Child car seat safety: tips to keep your little ones safe

By Pye Motors

Keeping young children safe in your vehicle is paramount. It’s important that you not only have the correct seats suitable for their age and weight but also that you are complying with current legislation.
As it's Child Safety Week we asked the Pye team for all you need to know.

Check your seats
There are four key steps to determine whether your seats are child safe:

  1. Choose a certified child seat according to height and weight – a child’s age doesn’t determine the type of seat. A guide to weight limits can be found on the Government website.
  2. Ensure your car seat fits properly by following the provided instructions.
  3. Children should be strapped in correctly for every journey.
  4. Keep children in rear facing car seats for as long as possible.

Child seats must be approved and tested to European standards – Regulation 44 or the latest, Regulation 129/i-Size. Children are generally transported in infant carriers rearward facing until they are 15 months old.

Using your baby or child car seat
Position your child seat on the pavement side of the vehicle. This is not only easier for you to strap in your child but will also ensure they are not on the traffic side of the car in the event of an accident.

All car seats, especially rear facing ones, are better fitted on the back seats of the vehicle. If you must transport your child in the front seat you need to ensure that you either haven’t got an air bag on the passenger side or that you can deactivate it, to legally carry a rear facing child seat in the front.

The top of the harness should be about 2 centimetres below the shoulder of the child in a rear-facing child seat. In a forward-facing child seat, the harness should be 2 centimetres above the child’s shoulder.

Always remove outerwear i.e., thick winter jackets, snow suits. Placing a child in a seat with these on will prevent the belt from remaining snug against the child’s body. Use blankets when it’s really cold.

Children must use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres, whichever comes first. They can then use the adult seat belts within the vehicle

Think safety before savings
Think carefully before buying a second-hand car seat as you cannot be certain of its history. They are likely to have suffered wear and tear and instructions could be missing which will make it more difficult to ensure you are fitting it correctly.

There are a number of different car seat manufacturers, but all provide different shaped seats that don’t fit all cars. Isofix is the international standard for child car seat fittings providing an attachment that fits directly to the chassis of your car.

This allows you to safely install the child’s car seat by clicking the car seat on and lifting it off with either a lever or a button. First introduced in 1997, most European cars are believed to have integrated the technology from 2001 onwards.

Most car seat manufacturers have websites where you can check your car's compatibility.

Our Pye team can advise on the correct seats to fit your child and a whole range of road safety features on our current used and new cars.