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Car Booster Seat Law

Child Booster Seat Regulations

What are the new child car booster seat rule changes? Expected changes to car booster seat laws will not come into force until March 2017.

New child booster seat regulations were due to start from the end of 2016.

This children's news story explains the new car seat regulation and what it means for parents.

New child booster seat regulations will not begin from December 2016.

The change would see backless booster seats only being approved for children over a certain height and weight.

UK child car seat law says all children must use correct seating restraints.

Those regulations apply to youngsters until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall when they travel in a car. This height limit is 150cm in many European countries.

The introduction of new stricter guidelines follows in-depth research by experts. They say the backless booster seat is unsuitable for younger children.

It certainly appears that car booster seats without a back harness will be banned for younger and lighter children by the end of the year. Children weighing only 15kg can travel in vehicles while they sit on a backless booster seat. That is the average weight of most three-year-olds.

Why are Booster Seats Unsafe for Toddlers?

The 'unsafe' claim is the way a small child not held securely in the seat. Another concern is that an adult seat belt does not fit across a child's body in the best way.

Why are Car Booster Seats Unsafe for Toddlers?So why are backless booster seats popular? One child car seat expert reported:

"A decent high-backed booster seat provides better protection in a front crash. That's because they are designed to guide the adult seat-belt across the child's body properly.

Crash tests prove they offer much more protection in a side-impact crash than a backless booster seat alone."

In this case they argue that a booster seat offers little or no protection in vehicles involved in a side-impact crash.

Backless Booster Cushion vs. High-back Booster Seat

It's true that they are cheaper to buy (from £6 upwards). But they offer limited crash protection for younger children.

The backless booster cushion satisfies the legalities of child car seat laws. Yes, high-backed child car seats are more expensive. But experts say they are safer and worth paying a little extra for greater protection.

So What Should Parents Do?

We expect the new additions to child car booster seat regulations to come into effect from December. That leaves enough time for parents to get the right one.

There are a few steps you can take if you are looking to buy a baby booster seat next year. You should check to see whether they are not approved for use with small children. Specifically that means under 125cm and weighing less than 22kg.

Do You Need to Buy a New Child Booster Seat?

What should you do if you have the old-style booster seat? Expert opinion suggests you can continue using the old seat without breaking UK rules. But ignoring the new child car seat law could result in a £500 fine.

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Child Booster Seat Regulations for Children and Babies in the United Kingdom