Rules about the use of backless child booster seats in cars have changed – a week earlier than expected. The new regulations only allow the use of backless booster seats by older children, taller than 125cm, and heavier than 22kg. It follows concerns over the safety of booster seats for very small children. 

There were 1,810 road deaths in the year ending September 2016, and more than 180,000 casualties, according to the Department for Transport. Children were involved in more than 16,000 of them. 

“It’s very important for children to be safe when they are passengers in a car, and just as important that parents have confidence their children are safe. Any changes that improve the safety and protection of children on the roads is something we strongly support,” said David Robinson, senior serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors.  

For many parents, a subtle change in the law like this one can go unnoticed or lead to confusion, so here’s a quick guide to help you: 

The new rules are UK wide, but they only affect new backless seats, so parents whose seats already meet existing regulations can continue to use them without buying another model, and won’t be breaking the law. 

For new buyers, check the manufacturer's labels and instructions to ensure you’re getting a seat that’s right for the age and size of your child. 

It’s normal for car seats to be categorised according to height and weight, and if you’re unsure what type or size of booster cushion is right for your child, you can find a full, detailed breakdown of the different bandings on

Legally, it is fine to use a booster cushion in the front of the car or the back, but it’s much safer to put it the back – especially if your car’s equipped with an airbag in the front. 

And remember, children traveling as passengers have to use a child car seat either until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall – whichever comes first.