Parents confused about child car seat rulesThird of parents underestimate height requirements

22 June 2009

Isofix points let you secure a child car seat without using adult seatbelts

Isofix points make it easier to secure a child car seat

More than a third of parents underestimate the age or height at which a child can travel without a child car seat, reveals Which? today, as Child Safety Week begins.

The law states that parents must use an appropriate child car seat when carrying all children up to 135cm (4ft 5in) or until they reach their twelfth birthday. Only around four in ten parents got this information correct when surveyed by Which?.

Which? has reviewed hundreds of child car seats - you can find out current Which? Best Buy car seats in our .

Child car seat advice

When it came to fitting car seats, only around half of parents (53%) said they would completely trust retailers to give them good advice. Nearly half (43%) said a nationally-recognised car fitter’s scheme would make them more likely to trust advice from retailers.

Installing a child car seat correctly is vital to prevent injuries in a crash. Which? knows of just three local authorities in England where parents can get the full services of a Child Car Seat Centre to give advice on buying and installing seats. These are Wigan (Lancashire), Bromley (Kent) and Rayleigh (Essex).

Child car seat installation

Some child car seats are so complicated to fit that Which? thinks there is a high risk of installing them incorrectly. In its latest round of testing, the consumer organisation found this to be the case with the Renolux Next Confort and advised parents not to buy it. For scores and Which? Best Buy and Don't Buy information, see our .

Richard Headland, Editor, Which? Car, says: 'It doesn't matter if they're 10 months or 10 years old, children need to wear child car seats until they're taller than 135cm or they reach their twelfth birthday. Kids are at risk if they’re not properly secured in a seat appropriate to their weight and height.

'Unfortunately there’s still huge confusion amongst parents about who should be using a child car seat. That’s before they get advice on how to fit them properly.'

Child safety seat quiz

Which? has put together an interactive child car safety quiz to test your knowledge. Click below to begin the quiz.


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