Children Car Seat Laws are to ensure that all children under the age of 14 are using the correct restraint, but ultimately Car Child Safety is the responsibility of the car driver.
Choosing a child car seat can be a little daunting, there are many things to consider, not only the rules of the law, but the size and type must be right, otherwise if you get it wrong, the child seat won't protect them effectively and can be dangerous if you have an accident.
The current law reads - All children travelling in a car must use the correct car seat appropriate to their weight or height until they are either:
- 135cm in height or
- 12 years old in age – whichever they reach first.
After this point, no child seat is needed, but they, of course, must use a seat belt. The only exemption can be on medical grounds with a doctor's confirmation.
However, Child Car Seat Law is currently under review and there are reports in the media that new stricter rules regarding the use of booster seats are expected to come into force in the near future. When these new laws are introduced they'll limit the use of backless booster seats to older children. No new law has been passed yet, but it is something to consider when looking to purchase a new child seat as the law is set to change.
The reports suggest the Department of Transport are reviewing and considering car seat safety for children over the age of 15-months, with discussions to consider making backless booster seats approved only for children who are taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg.
Backless Booster Seats can be a lot cheaper than the high back car seats, however, especially for smaller children, cheaper doesn't always mean better, and paying a bit more for the high back car seat can give your child extra protection.
It's important to also note that if these new rules come into place, it won't affect any products currently on the market, only for new car seats will it come into force.