New car seat laws come into effect on 1st March. The change is being introduced across the UK and Europe to increase safety as it has been proven that backless booster seats offer a lot less protection in the event of a crash than one with a back.
Please watch this crash test video if you are in any doubt of backed v's backless car seats VIDEO
The new law states that backless booster seats will no longer be able to be sold in stores from 1st March for use for children under 125cm tall or 22kg weight. Any backless boosters on sale will have their height and weight range suitabily and clearly displayed. Only seats with a back will be sold for use for children under 125cm height and under 22kg weight. However, if you have and use a backless booster seat currently, you will NOT be breaking the law by still using it after 1st March in children under the new weight / height range. It is just the law going forward for future purchases.
In preparation for the new laws, Halfords are offering a 20% discount on any group 2 or 3 high backed car seat in exchange for your old booster cushion or seat when you use code saferseat
(all lowercase) at checkout and click and collect your new car seat from store. You hand over your old booster cushion when you collect your new one. The highly rated (4.6 out of 5 over 206 reviews) Halfords essentials high backed booster seat in black with ventilation holes, a removeable / washable cover and 2 year guarantee was £30 now down to £25 or trade in and you can get it for £20HERE
If you want a rear facing seat past 15 months, this Joie Stages Ember group 0-1-2 does rear facing until 18kg which is about 4 years old. After that, you can use it as a high backed booster seat until 25kg / age 7. In Smyths at moment for £149.99 and you get free home delivery.HEREOther info to keep child safe and avoid breaking the lawAll
children under 12 years old or 135cm tall (Whichever comes first) are required by law to use a car seat.
If you are using a height based seat known as i-Size, this MUST be kept rear facing until the child is at least 15 months of age. You can only use height based EU approved car seats in the UK and all of these are identifiable by having a label with a capital "E" and the code "R129" on the label.
If you are using a weight based car seat which come in different sizes for different weight ranges you can only use EU approved ones. These are identifiable by having a label with "E" and "ECER44"
All car seats must be fixed to the vehicle by either isofix anchor points or a diagonal safety belt unless it is specifically designed to be fitted with the lap strap that is usually in the middle seat.
If you are having a baby seat in the front passenger seat of a car you MUST deactivate the airbag before fitting. If you cannot independantly deactivate the air bag, you can't have a baby seat in the front.
Check you car model is suitable for the car seat that you want before buying - not all car seats fit all cars.
Remove a babies coat before fastening them into a car seat - if it's cold you can put blankets over the top of the seat belt but leaving the coat on creates a gap between the child and the harness which means if you have a crash it isn't as close to the childs body as it needs to be in order to properly restrain them. You should pull the harness tight and get 2 fingers between the child and the harness.
There are certain circumstances were a child can legally travel in a car without a car seat
1 - On unexpected emergency journeys if only for a short distance and the child is over three years old
2 - In a minibus, minicab, taxi, coach or van but not in the front
3 - If you have three children sitting in the back of the car, the third car seat simply won’t fit and the child in question is at least three years old.
If you are caught using the incorrect car seat after 1st March, you will get a £30 on the spot fine which rises to £500 if it goes to court.