I do not usually do guest posts from big organisations but this one from Sainsbury’s Finance is very useful as it tells you about car seats and the law. For example, I did not think to check with my car insurance whether car seats are covered. I will be doing so now!
Child car seat guide
Many of us will remember bouncing around in the back of our parents’ cars in years gone by, but thankfully we now have some very stringent laws in place regarding child passenger safety. We all want to keep our children as safe as possible, so it’s important to know the rules.
The CDC, the United States National Public Health Institute, indicates that a child car seat can reduce the likelihood of death by up to 71% in the event of a crash – which tells you just how important they are.
Understanding the law
The law is very specific. Children who are under the age of 12 and are less than 1.35 metres tall must wear an appropriate safety restraint while in the car. For children under the age of three, this means a full child seat, while children between three and 12 are permitted to use a booster seat.
Another important rule to remember is that a rear facing child seat can never be put in the passenger’s seat if the vehicle in question has an airbag. This is because deployment of the airbag could cause injury.
Which seats do I need to buy?
As your child grows, you’ll have to buy two, if not three different seats for them, so buying the right ones is important. The first age group is 0 to 1 year. Most of these car seats also work in conjunction with buggies and prams, allowing you to simply remove the seat from the car and place it into the frame of your buggy (or vice versa) without having to disturb the child.
The 0 to 4 age group car seat will see children through to the stage where they are ready for a booster seat. You will also find that there is an age range between 3 to 12 years, as well as 4 to 12 years, normally offering a seat with a removable high back – leaving you with a booster when the full seat is no longer required.
How to fit baby and child car seats
Fitting child car seats can be tricky at first so get a demonstration when you buy it. It is very important that you fully understand how it is secured. All good child car seats come with very clear instructions on how to fit them, and almost all of them work specifically with three point seat belts.
It is also vital to remember that any child car seat that has been involved in an accident needs to be replaced. Even if it looks fine, damage you can’t see might render the seat dangerous in the event of another accident.
Protecting our families
The bottom line is doing all we can to stay safe on the road. It’s why we buy safe cars, it’s why we buy car insurance, and it is why we drive safely. After all, you’re dealing with very precious cargo!
Speaking of car insurance, check to see if child car seats are included on your policy. And also remember that any courtesy car made available to you needs to be big enough for the kind of child car seats you need.
Many thanks to Sainsbury’s Money Matters for sending me this post. I was not paid to put this on my blog. It is a useful post for all parents with important information they need to know.