Wrongly fitted car seats putting children in danger

Wrongly fitted car seats putting children in danger

New research commissioned by Seat suggests that a large proportion of parents are not using a child seat correctly. A study of 1,000 UK parents of children aged 12 or under yielded some troubling revelations.

As many as one in three said they’d transported someone else’s child without a child seat, while one in five said they let their child sit on a cushion rather than a booster seat. One in 10 said they’d had four or more children sat across one three-seat row.

A third of parents admitted they’ve used a car seat designed for an older child, while one in five said they’d used an incorrectly installed child seat.

Sometimes it’s not willful disregard of the rules, though. Many parents are not-so-blissfully ignorant of the regulations and dangers. Three-quarters of parents think the government should do more to make parents aware of car seat regulations.

A fifth of parents are confident about the rules around kids and car seats, with 40 percent of parents worried they’ve not fitted a child seat properly.

The law states that children under 12 or under 135cm tall, legally require some form of booster seat when travelling in a car, to prevent sliding under the adult belt in the event of an accident. As many as 47 percent of parents were unaware of this.

Take a seat, kids

Parents put kids in danger with poorly fitted child seats

In a bid to reduce injuries, drivers face a fine of up to £500 and three penalty points for using the wrong restraints. There were almost 10,000 injuries to children aged 15 or under, recorded in 2017, while 20 were killed.

“According to research from Spain’s Traffic Department, the difference between correct and incorrect child seat use can reduce the risk of casualty by 75 per cent and injuries by 90 per cent,” said Javier Luzon, from the Seat vehicle safety development department.

“It is crucial to use the seat which is certified for the child’s height and weight, as the design of each one meets the specific requirements to protect children’s bodies.”