I got sent this today on email and I knew changes where being made but I didn't completely understand them. So I have used the email that I was sent this morning and copied it as I believe it is very important for all you guys out there. Original article can be found at:
We worry endlessly about our baby's first car seat, but once our children reach school age, we tend to relax.
But did you know that your child has to travel in a car seat until they're around 135cm tall (around 12 years old)?
Until now, it's been common practice to use backless booster seats for older children, but new stricter laws are coming into force later this year, which mean that their use is going to be more restricted in the future.
At present, children as young as three (or weighing 15kg) can use them, but following the change in legislation, no one measuring under 125cm or 22kg will be allowed to travel sitting in one.
What's Wrong with Using a Backless Booster Seat?
Lots of us have bought a booster seat for the Group 2/3 stage (when your child is between 4 and 12) instead of a more robust, full-sized car seat that has a proper, supportive back.
Backless booster seats are light and convenient. Some fold into useful backpacks, or are even inflatable, making them ideal for taking on holiday.
But they're simply not as safe as models that have a back.
Studies have shown that backless booster seats offer little protection if an accident occurs, especially as 25% of accidents involve cars being hit from the side.
Industry safety experts have long been campaigning for them to be banned.
Which? child car seat expert, Lisa Galliers, says, ‘A decent high-backed booster seat provides better protection in a front crash, as they’re designed to guide the adult seat-belt across the child’s body properly, and our crash tests prove they offer much more protection in a side-impact crash than a backless booster seat alone.’
So, How's the Law Changing?
The new legislation, announced last month, says that from December 2016, children who are less than 125cm in height (roughly around age six) won't be able to travel by car in a backless booster seat.
So, once they've grown out of their Group 1 seat at around age four, parents should now think about buying a Group 2/3 high-backed car seat instead, which can be used all the way until age 12, ideally.
There is a small snag though. The new legislation only applies to models that appear on the market AFTER December 2016, so if you already own a backless booster, or buy a model that's already in the shops, using it is still within the law.
The new law is a step in the right direction, however, and will force manufacturers to re-target the age range of new booster seats to an older age group.
It will also hopefully highlight the pitfalls of using them, so parents can make a more considered choice.
Cost might be an issue for some parents, but, bearing in mind that high-backed seats with side-impact protection for children aged four to 12 can be found brand new for as little as Â£50, this seems like a small price to pay for greater peace of mind.