1. Using a child car seat or booster seat

Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall.

Types of child car seat

Which child car seat to use depends on the child’s weight.

Type of seat Weight
Rear-facing baby seats Babies up to 13kg
Forward or rear-facing baby seats Children from 9 to 18kg
Forward-facing child car seats (booster seats) Children from 15 to 25kg
Booster cushions Children over 22kg

Only EU-approved child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle.

Fitting a child car seat

You must:

  • only use a child car seat with a seat belt that has a diagonal strap - unless it’s specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt
  • deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in a front seat
  • not fit a child car seat in side-facing seats

Children with disabilities

The same rules apply for children with disabilities unless a doctor says they’re exempt on medical grounds. They can also use a disabled person’s seat belt or child restraint designed for their needs.

Minibuses

Minibus drivers and companies don’t have to provide child car seats. You must provide your own if you want to make sure a child has one.

Children 3 and older must:

  • use a child car seat if there’s one available in a minibus
  • use an adult seat belt if child seats are not fitted or are unsuitable

All children must travel in rear seats (ie any seats behind the driver) if a child car seat or an adult seat belt isn’t fitted.

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