Car seat click - THINK! road safety

Car seat click - THINK! road safety
Age
Under 5
Early Years
HOME-LINK SHEET
Car seat click
Dear Parent or Carer,
Your child is learning about road safety as part of a national campaign to reduce the number of road casualties.
This Home-link Sheet is one of a series showing how you can help your child to be safer. It contains ideas for
simple activities that you can do with your child. Learning together this way is fun and it supports the key safety
messages that your child is learning in his or her Early Years Setting.
Setting a good example for young children through your own behaviour on the road and in the car helps them
learn good road safety skills and apply these throughout their lives.
The car seat click
This is all about car seats and seat belts. The sheet outlines what the law says about car seats and seat belts
and why. There are also activities to help your child to learn:
•that they need to be strapped in when travelling in a vehicle
•that car seats and boosters keep them safer
•that the type of car seat needed for a child depends on his or her weight.
Seat belt and car seats: the legal requirements
By law, you must wear a seat belt or child restraint in cars, vans and goods vehicles where one is fitted. There are
very few exceptions to this. The driver can be prosecuted if a child under 14 years does not wear a seat belt or
child restraint as required.
Until they are 12, children less than 135cm tall must use the appropriate child restraint for their weight (not age)
when travelling in the front or back seat of any car, van or goods vehicle. There are very few exceptions.
A child can use an adult belt when they reach 135cm or their 12th birthday, whichever comes first.
Ref: TRC103
In buses and coaches with seat belts fitted, passengers aged 14 years and above must use them.
Age
Under 5
Early Years
The law for cars, vans and other goods vehicles is summarised in this table:
Back seat
Who is
responsible
Person
Front seat
Driver
Seat belt must be worn
if fitted
Child up to three
years old
Correct child restraint
must be used
The correct child restraint must be used.
If one is not available in a licensed taxi/
private hire vehicle, the child may travel
unrestrained.
Driver
Child from third
birthday up to
135 cms in height
(approx. 4’5”) or
12th birthday,
whichever is first
Correct child restraint
must be used
Where seat belts are fitted, the correct child
restraint must be used. The child must use
an adult belt in the back seat if the correct
child restraint is not available either:
•in a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle
Driver
Driver
•for a short distance in an unexpected
necessity
•if two occupied child restraints prevent
fitting of a third.
A child three years and over may travel
unrestrained in the back seat of a vehicle
if seat belts are not fitted in the rear.
Child 12 or 13,
or over 135 cms
(approx 4’ 5”)
in height
Seat belt must be worn
if fitted
Seat belt must be worn if fitted
Driver
Passengers aged
14 years and over
Seat belt must be worn
if fitted
Seat belt must be worn if fitted
Passenger
Age
Under 5
Early Years
Why are child restraints important?
Even in a minor crash, an unrestrained child would be thrown about inside the vehicle, injuring themselves and
others. They could be thrown from the car through one of the windows. Car seats use the seat’s own harness to
restrain the child. Boosters are designed so that children get the full benefit of adult seat belts (which are designed
for adults).
Car seats should be checked after a collision even if there is no visible damage.
Be careful when buying a used car seat – you should only use one if:
•you know that it is right for your child’s weight
•it has not been in a crash already
•it has all the fixings complete
•it has the instructions.
Finding further help
Some local authorities (and some other organisations) offer a car seat fitting service by trained people. Nurseries
with suitably trained staff might also be able to offer this to parents at a parents’ evening.
Activities
•Find out what happened to Jake and his teddy in the story ‘Mr Lumpy’s journey’ (http://bit.ly/13keGul). Your child
may already have seen this online story at his or her Early Years Setting.
•Talk about what happened to Jake and his teddy in the story, underlining what can be learned from it.
•Follow this up by looking at your child’s car seat, checking that it is correct for their weight (see the label)
and making sure that he or she is comfortable.
•Show your child the driver’s seat belt and watch out for other children and adults wearing seat belts and
restraints when out on journeys.
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