On March 1 this year the law is changing with regards to the sale and use of car booster seats for children. This change in the law means that manufacturers will no longer be able to make backless booster seats for children under the height of 125cm or who weigh less than 6.5 pounds (3 stone).
Instead, new high-backed booster seats will replace the current backless boosters that are available.
How old should a child be to use the new high-backed booster seat?
Although in law no age is stated, a child who is at least 125 cm fall and weighs 3 stone is typically around 7 years of age. However, it is important that you base using the new high-backed booster seat on weight and height, as opposed to age.
Can you still use your current backless booster seat? Is it legal to do so?
The answer to both questions is yes. The new law applies only to the making of new backless boosters, so you can continue to use your current backless booster seat, as long it confirms to current safety regulations. What is important to remember though is that this new law on March 1 has been introduced to improve child safety, so it is a good choice to buy a new high backed booster if your child is under 125cm and weighs less than 3 stone.
Why are high backed booster seats safer?
During strenuous testing, it has been proved that using a high backed booster seat is far safer and more protective than using a backless booster seat or cushion when involved in a collision. The seat is more stable and holds the child in a position more securely, protecting the whole body.
Why have backless boosters not been banned?
The Baby Products Association (BPA) have stated that there are no plans to ban backless boosters. The reason for this is that many parents drive smaller vehicles and backless boosters are more convenient to use, and using a booster seat is better than no booster seat. They are also the cheapest form of car seat on the market as well as being the simplest to use. Although they do raise the height of the child and therefore give a better fit to the seatbelt, what they do lack is protection for the head, neck shoulders and side of the child’s body. It is, therefore, important to fit one of the new high-backed booster seats if possible for the added safety of your child.
We hope you have found this short guide on the new law for booster seats useful. Always buy the correct booster seat for your child and stay safe!