Welcome to Babyvalues Child Car Seat guide. It covers the Law on car seats, different types of car seat and tips on how to get your children to accept using them.
1.Car Seat Law:To sum up, the new law requires all drivers with passengers under the age of 12 who are under 4'5" (135cm) in height to fit the correct child restraint.
* All children under three years old must use the correct child seat when traveling in any car or goods vehicle (except in the rear of a taxi if a child seat is not available).
* Children aged between three and 12 years of age must use the correct child seat/booster cushion when traveling in cars or goods vehicles until they reach about 4' 5" (135cms). Few exceptions are permitted.
* Taller children and all those aged 12 and over need to use adult belts.
* Rear-facing baby seats must not be used in seats with an active frontal air bag.
* There are some specific practical exemptions - for taxis, emergency vehicles, and (for children aged 3 and over) journeys over a short distance in an unexpected necessity.
It is important that the correct car seat for the child's height and weight is used. Normal seat belts are designed for adult bodies so children need to use child seats and boosters to place them in the right position to use the seatbelt properly and safely. If the correct child seat or booster is not used, the adult belt will fit too high over the stomach and in a crash there is a risk of damage to internal organs, as well as a danger that a child could slide under the belt. Children who are not restrained properly in the back seats of a vehicle also pose a danger to people in the front seats as they can be thrown forward in the event of a crash. The penalty for not using a child restraint is a £30 fixed penalty notice for the driver of the vehicle. If the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £500!
2. Tips for parentsGetting your little cherubs to accept using a car seat is not always a smooth process, so if needs be, try some of these tips from expert nannies:
* Make it theirs - Take your child with you when you buy the seat. Get them to choose the colour/pattern they like best so that they have 'ownership' of the seat.
* Explain why calmly - Explain to your older children why they need to sit in the seat. Don't frighten them with horror stories explain to them logically and calmly that it will help them be safe. That it will stop them bumping their head or hurting their legs if there's a sudden stop.
* Routine - Simply make it part of the 'getting in car' routine. Children like routine and repetition, it makes them feel secure, and simply treating it as something normal and unsurprising will help them get in the seat without thinking about it. Make it a fun checklist, "Daddy seat belt - check! Mummy seat belt - check!".
* Travel treats - Put together a special 'travel pack' that goes with the seat. Put a drink, a book, crayons and a puzzle book or whatever your child enjoys playing with on car journeys.
* Name it! - Get your child to name the seat! He will be happier to sit on 'Henry' the seat if it's a name he has chosen.
For older children:
* Explain to the child that the seat isn't a car seat / booster seat, which they used to have to use when they were younger, but that it is the right equipment to enable them to wear an adult seat belt safely.
* Try comparing the protective clothing worn by one of the child's role models (e.g. footballer, racing driver) to keep them safe, with the equipment in the car which keeps the child safe.
* "Getting your child to accept a car seat, even if they're older, is about making it theirs, making it part of the routine and not frightening or threatening them with horror stories. Children respond really well to calm explanation and the odd treat or two!" - Jean Birtles from Top Notch Nannies.
3. Car Seat Group Guide:
Group 0: for babies up to 10 kgs (22 lbs) roughly from birth to 6-9 months, or
Group 0+: for babies up to 13kg (29lbs) roughly from birth to 12-15 months.
They can be used in the front or rear of the car. It is safer to put them in the rear. DO NOT put them in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag. Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Only move them to a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.
Group 1: for children weighing 9-18 kgs (20-40 lbs) roughly from 9 months - 4 years.
Once children have outgrown a rearwards facing seat, the best option is to use a Group 1 seat with an integral harness, the large area of the harness helps to reduce the risk of injury if there is a crash. The bottom attachment between the legs will also prevent the child from sliding under, and out of, the harness. They can be used in the front or rear of the car, but it is safer to put them in the rear, especially if there is a passenger airbag in the front.
Once again, it is safest to keep children in this type of system until they have outgrown it. Only move your child to a booster seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the child seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.
Group 2: for children weighing 15 25 kgs (33 55lbs) roughly 4 to 6 years.
They can be used in the front or rear of the car, but it is safer to put them in the rear, especially if there is a passenger airbag in the front. Some Booster seats are designed to be converted into a booster cushion by detaching the back rest.
Group 3: for children weighing 22 36 kgs (48 79 lbs) roughly from 6 11 years.
They can be used in the front or rear of the car, but it is safer to put them in the rear, especially if there is a passenger airbag in the front. Booster seats and booster cushions do not have an integral harness to hold the child in place. The adult seat belt goes around the child and the seat. So it is important that the seat belt is correctly adjusted.
The basic points to note are:
·the belt should be worn as tight as possible
·the lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach
·the diagonal strap should rest over the shoulder, not the neck.
Thank you for reading our guide, and if you'd like any further questiosn answered feel free to contact us at Babyvalue