New and experienced parents should ensure they are clued up when it comes to their child’s car seat safety.
In a worrying new study of 3,000 British family cars, 33 per cent of the car seats studied were not properly able to protect the child it was seating.
In the case of a car accident, the seats would have failed to provide sufficient protection for the child and could have resulted in serious, possibly even fatal injury.
The study, conducted by What Car?, also found that 36 per cent of the seats they investigated were not properly fitted in the car. This was one of many faults that the researchers stressed was ‘simple and easy to avoid’.
The car checks were carried out independently by the specialist organisation, Child Seat Safety.
Of all the faults the researchers found, the most common problems were seat belts needing to be re-routed or head restraints being in the wrong place.
Make sure you are properly fitting your child’s car seat – it could save their life
Speaking about the results of the study, What Car?’s consumer editor Claire Evans said: ‘Ensuring a child is seated safely is vital for all parents but often many don’t realise the mistakes they are making. Taking simple steps such as checking the seatbelt is fitted tightly enough around the seat and making sure the seat is the right size for the child can go a long way to improving children’s safety.’
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She added: ‘We recommend anyone who transports children in car seats to seek expert fitting advice and ensure they try the seat in their car, ideally with their child in it, before they buy it.’
By law, children in the UK must be seated in a car seat until they are 12-years-old or at least 4ft 4inches tall. It goes without saying but after this children must also wear a seat belt when travelling in the car.