Protecting our most precious cargo on the road: Children

The following is a guest post from Britax Römer, who were the headline sponsors of the recent RoSPA Road Safety Conference.

With over 50 years’ experience in child car seat safety, Britax Römer offers guidance in keeping children safe when travelling on the road, by answering the following commonly asked questions:

Should I choose a R44 or i-Size seat?

Both R44 and i-size seats meet current legal standards. However, i-Size seats are tested for side impact protection. A R44 seat can only be used if it is a R44.04 or R44.03 seat, as shown on the orange seat label.

Should I buy a second-hand car seat?

We advise parents and carers against buying second-hand car seats. It is often impossible to tell by visual inspection if a second-hand car seat has been damaged in an accident or by being dropped. Parents and carers should try the seat in their car before they buy it or check that the seat can be returned if unsuitable. Parents and carers should make sure the seat can be fitted exactly to the manufacturer’s instructions and is secure. A seat that wobbles is either wrongly fitted or unsuitable for the car.  Untitled design(7) - Copy

Until what age should a child travel facing the rear?

Height-based seats (R129 i-Size seats) must be rear-facing until the child is older than 15 months. A child between 71 cm and 83 cm tall and over 15 months old can be carried rear- or forward-facing. For weight-based seats, the maximum size depends on the weight limit for the seat – usually 13 kg. Some parents and carers may choose to keep the child rear-facing for longer in seats that are certified for greater weights.

Can children be left to sleep in a car seat?

Child car seats are not intended to be places for babies to sleep when not travelling. We encourage parents and carers to move the baby to a moses basket, crib or cot as soon as possible.

When will my child no longer need a car seat or booster?

Assuming that the child does not exceed the height or weight limit for the seat, they should use the seat for as long as possible as they will be better protected than with just an adult seat belt. UK law requires children to use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135 cm tall, whichever comes first.

Where can I get local advice and get the seat checked?

RoSPA can help with general advice through its website ( and has a free helpline (telephone: 0808 801 0822). Some local authorities offer child car seat checks that are organised by Road Safety Officers (parents and carers can check their local government’s website). The website of Road Safety GB also lists local road safety officers


To take the following free online training module: Child car seats: Guiding parents and carers; written in partnership with the Health Professional Academy and reviewed by Professor Jayne Marshall. Please visit the Health Professional Academy website.  

To find out more about Britax Römer visit:

You can find details of how you can get involved in RoSPA’s upcoming events HERE

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