In crashes, small children are liable to become flying missiles. The best way to protect them from the impact of a crash is to put them in a suitable restraint. This will stop them being thrown around the car. If you are the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure any front seat and front middle seat passenger of or under the age of 2 years is securely fastened to his seat by means of an approved restraint for children which is different from the ordinary seat belt. Any front seat passenger over 2 years of age but under 15 years old must wear a seat belt which can effectively restrain him. Such a belt must be secured to anchorage points other than on the seat itself.

You must not hold a child in your arms or allow him to sit on your lap when you are sitting in the front seat. In an accident the child can be crushed between you and the vehicle dashboard or thrown out of the vehicle.

If children are in someone else's car or if you are carrying a lot of children, child restraints may not be available. In that case children should wear seat belts rather than not be restrained at all.

For safety's sake, young children should be placed in the rear seat and restraining devices appropriate to their age and size should be used.

Child restraint/systems

 
Up to 12 months

Up to 12 months
( Babies weighing under 9 kg who cannot sit up by themselves)

 

They should be carried in the rear of the car lying down in a carrycot ( or infant carrier if the baby is smaller and less than 9 months ) across the car with their heads in the middle of the car. The carrycot should be held on the rear seat by special carrycot restraining straps. If this is not possible, the cot should be on the floor, wedged between the front and rear seats. A folded blanket will help to level the floor or wedge the cot in place. Fasten a cover over the carrycot to help stop the baby from being thrown out. If it is a carrycot made for use in a car, use the restraining straps provided.

 
9 months to 4 years

9 months to 4 years
( Children weighing 9 - 18 kg who can sit up by themselves )

 

A child safety seat is the best. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on fixing the child seat to the car structure. The child is held in the seat by a harness.

 
3 to 12 years

3 to 12 years
( Children weighing 15 - 36 kg )

 
Either a child harness made of a lap strap and two shoulder straps; or a booster together with the ordinary seat belt, which also has an extra strap running behind the child that acts as a guide to change the lie of the diagonal belt. The latter can also be worn by teenagers and adults.

12 to 15 years
( Children weighing above 36 kg )

The ordinary seat belt could be used.