Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Child Car Seats – The Latest Regulations & Products

When you are traveling by car with your kid coming along for the ride, you have to make sure you have an age appropriate car seat in there. It doesn’t matter if you just need a pint of milk from the local paper shop or if you need to drive down to Dover for tea and soda bread with Auntie Rosie – you need a car seat for your little one.

It is for safety reasons, we all know that. When you’re driving around, you’re going to want to keep your little ones nice and safe. Unfortunately, due to frequent changes in regulations and a proliferation of different models being available on the market, it can be difficult to discern which model is right for you.

If you are looking for a little help, this is the perfect article for you. We’ve written this to give you some help when you’re trying to decide which car seat you need, letting you spend less time shopping around.

The Current Rules and Regulations
As it stands, the law currently requires that children travel in an appropriate child restraint until one of the following two things happen: either the child reaches his or her twelfth birthday, or he or she grows to be 1.35m tall.

The responsibility for making sure the child is in said “appropriate child restraint” falls solely on the shoulders of the driver. This means that you are responsible for any children in your car, whether they are yours, your sibling’s, or just your own child’s friends. You are breaking the law if they’re not properly protected, so you’ll pay the price.

Different Types of Car Seats
When the law states that the car seat must be “appropriate”, that means in terms of the child’s age and weight. Car seats are grouped into a few different categories, outlined below:

Group 0 – these face the rear, and are suitable from birth ‘til 13 kilos. Currently, the law says that after 9kg a Group 1 is acceptable, but this will soon be changed to 15 months instead.

Group 1 – these face forwards, and are for children between the weights of 9kg and 8kg (approximately 9 months to 4 years).

Groups 2/3 – both of these groups face forward, and are used from 4 years to 12, between 15kg and 36kg.

These also apply to things like all in one travel systems, like these Koochi pushchairs.

Why Is This Changing?
Well, it is purely to increase safety. The new regs are called “i-Size”, and will roll out gradually over the next five years. The current rules will stay in place in an effort to avoid confusion – both will be legal until i-Size is completely out.

The seats adhering to the new regulations will be in shops soon, so you should choose one of those if you find you need to upgrade, but don’t go out of your way just yet.

The problem with the current system is that parents change over to forward-facing seats too early on, something that puts their children at risk. The change hopes to clear up any confusion, thus increasing safety.

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