C - Child seat

05 June 2006

Child seat - You can buy a wide choice of seats designed to hold a child securely and protect them in an accident, and some manufacturers build child seats into existing seats.
It's essential to use the correct seat for the size of your child.

Stage 1 or Group 0/0+ are for use from birth and are rear facing. Never fit them in front of an active airbag. Group 0 can be used up to 10 kgs (22 lbs) or around six to nine months, while

Group 0+ cater for children up to 13kg (29lbs) or about 12-15 months.

Stage 2 or Group 1 seats are for children weighing 9-18 kgs (20-40 lbs), approximately nine months to four-years-old.

Stage 3 or Group 2 booster seats are for children weighing 15-25 kgs (33-55 lbs) or about four to six-years-old.

Stage 4 or Group 3 booster cushions raise children to the correct height for standard adult seatbelts to be used. Roughly speaking they are for children between 22 and 36 kgs (48-79 lbs) or about six to 11-years-old.

Since September 2006, children under the age of 11 years old or under 1.35 metres (approx 4ft 5ins) tall must use a child seat or booster cushion. Many cars, such as the Volvo V50, are now available with integrated booster cushions for older children.

Remember, never fit a rear-facing child seat in front of an active airbag, and always try to seat children in the rear of your car - it's far safer. Never buy a used child seat, too - you have no idea whether it has been in an accident or not.

It's also a good idea to buy from a traditional retailer rather than online. Most retailers will show you how to fit the seat correctly.

For more information on child seats click Multi-group child seat test.


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