What you need to know about child car and booster seats

child car and booster seats

In this land of confusion that is parenthood, there seems to be no other greater confusion than that which is brought about by….child car seats. As if you weren’t already confused enough about child car seats, you are likely to be feeling even more confused by the new rules on child car seats which are due to come into play after March this year.

And because we could really go with a little less confusion in our life as parents, I’ve teamed up with BubbleBum, the inflatable travel car booster seat, to set out exactly what you need to know about using child car and booster seats

Bubblebum car seat lifestyle

The changes are for manufacturers only

And not just that, they also only apply to newly designed or invented products which are being made to the weight and height requirements for new backless booster seats.

Parents will not need to replace car seats they have already bought

Yes, you can continue to use them, and if the seat bears the E circle with the  R44.04 approval label it is safe and legal to use. All seats must carry this label to be sold in the EU.

Child safety and EU approval is paramount

So long as their current seat has EU approval it can be used in the UK – look out for the capital E in a circle. (**This is the R44.04 Approval number which is printed on all car seats by law).

Don’t worry if you’ve already bought a booster seat

If you’ve got an existing booster seat you will be able to use it without breaking any rules or putting your child’s safety at risk. Remember, the changes only apply to newly designed or invented backless booster seats and not ones already on the market that meet current safety standards.

What you need to know about child car and booster seats

Backless booster seats are safe

Backless booster seats are subject to the same safety tests as all car seats and it is proven without a doubt that using a backless booster is much better than not using a car seat at all. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a report of over 7,000 real life crashes involving booster aged children and concluded they were “unable to detect a difference in risk between high backed and backless boosters”. They also stated that the use of a booster seat eradicated the abdominal injuries that are associated specifically with children aged between 4-8 involved in car crashes without a booster seat.

Booster seats will not be banned under any new laws

There are no plans to ban backless booster cushions at all, as confirmed at the Baby Product Association (BPA) car seat conference in October 2016. It is proven to be 56% safer for children to use booster cushions as opposed to using the vehicle seatbelt alone when travelling in a car.

Backless booster seats are popular

Because they are cheaper, very portable and also a great option for a second or third car and occasional lifts home for friends. BubbleBum makes a super inflatable option which because of its streamlined nature makess it possible to fit 3 seats across the rear of a vehicle – something which is almost unheard of with high backed seats and rigid plastic booster seats.

As Edmund King, the AAA’s president says: …”occasionally it may not be convenient to use a high-back booster, in which case a child is better off on a simple booster cushion than just using the adult belts”.

How to use a backless booster seat safely

  • The seat belt should go over your child’s pelvic region (high on his thighs or low on his hips) not his tummy.
  • The seat belt should cross over your child’s shoulder and chest, not his neck and arms. BubbleBum, for example, provides a special clip to pull the shoulder belt onto the shoulder and away from the face and neck, ensuring that the belt is in the right place
  • The seat belt should be fastened securely and be as tight as possible
  • Your child should be sitting up straight, with his back flat against the vehicle seat, not slouching
  • The positioning of the vehicle seatbelt is so important as it distributes the energy over the strongest parts of the body in the event of a crash.

Inflatable booster seats are A-OK

If you haven’t heard of BubbleBum before this post then hello! listen up. It’s an amazing inflatable, deflatable, portable, foldable and therefore packable booster seat your number one partner in crime in ferrying around various children here there and everywhere. It also happens to very cost effective at only £29.99.

child car and booster seats

Inflatable?! I hear you gasp, but yes, it’s inflatable, and yes, it’s also been developed and tested to the highest possible of standards for years meeting and exceeding all EU and US car safety regulations so fret not!  Perfect for carpooling, taxis, travelling and car rental, trust me – you need a BubbleBum in your life….curious? Watch my BubbleBum how to and review video here:

So hopefully not only has that cleared up the confusion on the child car and booster sears, but has also let you in on an ingenious new option when it comes to keeping your children and their friends safe in your car – the BubbleBum.

***The original BubbleBum car booster seat – £29.99 – is available online from www.bubblebum.co, and from stockists including Halfords, Amazon and Boots.***

*This post is in collaboration with BubbleBum 



  1. Well this has just confused me even more! My understanding is that the new regulations have been brought in precisely because research has shown high backed boosters offer considerably more protection than a backless booster, particularly with side collisions. I knew it was a regulation for the manufacturers but if they’re making the change surely it’s for a good reason, and the safety of the child should be paramount. Yes, if there’s no other alternative a backless booster is better than nothing at all, but personally I would opt for the safety of the high backed booster whenever possible. I can see how the product you’ve reviewed could be useful for situations where children are frequently switching between cars as a last resort though, it’s certainly better than nothing.

  2. Important topic! My little one is only 14 months so still rear facing car seat isofix base at the moment. I didn’t know about a change in regulation re booster seats until reading this and wasn’t aware of inflatable booster seats at all. Very informative thanks x

  3. Really interesting post. I remember trying to work out which kind of car seat to buy mine when they were little. So many different kinds and choices out there it can get confusing 🙂

  4. A separate question, what is that “organizer” between their seats in the picture? It looks like just what we need!

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