Baffled by Child Car Seats?
17 January 2017
Many parents may be confused by the news that booster cushion regulations may change soon - possibly this March.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, explains the current situation: "Any changes will only apply to new backless booster seats (booster cushions) entering the market, not ones which are already in use and meet existing safety standards.
"Parents, carers and professionals working with children, who currently use a booster cushion that complies with the existing regulations will not be breaking the law if they continue to use them after the rule change. You will not be required to buy a replacement booster seat to meet this change.”
Under the new regulations, backless booster cushions available for sale will only be approved for children over 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. These will be clearly labelled as only suitable for children over that height and weight.
Road Safety Wales welcomes the forthcoming new regulations, as backless child restraints offer far less protection in the event of a collision.
Susan Storch stressed the importance of carefully choosing your child’s car seat: “The law requires that all children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seatbelt. There are very few exceptions.”
www.childcarseats.org.uk provides full details and advice on choosing and fitting an appropriate child car seat, which:
Conforms to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44.04 (or R 44.03) or to the new i-Size regulation, R129. Look for the 'E' mark label on the seat
Is suitable for your child's weight and size
Is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer's instructions
Is in a safe condition
It is vitally important to know the history of your child’s car seat. Susan Storch said: “Road Safety Wales recommends that using a second-hand child restraint is avoided. You cannot be certain of its history (it may have been involved in collision) and even if it looks fine, it may have internal damage that is not visible to the naked eye. The instructions are often missing with a second-hand seat and it may not be designed to current standards, offering less protection for your child.”
Anyone requiring further advice is welcome to contact Road Safety Wales at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on road safety initiatives throughout Wales, please visit www.roadsafetywales.org.uk.