USING a car seat for your child is a legal requirement and can be life saving.
Finding the right one can be hard work, but once you’ve got it, you need to make sure you’re using it properly.
One first aider has said there is a trick that could come in handy when strapping your child in.
She explained: “The seatbelt pinch test – is a quick and easy way to tell whether your little one’s seatbelt is too loose, or just right.
“If you are able to pinch the seatbelt material, it is not tight enough.
“If you are unable to pinch the seatbelt material – perfect!”
When it comes to car-seat safety, there are different rules in different parts of the world, so it’s always important to check the regulations where you are.
In the UK, the law on child seats states kids must use one until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first.
Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
The law states that you can choose a child car seat based on your little one’s height or weight.
Seats based on height are known as iSize and must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old.
Government seat guidance states: “Your child can use a forward-facing child car seat when they’re over 15 months old.
“You must check the seat to make sure it’s suitable for the height of your child.”
But bear in mind that only EU-approved height-based child car seats can be used in the UK.
ON THE LOOK OUT
You need to look out for a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129’ – this means the seat is up to date with current legislation.
When it comes to weight-based chairs, only EU-approved weight-based child car seats can be used in the UK.
For this type of seat you need to look out for a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’.
If you’ve purchased a seat and it’s time to use it, it’s important to note that you can only use a child seat in a car with a belt that is a diagonal strap, unless you are using an ISOFIX base.
This is a base that clips into anchor points in your car.
You can also use the seat if it is specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt.
For a full guide on how to chose a car seat and how to fit one in your car, the ChildCarSeats.org has helpful resources.
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