Child car seats and the law

Child car seats and the law

The law requires that all children up to 135cm tall (4' 5''), or the age of 12 (whichever comes first), in the front or rear seats in cars, vans and other good vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint for their weight. After this they must use an adult seat belt.

The correct baby/child seat/booster for your child depends on their weight, not their age. It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that children are correctly restrained.

Group 0 for children weighing 0kg - 10kg (22lbs)
Lie-flat or 'lateral' baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness.

Group 0+ are for children weighing up to 13kg (28lbs
Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness

Group 1 for children weighing between 9-18kg (20-40lbs)
Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield.

Group 2 for children weighing between 15-25kg (33-55lbs)
Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

Group 3 for children weighing between 22-36kg (48-79lbs)
Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

My child is disabled - does the law apply to them?

Yes. Children with disabilities must use child restraints or seat belts in the same way as other children. However, an exception to the regulations allows them to use disabled persons seat belts or child restraints designed for their needs instead of regular child restraints or seat belts.

If there is a medical reason for not using a child restraint or seat belt, then a doctor can decide whether to issue an exemption certificate on medical grounds.


Further reading:

To read further details on the right restraint for your child and more information on the law, please visit the following websites:

Child car seats: The law on child car seats. Available from: www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules.

Department for Transport: Think! Road safety information for road users. Available from: http://think.direct.gov.uk/index.html.

Advice last checked: 05 February 2018 Next check due: 05 February 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement

References

  1. Child car seats 0  The law on child car seats
    View reference   Last visited:  06/02/2015
  2. Department for Transport: Think! 0  Road safety
    View reference   Last visited:  07/11/2014
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