Child car seats

Legislation was introduced in 2007 requiring children in cars to travel in the appropriate child restraint until they reach either 135cm (4ft 5in) in height or 12 years of age. 

Approximately 7 out of 10 child seats are not fitted correctly or used properly.

Injuries to children can be significantly reduced if they use a suitable child restraint. Child restraints come in wide variety - baby seats, child seats, booster seats and booster cushions. They must carry the United Nations 'E' mark or the BS 'Kitemark'.


  • follow the manufacturers instructions carefully when fitting the seat and keep them safe for future reference.
  • try the seat before you buy if possible, not all child restraints fit all makes and models of vehicles. You should use the child's weight to determine your choice of seat, age should only be used as a guide.
  • ensure the belt is not twisted and the buckle is not resting in the seats frame.
  • adjust the harness every time the seat is used.
  • allow only two fingers thickness between the harness and your child's chest.
  • make sure that the harness rests across the child's pelvis with the shoulder straps level with or slightly above your child's shoulders.


  • under no circumstances should you use a rearward facing child car safety seat in a passenger seat equipped with an airbag.
  • use a second-hand seat unless you know the history as it may be damaged or worn out, and may not have the correct fitting instructions.
  • immediately replace a child restraint that has been involved in an accident.

If you are unsure that you have fitted your child seat correctly please contact the Road Safety Team on 01624 631543 who will be happy to advise and check the seat is fitted correctly in your vehicle. 

The Child Car Seat Information - Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) website has additional information, which is useful for guidance purposes. Please be aware that Manx law varies slightly to the UK's in this area, including that the distance over which a child can be carried without a car seat in an unexpected necessity is a maximum of 5 miles on the Isle of Man.