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In car child safety Scotland -
Part of the Good Egg Safety series logo
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Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety Child Safety

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Seat guide

What do they need when?

Children are all different and some grow and develop quicker than others, so restraints come in a variety of styles and sizes. The key factors for getting it right are the child's weight, height and age. Child car seats are sold by group categories (from Group 0 to 3) which relate to the weight bands suitable for your child.

Click on the links above to see some examples of suitable child restraints available.

Before you buy

  • Always look for the United Nations ECE R44.04 mark
  • Try the child car seat in your car before buying, because not every seat fits every car
  • Check your vehicle's handbook for compatibility


Good Egg Safety recommends keeping your child in each seat group for as long as you possibly can. This is especially the case with rear-facing seats.

Group seat stage table

Infant carrier Infant carrier

What's it like?

A rear-facing infant carrier which can:

  • be fitted in the rear using the adult lap-and-diagonal seat belt or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

Who it's for

Weight: up to approximately 13kg
Approximate age: birth to 9-12 months

 

Combination seat

Combination Seat

What's it like?

A combination seat which can:

  • be fitted in the rear using the adult lap-and-diagonal seat belt or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

Who it's for

Weight: up to approximately 18kg
Approximate age: birth to 4 years


Some child seats are fitted with a supporting leg. Do not use this type of seat if there is a storage compartment or any other obstructions in the footwell, unless it's approved for such use.

For rear-facing

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.
It is illegal to do this with rear-facing seats

For forward facing (all seats)

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

Extended rear-facing seat

Extended Rear Facing child seat

Many parents are tempted to turn their children round into forward-facing seats too early, however we strongly recommend against it.

The most dangerous collisions are frontal ones as these are often where the highest speeds and greatest forces are at play. In a rear -facing seat, the child is flung into the back of the seat instead and the force of the impact is distributed along the whole back of the seat.

They are therefore much safer being kept in rear-facing seats for as long as possible.

When and how?

  • Some extended rear-facing seats may not be used forward-facing.
  • Fitted using either Isofix* or a lap-and-diagonal seatbelt, often requiring the use of additional straps.
  • Some seats are fitted with a supporting leg. Do not use this type of seat where there is an under-floor storage box, unless approved by manufacturer.

Who it's for

(Seats often used after an infant carrier)

Group 0+/1 - Weight up to 18 kg (40 lbs)
Group 1 - Weight 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lbs)
Group 1 & 2 - Weight 9 - 25 kg (20-55 lbs)

For further information on rear-facing seats please visit www.rearfacing.co.uk

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

* Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check compatibility approval list).

The child seat

Forward facing child seat

The child is usually restrained by the seat's integral five point harness, however other methods of restraint may be used.

What's it like?

A forward-facing seat:

  • Can be used in the front or rear of the car.
  • May have a choice of upright or reclined positions.

Designed to be secured:

  • By an adult seat belt, or by its own retention system (Isofix*)

*Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check seat manufacturer's compatibility approval list).

Who it's for

Weight: 9-18 kg
Approximate age: 9 months to 4 years

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

The Booster seat

Booster seat

What's it like?

A forward-facing booster and backrest seat that:

  • can be used in the front or rear of the car.
  • lifts your child so that an adult seatbelt can be used and positioned correctly.
  • has slots to guide the adult seatbelt around the child.
  • provides head, neck and side impact protection.
  • should only be used with a lap-and-diagonal seatbelt even if secured by Isofix.*

Who it's for

Weight: 15 kg and upwards
Approximate age: 4 years and upwards

*Isofix seats must be approved by the seat manufacturer for use in your car (check seat manufacturer's compatibility approval list).

DO NOT use on a front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

Although this isn't technically illegal, many car manufacturers and some car seat manufacturers insist that you do not use any forward facing seat in the front passenger seat where there is an active airbag.

If there is no space for your child seat in the rear of the car (the safest place) and you have a forward facing front seat and an active frontal airbag, it is vital that no part of your child or their seat is in the deployment zone of the airbag. Please check first and always follow the car and seat manufacturer's instructions.

Adult seatbelt

When and how?

A lap-and-diagonal belt (or lap-only belt):

  • Do not let children use an adult belt until they reach the minimum requirements shown below. Until then they are better protected with a restraint.
  • If using a lap-only belt, it should be adjusted manually for a snug fit over the hips.
  • If fitted with height adjusters, the diagonal strap should lie centrally over the shoulder and away from the neck.

Who it's for

Height: 135cm (4ft 5ins) upwards
Age: 12 years and over


You should never carry a child on your lap or put more than one person in a seatbelt.