Car safety

The law states that all children, including babies must sit in a properly fited child sear, suitable for their weight and height, for every journey, including the one home from hospital.

For more information, be sure to familiarise yourself with the Scottish Good Egg Guide to In-car Child Safety.

Travelling with babies

  • It is dangerous and illegal to sit a baby on your lap or in your arms on a car journey and you should never put a seatbelt around yourself and a baby. In a crash, or even a small bump. the weight of both people will be tranferred through the searbelt and could severely injure the child.
  • Rear-facing car seats should be used until your baby is able to sit up for long periods without any help.
  • Infant car seats can be used in the front or back seat in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. However, most cars these days are fitted with airbags, and these can be dangerous to your baby if she is in the front seat. If there is an airbag on the passenger side in the front of the vehicle, your baby can be severely injured and must travel in the back if the airbag is activated.
  • Don’t use a second-hand car seat unless you’re absolutely sure it isn’t damaged – faults can be invisible to the eye.
  • Before you but a car sear, make sure it is the correct one for your child's weight, height and age, and also that it will fit into your car. These are the most important aspects of choosing a seat.
  • You should learn how to use the car seat - including fititng it - before using it with your baby. You don't want to have to worry about that when you're trying to care for your baby too. Choose a sop or retailer with trained staff who will make sure you get the right seat, show you how to fir it properl, and then guide you as you fit yourself.
  • Some hospitals hire car seats and some taxis supply them. Ask a taxi firm for this service if you ever need to use a taxi and don’t have your own seat. Everyone in the vehicle must use a seatbelt or child seat at all times.
  • Don't leave your baby asleep in the car seat when not travelling. Your baby's head can roll forward if they are not sleeping flat, which can limit the flow of air.
Last Updated: 24 January 2018
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