child with car

Children are required to use a car seat until the age of 12 or until they are over 135cm tall, and with a minefield of different types of seats, and different safety terminology, it can be difficult to know which seat is right for you. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know when purchasing the perfect car seat for your child.

What is the current Law on child seats?

The law states that;
  • A child must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or over 135cm tall (4ft 5in).
  • Height based car seats or ‘i-Size’ seats must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old, then the child is able to use a forward-facing car seat, until they reach the age of 12.
  • More common, weight based car seats, regulations are as follows;
    • 0kg-30kg - Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness.
    • 9kg-18kg - Rear or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield.
    • 15kg-36kg - Rear or forward-facing child seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield.

Selecting your Child Car Seat

How will the car seat be attached?

seatbelt copy

There are two main ways that a child car seat will attach to your car;

  1. Three Point Seat Belt AttachmentChild seats can only be used with a diagonal strap seat belt unless the carrier is specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt or is fitted using ISOFIX anchor points. If you car doesn’t have ISOFIX anchor points, you will need to look for a car seat that fits using a 3 point seat belt attachment.
  2. ISOFIX AttachmentThe first question that is usually asked when selecting a car seat is what is ISOFIX, as it seems to be mentioned on every single product description. ISOFIX is a built in (to your car) method of attaching a car seat. Instead of using a 3 point seat belt attachment, the seat is secured with a single attachment at the top and two attachments at each side of the seat’s base. If you are unsure whether you car has ISOFIX anchor points, check your car manual to see if your car has this feature.

Keep an eye out for side impact protection

As approximately 1 in 4 accidents are a side impact collision, side impact protection is extremely important when selecting a child car seat. This feature is where parts of the seat that cradle the head are padded, to absorb impact and distribute the force of the crash away from your child’s body. When selecting a car seat it is essential that you prioritise this feature, and utilise it for as long as possible, to ensure optimum protection for your child.

Picking a seat that will last

As the law is set to change in December 2016, under the new rules, backless booster seats will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm, and weighing more than 22kg. At the moment children who weigh 15kg (approximately 3 years old), can travel in backless booster seats, offering no protection if your child is involved in a side impact crash. It is important that if you are currently considering purchasing a car seat, that you take this into consideration, as a backless booster seat will not suitable for younger children after the law changes.

There are also a variety of car seats available that grow with your child. This is another option to consider when looking into the perfect car seat, as it will prevent you from having to constantly change car seats throughout your child’s development.

Before Using The Seat

Now that you have chosen your child car seat, it’s time to start getting used to how it fits in your car. To ensure that future journeys are as stress-free as possible, it is recommended that you check to see how it fits into your car and practice removing and installing before use. This will prevent any hold ups before journeys and will also prevent you child from getting stressed before travel.

Our Products

obaby seat

Currently we offer a range of high backed booster seats that can be used from birth up to 11 years old, all of which offer side impact protection and a high level of comfort for your child.

Our Full range of child seats can be found here


Post By Laura Nugent