For this blog we have called in Mummy MotorNuts who with two little ones and two not so little ones knows what’s needed to make sure everyone is suitably strapped in!
First up the basics - as from March 2017 the law is changing on new child car seats sold.
Basically unless a booster has a back, it’s no good. The law will state that only children over 22kg (3st 7lbs) who are also over 125cm (4ft 1in) tall may use them.
The new law is that children must use an age/ weight appropriate child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, whichever comes first.
Next up the misconceptions, why is everyone getting confused - talking to my fellow Mummy’s people are worrying about seats they already have (which are not going to be affected) and also about the ever bubbling forward or rear facing car seat debate.
In other countries the law keeps their little ones rear facing longer than the UK does...but that’s a whole different kettle of fish and a debate for another day.
Now currently a child over the age of 3 can use a booster seat which uses the normal seat belt across them and crucially this new legislation puts a stop to this...which is a good job as anyone with a 3 year old will know that the wriggly little monkeys will outsmart a standard seat belt in seconds!
So what do I need to buy?
You can now go straight from a rear facing group 0 car seat (typically used from birth to around 9 months) to a group 1,2,3 seat a high backed booster with harness - meaning you only need to buy two car seats.
The group 1,2,3 high backed booster with harness grows with the child. Your little one uses the harness until they’re big enough that they outgrow it at which point you switch to the car seat belt which will by then lie in the correct position across their shoulder (and not their neck).
There are other options – group zero car seats that aren’t carriers i.e that don’t pop in and out of the car with baby in them - these will work from birth to around age 4 and then you’d just go straight onto a high backed booster without harness.
If you go into any car seat/ baby stuff retailer you will find there are endless choices and options based on personal preference – but what you won’t find from March is booster seats without a back.