the age of 15 months need to be placed in a rear facing seat. This is because they don’t have many single body parts that are strong enough to withstand crash forces. A rear facing car seat distributes the crash force along the back, neck and head putting less strain on any one body part and keeping the child safer in the event of a crash.
You could also consider chevron kits to aid child safety as this makes the rear of your car much easier to see and therefore reduces the chances of another car driving into the back of yours. This is important as the child will most likely be travelling in the rear of the car.
15 months – 8 years old
A child can now be placed in a forward-facing car seat. The correct car seat for the child will depend on their height and weight so see the manufacturers guide for details. It may be that you buy a couple of car seats over this period of time, one for when they start using a forward-facing seat and another one once they are bigger. Again, chevron kits for vehicle chevrons can still be a great idea to promote child safety as the child will probably still be travelling in the rear of the car.
8 years and over
A child can travel with just an adult seat belt once they reach 135 cms tall. This usually happens between the age of 8 and 12. You can then remove the child car seat, but you can retain the chevron kit for extra safety.
If you would like any additional information on child safety seats visit https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules. Alternatively, you can check the manufacturers guidelines for individual car seats. There are also some specialist car seat shops that can give you some great information on the car seat you are considering buying.
Hopefully this information has also been a great help to you when considering the important issue of child car seats.