Booster seat law to change in 2017

As of March, booster seats will only be available for children over the height of 125cm.

Child being helped into booster seat

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The initial date of changing car seat regulations has since been pushed back to commence just before March 2017, as opposed to this December.

The change comes with confusion amongst parents, as the regulations can already be fairly difficult to understand.

Backless seats, also known as booster cushions, are used by children as young as the age of three. However the new rules mean only children over 125cm and over 22kg (roughly age seven) can use a booster seat.

Booster seats will remain on the market, however they will only be made for older children, and the specific ages will be labelled on the product itself.

The new law will only apply to newly manufactured products, so any you currently see in stores or have at home are still OK to use.

The reason for the change being is that they do not offer the substantial protection younger children require when seated in a car, and are ultimately no different to just using a cushion.

How the booster seat change will affect you

As of March, booster seats will only be available for children over the height of 125cm.

You don’t have to rush out and splurge £300 on another car seat. So long as your current car-seat set up abides by the current regulations, you will be fine.

The new regulation simply means that any car seats or booster seats to be manufactured from March 2017 will be built in line with the new standards.

There are things you can do now however, to improve your child’s safety.

  • Refrain from moving your child to a forward-facing seat too early – it’s safer to remain in a rear-facing seat, and legally a child has to remain in a rear-facing seat until at least 15 months old.
  • If your child’s head is above the back of the car-seat, it’s time to switch seats!
  • Remember that safety features on modern cars are designed to protect adults; that is why it’s so important to follow the latest regulations and updates regarding children’s car seats.
  • Try not to keep your child in a car seat any longer than two hours at a time.
  • It’s safer for children to sit in the back of a car, because majority of collisions that happen occur to the front of a vehicle.

Understanding iSize

iSize (also known as R129) is a UN safety standard applied to child car seats, introduced in 2013. This new regulation system runs alongside the current, but now older, car seat law, and has three phases.

By summer 2017, the second phase will be implemented which is estimated to see changes to car seat regulation for children over 100cm.

iSize seats have gone through rigorous testing and have a strict standard to meet, in order to be sold on the market. They are also tested for side-impact collisions too, which are about 25% of accidents.

It’s estimated that sometime after 2018, the only seats which will be available on the market, will be iSize.

iSize also promotes the use of ISOFIX, a mechanism which enables a car seat to be fully secured to the car frame, preventing poor installation. A majority of cars these days are built with the ability to use ISOFIX.

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