From birth through to 12 years of age (or when the child reaches 135 cm in height), parents will be required by UK law to choose the appropriate seat either based on their child's weight or height, rather than their age.
Height-based seats, also known as i-Size seats, will state the required height on the seat, while the UK Gov website provides guidance on weight-based seats.
Children who begin using weight-based seats may move into a booster seat once they reach Group 2, or when they are between 15 to 25 kilograms in weight. Booster cushions (backless boosters) can only be used in Group 3, when your child is between 22 and 36 kilograms.
Car seat manufacturers and industry advisors recommend that a child is only left in a car seat or carrier for a maximum of two hours within a 24 hour period.
In the case of longer car journeys, it is important that you remove your little one from the car seat once their sitting time goes beyond two hours, allowing them to move and stretch prior to placing them back in the seat.
As babies are still growing and developing during the car seat phase, prolonged sitting may affect growth and proper formation of joints such as the hips and spine, so it is important to exercise caution with long periods of car seat use.
Car seat and booster seat laws in the UK state that beyond 15 months of age, a child may begin using a front-facing car seat. Children who are 135 centimetres or less, or children who are under 12 (whichever comes first) will also require use of a car or booster seat.
The type of seat required can be selected on height or weight (i-Size seats), both of which provide guidance on seat selection. EU-approved height-based seats should detail the required height for the seat on the product itself, while the UK Gov website provides group-based weight categories to determine the correct seat type for your child.
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