Child Car Seats – The Law As It Stands in Ireland

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Child Car Seats – The Law As It Stands in Ireland

All children under 150cms in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight must use a child restraint system (CRS) suitable for their height and weight while travelling in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi).


Rearward Facing Child Seat

 

 

Rear-facing child car seats must not be used in passenger seats protected by an active frontal airbag. An airbag which deploys (opens up) in front of a rearward-facing child car seat can cause serious injury or even death if there is a collision.

Drivers can now receive at least 3 penalty points on their driving licences if they place a rearward-facing child car seat in the front where there is an active airbag. Drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all passengers under 17 are appropriately restrained in the vehicle.

Weight

For babies up to 13kgs (29lbs)

Approximate Age Range

Birth to 12-15 months

Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine than forward facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible.

Only move them to a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat


Forward Facing Seat

Weight

9-18kgs (20-40lbs)

Approximate Age Range

9 months – 4 years

Only move your child to a forward facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for their rearward-facing seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.


Booster Seat

Weight

15-25kgs (33-55lbs)

Approximate Age Range

4-6 years

Some booster seats are designed to be converted into a booster cushion by detaching the back rest.


Booster Cushion

Weight

22-36kgs (48-79lbs)

Approximate Age Range

6-11/12 years

Booster cushions do not have an integral harness to hold the child in place. The adult seat belt goes around the child and the seat. So it is important that the seat belt is correctly adjusted.


Children in Front Seats

“There is no law against children sitting in the front seat, as long as they are using the right child restraint for their height and weight.

However, as above it is illegal to use a rearward-facing child car seat in a passenger seat protected by an airbag. The deployment of an airbag where a rearward–facing baby seat is in place can cause serious injury to the child or even death.” – RSA

It should be noted, though, that children should always travel in the back of the car and away from any active airbags and the dashboard.

(some vehicles have the option to deactivate the front passenger airbag)


Taxis

Taxi drivers are exempt from supplying child car seats.


Weigh your child to find out what type of seat would suit them

 

  • know the new law on child car seats New EU child safety protection laws have come into force making it compulsory for all children to travel in the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion
  • Where safety belts have been fitted they must be worn
  • Children under 3 years of age must not travel in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi) unless restrained in the correct child seat
  • Children aged 3 years or over who are under 150cms in height and weighing less than 36 kilograms (i.e. generally children up to 11/12 years old) must use the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion when travelling in cars or goods vehicles
  • Children over 3 years of age must travel in a rear seat in vehicles not fitted with safety belts
  • Rearward-facing child car seats must NEVER be used in the front passenger seat of cars with an active airbag
  • Child car seats must be in accordance with EU or United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) standards

Drivers have a legal responsibility to ensure passengers aged under 17 use the correct seat, booster seat, booster cushion or seat belt

You can learn more about child car seats by visiting www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars, reading the ‘CHILD SAFETY IN CARS’ booklet or watching the ‘CHILD SAFETY IN CARS’ DVD.

Both the booklet and DVD are available FREE to order online at www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars

 

 


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