Child and baby car seat laws changed in the UK last year making regulations stricter, to make it safer for children.
The new laws required parents or guardians to adhere to a more stringent set of rules to prevent that young people were best protected when in the car.
Under the new rules, only children who are 22kg or more, or 125cm tall, will be able to use backless booster seats.
Previously, children who weighed 15kg or less were allowed to use these seats – however, this has since been deemed unsafe.
All children under 12 years old or measuring less than 4ft 5in tall (135 cm) will be required to travel in a car seat.
Once the child is older than 12 or reaches the requisite height, they are allowed to travel in a regular seat.
Babies who are 15 months or younger will also have to travel in a rear-facing seat.
Car seats should be replaced when a baby’s head is level with the top of the seat. Babies that are under 9kg should travel in a baby carrier and not a child seat.
However, parents are still making a mistake when buying new baby car seats, finds new research.
Which? found that 52 per cent of parents are completely unaware of the safety i-Size child and baby car seats.
Of these, 45 per cent were for parents of babies 12 months and under, which is the target audience for these seats.
‘i-size’ is a new EU safety regulation for child car seats (ECE R129).
It was first introduced in July 2013 and it makes a baby car seat easy to use and apply and provides better protection for passengers from side impacts.
However, i-size seat apply to just Isofix seats and are based on a child’s height rather than their weight.
i-size rearward-facing restraints are for babies up to 15 months old and can help protect them for longer.
The benefit of having a rear-facing seat is that in the case of an accident, the babies head will be protected from an impact by the padding in the seat.
Emily Moulder, Halfords’ car seat expert says: “i-Size seats are tested to a higher standard for side impacts, and offer better protection, especially of the head and neck.
“They use height of the child, rather than weight, to determine the right size seat.”
However, parents worried that they may have to run out and buy a new seat have been reassured that is not the case.
“Regulation is being introduced slowly so though it will become normal there’s no need to worry about replacing your old car seat just yet,” she added.