Catherine Hyde of Coodes Solicitors’ Personal Injury team outlines what parents need to know about changes to the law around children’s car seats on 1st March.
“Many parents are understandably confused by news reports over the last few months over changes to the law concerning children’s booster seats. Under current UK law, children must use a correct car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall – whichever comes first. For many of these children, their last car seat will be a backless booster seat.
“New rules are being introduced across Europe on 1st March that will change how booster seats are made. The rules will prevent manufacturers introducing new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125 cm or weighing less than 22kg – the weight of a typical six year old. Manufacturers have previously been able to sell booster seats for children who weigh just 15kg, which is average for a three year old.
“So, what does this mean for parents? Legally, not much at all. It certainly won’t be illegal to use a booster seat, as has been suggested in some news reports. While the changes have created confusion, they have also generated more awareness about the safest for children to travel. Many parents may now choose not to move their children into backless booster seats, which offer very little protection if a car is involved in a side-on crash. New designs of booster seats should include some better safety features, such as straps that sit under the hip rather than over the stomach, offering better protection against internal injuries.
“So, if you have children you don’t legally have to stop using a booster seat before 1st March. However, now is as good a time as any to make sure you understand the law around children’s car seats and ensure that you are confident that your children are as safe as they can be when travelling in the car.”
For advice on any of these issues, please contact Catherine Hyde of the Personal Injury team at Coodes Solicitors on 01326 214032 or firstname.lastname@example.org