At this moment in time, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the “new law” on child car seats, so here’s the information to stop the confusion!
It isn’t actually the UK Road traffic law that is changing but it will be affected because it is the European safety standard that is being revised. This will mean that new booster cushions will not be allowed to be manufactured for use by a child who is under 22kgs.
The majority of car seats including booster cushions, are currently certified under the ECE R44/04 child car seat regulations. This regulation covers all age and ranges from birth to 36kgs in weight and currently allows use of these booster cushions from 15kg.
This has meant for many years that heavier children, but who are still as young as 18 months old, can legally use a booster cushion in a car. Clearly with no head, side or upper body protection, it isn’t the safest option for such a young body. And when there is a safer option of a High backed booster seat which does have these safety features it would make sense to encourage parents to use these.
The changes in the safety standard will mean that all newly produced booster cushions will be illegal to use for children under 22kg and shorter than 125cm. However, if your child is over 22kg and 125cm they will be able to use them – although knowing what we do know, we certainly wouldn’t advise you do this even now.
We are already seeing new booster cushions coming on to the market which have the updated weights on them, so it’s important to check the details shown on the seat to ensure the driver is transporting children legally.
What if you already have a booster cushion?
If you already own a booster cushion which states it conforms to ECE R44/04 Group 2 – 15kg minimum weight, then it will still be legal for you to use with a child who is just 15kg.
But please take the time to watch this clip to see the difference a high back can make to your child in a collision. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cH5WaYpCfg
Director Child Seat Safety Ltd