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What does the new booster seat 'ban' mean for you?




New rules will soon come into force in the UK regarding the recommended use of car seats. Although it will not be against the law to use booster seats, the new rules means that new backless booster seats will no longer be approved for children under 125cm and weighing less than 22kg. But what does that mean to you?


 

Currently children weighing as little as 15kg, approximately 3 years old, can legally travel on a booster seat. These are usually cheaper to buy but Which? child car seat expert, Lisa Galliers said: “A decent high-backed booster seat provides better protection in a front crash, as they're designed to guide the adult seat-belt across the child's body properly, and our crash tests prove they offer much more protection in a side-impact crash that a backless booster seat alone.”


What are the current UK laws regarding child seats in vehicles?

Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. 0kg to 9kg - Lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness. 0kg to 13kg - Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness. 9kg to 18kg - Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield. 15kg to 36kg - Rear- or forward-facing child seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield. If you ignore the law you are liable to a find of £500 if you go to court.

Why have the laws changed?

The new rules are being introduced because many experts think backless booster seats are unsuitable for young children. They argue that small children aren’t held as securely in the seat, that the adult seat belt isn't guided across their body in the best way, and that backless booster seats offer no protection for a child if a car is involved in a side-impact crash.

This video from Britax shows the difference between a high back child seat and a basic booster seat in an accident. Britax is urging parents to #BinTheBooster


Do I need to buy a new seat?

Legally, you do not need to buy a new seat and are not breaking any laws by using them. However, if you buy a new booster seat, you will see that they are no longer approved for children under 125cm or 22kg. It has been recommended that you purchase a high-backed booster seat which offers more protection.

More information can be found on the government website www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/using-a-child-car-seat-or-booster-seat

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