Appropriate child restraints
All children need to wear a seat belt or appropriate child restraints when in a vehicle. Appropriate seat belts or restraints greatly reduce the risk of injury in an accident.
Drivers are responsible for making sure that children in their vehicle are travelling safely, as set out in the law.
|Under 3 ||Appropriate child restraint must be used||Appropriate child restraint must be used if available||Driver|
|Aged 3 to 11 and under 1.5 metres (approximately 5ft) tall||Appropriate child restraint must be used if available. If not, an adult seatbelt must be worn||Appropriate child restraint must be used if available. If not, an adult seatbelt must be worn||Driver|
|Aged 12 / 13 or younger and over 1.5 metres (approximately 5ft) tall||Adult seatbelt must be worn||Adult seatbelt must be worn ||Driver|
Appropriate child restraints include:
- baby carriers
- child seats
- booster seats / cushions
They must be suitable for the child’s weight and must carry a BS Kitemark or a UN 'E' mark, plus a manufacturer’s label showing the weight for which it has been designed.
smaller children using an adult seat may find it more comfortable to use a booster seat / cushion.
Any motor car manufactured after 1 January 1967 must have front seat belts fitted and every motor car manufactured after 1 April 1987 must have rear seat belts fitted.
Exemptions from the law
There are exemptions for children holding a medical exemption certificate or a disabled child wearing a disabled person’s belt.
Child seats and airbags
Check with your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations on the use of child seats when airbags are fitted.
Within existing legislation, it is not an offence to place children in the front seat of a vehicle(provided they are in an appropriate child restraint). However, DVS recommends that children are not placed in the front seat of any vehicles fitted with airbags.
Airbags and child seats UK ROSPA website