1. Even in the limited circumstances when your child may use a booster seat, the Government nonetheless recommends that you always consider fitting a child car seat. Child car seats are much safer, get one.
  2. You can buy the safest child car seat in the world, but if it is not fitted properly it will not be safe.
  3. Where the law allows you a choice between a forward or rear-facing child car seat, do not just default to a forward-facing seat. Moving to a forward-facing seat is not a ‘coming of age’ milestone. Do your research; do a safety comparison.
  4. In certain situations a child who would normally need a child car seat might not have to use one. These exceptions apply, for example, if the child is using a taxi or a minibus or a coach, or if the child is having to make an unexpected journey. There are no exceptions for vans; the rules are the same as for cars.
  5. An ‘unexpected journey’ might typically be an emergency of some sort. A ‘short’ journey is not necessarily ‘unexpected’. If you are bringing your child’s friend home for dinner after school, this is not an unexpected journey and your child’s friend will need to use a child car seat appropriate to her height or weight. As the driver, it will be you who has the responsiblity to ensure that – even if the friend’s parent has said it’s OK not to use a child car seat.
  6. The ‘unexpected journey’ exception does not apply to children aged under 3 years: you cannot take a child aged under 3 years on an ‘unexpected journey’ if the child is not in a child car seat appropriate to her height or weight.
  7. Whilst there are some limited circumstances when children aged 3 years and over do not need to use a child car seat, and sometimes not even to use a seat belt, you would want to hesitate long and hard before accepting such an enormous risk, wouldn’t you?

Access my table here.