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Child Car Seats

Last updated  07 June 2022

When it comes to your child's safety in the car, you don't want to take any risks. The importance of ensuring that your child car seat is appropriate for your child's size and for your car is paramount.

Follow this guide to avoid the common mistakes parents make.

Buying a car seat

AVOID buying second hand car seats.

If you do use a second-hand car seat, try to make sure you know its history and read the manufacturer’s instructions. Check nothing’s damaged and no parts are missing.

Not every seat will fit properly in every car. Try the seat in your car before you buy it, or check the returns policy.

Make sure the seat can be fitted exactly to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The seat should be secure. If it wobbles, it is either wrongly fitted or not suitable for your car.

If your car has ISOFIX attachments, consider buying an ISOFIX seat.

Try to find a seat that’s quick and easy to fit into your car. If it’s awkward, it may be tempting to not bother with it on short journeys.

It’s vital you use your child car seat on every journey - most accidents happen within a short distance of home. 

Make sure the seat you buy fits on the back seat as this is safer for your child.


Try to make sure your baby can travel rear-facing for as long as possible. It’s best to wait until they reach the weight limit or the crown of their head reaches the top of the baby seat.

Always travel with your baby in the back seat if you can

If it’s essential for them to be in the front seat, the passenger airbag must be switched off - if the airbag activates in a crash it will harm your baby.


Once your baby has outgrown a baby car seat, you can upgrade to a forward facing or rear-facing child seat.

Your child seat may be designed to be used rear-facing until your child is 4 years old. This offers more neck protection in a collision

Moving to a booster seat

Only move your child to a booster seat when their eye-line is above the back of the child seat or the weight limit is reached.

Be careful of adult seatbelts as they could injure a child in a car accident due to sitting incorrectly on the body.



More information: https://www.capt.org.uk/car-safety

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