Road safety officers at Bury Council are inviting parents to an advice clinic on how to buy and properly install child car seats.
Studies have shown that between 40%-70% of child car seats are fitted incorrectly, which means that the restraint will not work effectively in the event of a crash or the vehicle stopping suddenly.
The clinic is held at ASDA Pilsworth on 22 and 23 July (10.30am to 3pm) and will provide practical advice and help. Experts from ‘Child Seat Safety’ will offer free car seat checks to ensure that they have been properly fitted.
By law, all children up to 135cm (4ft 5ins) in height or 12 years old (whichever they reach first) must travel with the appropriate child restraint.
Jan Brabin, senior road safety officer for Bury Council, said: “In-car safety is important for all ages, but babies and children are particularly vulnerable due to their size and the lack of support in vehicles. We hope that many parents will come to our clinic and get practical advice and peace of mind.”
The team inspected 53 child car seats at a similar clinic last year, and discovered that only 17 (32%) seats were fitted correctly, with two having major faults.
Officers remind parents that child car seats are not universal, and urge them to choose a restraint which is appropriate for their child’s height, weight and physical development, and for the make of car they have.
They remind parents that it is illegal to carry a rearward facing child seat in the front passenger seat where there is an airbag installed, and that the child seat must meet the ECE 44.04 standard. Parents should avoid using second hand restraints, because they may have unseen damage or conform to older safety standards. Furthermore, parents need to be careful when buying a child car seat from the internet because they will not have a guarantee it will fit in their car or help to fit it correctly.
Julie Dagnall from Child Seat Safety said: “The best thing is to choose a retailer that will talk you through the stages of restraints and show you how to fit the restraint in your vehicle. Parents should be careful not to rush their child through the different stages of child seats. Children will be safer if they are rearward facing for longer and in the lowest stage seat suitable for the child.”
Press release issued: 24 June 2013.