car seat safety guide

It can be a little daunting when it comes to buying a car seat, there's so much to consider and remember when it comes to safety. So to help make everything that little bit easier for you, we've created a handy car seat safety guide so you can make the best decision for both you and your little one.

Remember, always choose a car seat that is suitable for your child's weight and If you choose an i-size seat, they are slightly different and are based on your child's height not weight:

what are the types of car seats?

things to consider with your car seat

  • all car seats must conform to the European safety standards ECE R44 03 & ECE R44 04 and since 2015 ECE R129 (for i-Size seats)[1]
  • NEVER buy a second hand car seat, the seat might be damaged (and it’s not always easy to see) which could put your little one at risk if you were involved in an accident[2]
  • remember to replace the car seat as soon as your child grows out of it and move on to the next size up; a seat that is too small for your child will not protect them in the event of a collision
  • make sure that you know how to correctly install the car seat and that anyone else who might be taking your child out in their car also knows how to safely fit the seat - follow the instruction manual provided with the seat rather than leaving it to trial and error, if you are in any doubt, a car seat advisor at Mothercare stores will be happy to help you
  • a rear-facing car seat should never be used on a passenger seat where a front air bag is installed; if you need to use the front seat with an older child, who is in a forward-facing seat, push the passenger seat as far back as possible from the dashboard - front air bags are designed to protect an adult passenger but can be dangerous to little ones
  • the car seat should be used for every journey your child makes even if it’s to somewhere really close by
  • ensure the harness is firm to check this you should only be able to get two fingers between the straps and your little one’s chest, also check that the harness is at the correct height for your child - the top of the harness should be about 2cm below the shoulder when using a rear-facing seat or about 2cm above the shoulder when using a forward facing seat
  • regularly check fixed car seats to ensure that they haven't worked loose
  • never leave your child unattended in the car
  • never modify any part of your car seat to try and make it fit your car
  • try to keep journeys for newborns up to 4 weeks old, no longer than 30 minutes, and for older babies no longer than 2 hours. It is good for your baby to lie flat for most of the day, so if you do need to make a longer trip ensure that you take regular breaks to allow your little one to stretch out for a while away from their car seat

browse mothercare's full range of car seats here >>


[1]. Types of car seat, Child Car Seats, [Accessed May 2019]

[2]. Second Hand Child Seats, Child Car Seats, [Accessed May 2019]