Parents still 'confused' about child seats

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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says its website is still being flooded with parents looking for child car seat information – five years after new safety laws were passed.

Parents are still not clear about which seats are suitable for their children and, in particular, what age their kids should be moved from one size seat to another.

It was estimated that the new laws could prevent 2,000 child injuries per year. Between 2005 and 2009 the injury number fell by around 1,500, although this hasn't been directly linked to car the seat law changes yet.

A website set up by the charity organization, which can be found here, saw a record amount of visits in August: 129,000. The only time it was more popular was during September 2006, when the revised laws came in.

RoSPA's Duncan Vernon said: "The safest way for a child to travel in a car is in a child seat that is correct for his or her weight and size, and the law also requires this.

"Furthermore, the importance of properly fitting a child seat cannot be overstated, so that it works as it is designed to in a crash."

Mr Vernon urged grandparents to ensure they too have the correct sort of child seats, even though they may only make the occasional car journey with their grandkids. Parents are also advised never to buy a used car seat.

The law states that children under three years old must use a child seat appropriate to their weight. A rear-facing seat should never be placed on a front seat if there's an active front airbag; forward facing child seats can sometimes be used, although advice varies from car-to-car – so check.

For children aged three and above, a suitable child seat must be used until they reach 135cm tall or 12 years old – whichever comes first. That applies to the front or rear seats.