Choosing Child Seats
The most important thing is to make sure that the seat you choose is suitable for your child and for your car. If you use the child seat in more than one car, follow the advice below for each car.
Before You Buy
Think about how you will use the seat. For example, if you will be constantly taking it in and out of the car, a lighter weight seat might be preferable. Or, if you do a lot of long journeys, a seat that reclines may be more comfortable for your child and help him or her sleep.
Choose a seat that is suitable for your child's weight and height.
Babies should be in rearward-facing baby seats. Do not move your child to a forward-facing seat until they weigh at least 9 kgs and can sit up unaided, but keep them in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Once your child is above the maximum weight for the rearward-facing seat or the top of their head is above the top of the seat (It is not important if their knees are bent in the seat, provided they are still within the seat's weight range), they should be moved into a forward-facing seat, or into a larger (group 1 or 2) rearward-facing seat.
Contact the child seat manufacturer to check if the seat will fit your car. If you are considering a Britax seat, you can enter the details of the seat and your car on their "Fit Finder" website if it fits your car and the best position.
If this is not possible, make sure that you can return the seat if it is not suitable, and replace it or get a refund.
Avoid buying a child seat by mail order, unless you are sure that it will fit your car.
Check that the seat meets the United Nations standard Regulation 44.03 or 44.04 - look for the 'E' mark.
Do not buy a second-hand seat, you cannot be certain of its history (it may have been involved in an accident and been seriously weakened - the damage may not be visible) and often the instructions are missing. Second-hand seats are likely to be older and not designed to current standards.
Only accept a child seat from a family member or friend, if you are absolutely certain that you know its history, it comes with the original instructions and it is not too old.