Since September 2006, car seat law has stated that parents in the UK must use an approved child car seat for their child up to 135cm in height, or until they are 12 yrs of age. In some countries in the EU like the Republic of Ireland , the maximum height limit is 150cm. Depending on the height and weight of your child, there are a number of approved car seats to choose from including:
- Group 0+ - rear facing infant car seat with integral harness – from birth to 13kg
- Group 1 – forward and rearward-facing car seats with integral harness– from 9 to 18kg
- Group 2/3 – Booster seats – from 15 to 36kg
Buckle up - It’s The Car Seat Law
Approved car seats carry an orange i-Size (UN R129) label, which means they have been tested to the most recent and stringent European safety standard. Car seats can also carry and orange ECE-R 44/04 label which ensures a minimum level of safety, or an ECE-R 44/03 label which means that an approval according to an older standard.
Read more about car seat laws and i-Size regulations.
i-Size (UN R129) car seat legislation
i-Size (or UN R129) is the name of the latest car seat safety regulation, and offers the most stringent safety performance.
i-Size is a new legislation which increases the safety level for children in cars. This legislation makes rearward facing travelling mandatory up to at least 15 months old. The standard ensures a better protection better protection of head and neck. i-Size also moves to a length classification for choosing the right car seat instead of weight. To reduce the chances of incorrect installation i-Size demands the use of ISOFIX.
European Approved ECE R44/04 Car Seat legislation
Every child car seat produced in Europe will have an orange ECE R44 approval label. It is this label which guarantees that the car seat complies with the basic safety requirements, as set out in the European safety standard ECE R44.
Making sure your child’s car seat has this label, is a good starting point when looking for a new car seat. However, how easy the child car seat is to use, and the protection offered, can vary significantly between orange labelled ECE R44 seats. Make sure you try and test a seat before you buy! It may be useful to consult the latest European safety test which is conducted on a yearly basis to come to the best choice of seat for your child and you.