Fifty Key Messages: Child safety – picking the right car seat for your child

Types of child car seats

(Taken from the RSA website

A properly fitted child restraint system keeps the child in their seat, preventing them from being thrown about inside or being thrown from the vehicle. It also absorbs some of the impact force. This means that your child is much less likely to be killed or injured in a crash.

An appropriate child restraint is one which:

  • conforms to the UN standard, ECE Regulation 44-03, or a later version of the standard, 44.04, or new i-Size (Regulation 129). Look for the E mark;
  • is suitable for the child’s weight and height;
  • is correctly fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Child restraints are categorised according to the weight of the children they are suitable for. These weight categories correspond broadly to different age groups, but it is the weight of the child that is most important when deciding what type of child restraint to use.

These categories are often called ‘groups’ by manufacturers and retailers. There are four main child car seat groups – Groups 0, 1, 2 and 3. However, some child restraints systems are convertible and can be adapted as the child grows. This means that the restraint system could fit into more than one group. For example, the high back of a Group 2 booster seat might be designed to be removed so that the seat works just as a booster cushion when the child reaches 22kgs (48lbs). This seat, therefore, falls into both Group 2 and Group 3.


Look at the chart to help you find out what type of car seats are suitable for your child’s weight.

Here is the chart in a pdf format Child Safety in Cars – Weight Chart – Feb 2016

For more information about car and booster seats, the Child Safety in Cars leaflet is available in many different languages:







See the Road Safety Authority website for more information.

For more Key Messages to support your parenting see



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