Along with the law a concerned parent should also follow any safety recommendations and guidance issued, because although not stipulated by law it is safety that should be at the forefront of choosing which to buy.
Six Year Expiry
The first thing to remember when buying a child seat is that most have an expiration date, typically six years, and almost all are only deemed suitable for one crash event. This isn’t the law, but is certainly is advice that should be followed by parents.
Different Countries with Different Legislation
Legally speaking, different countries have different legislation, which tend to depend on the age of the child. This means that in most cases, parents need only look into the law in their home country before deciding on which they need. However, different laws come into play when driving abroad and this gets even more confusing when in the US and Canada, for example, where laws change from state to state. Therefore, make sure you check how different countries apply laws on child seats before traveling to avoid any nasty surprises.
Booster Seat Recommendations
Although not strictly law, the UK Department of Transport advises parents that their children should remain in a booster seat until they are 4ft 11in, or 150cm, tall. This is because adult seat belts are specifically designed to restrain people of a certain height. If your child isn’t sufficiently tall and heavy enough to use an adult seat belt, then its ability to restrain is severely compromised without a booster. This can be extremely dangerous in the event of a collision.
Suitable Seat for Age
Parents should also be aware that some critics of child seats have pointed out that they often do not provide any additional support or protection for children above the age of two years. It’s a controversial theory that is yet to impact on legislation