Nursery Today magazine

Sharp rise in child deaths linked to incorrectly fitted car seats

Seven out of ten car seats for children tested in 2014 in England and Wales do not meet minimum fitting standards, Good Egg Safety announced today.

Good Egg, which has tested 20,500 child safety seats in England, Wales and Scotland since 2002, found that 71% of seats tested in England and Wales were unsafe in 2014, and 64% in Scotland. The national average over the last five years has been 57%, but this masks a year on year increase from 47% in 2010 to 67% in 2014.

The figures come at the same time as Department for Transport statistics revealing that the number of children killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads has risen for the first time in two decades. This means that two thirds of the children and babies in Britain are now at risk as a result of the seat being improperly fitted, incorrect for the size and weight of the child, or wrong for the make and model of vehicle.
Jan James, the chief executive of Good Egg Safety, said today: "This week's figures on casualties show clearly that we are not, as a nation, taking child car safety seriously enough.

"We've put all the advice that you need on our website, www.goodeggcarsafety.com, free of charge. If you're buying in a shop, insist that a trained sales assistant helps you fit the seat, and that you specify your child's height and weight and the car's model before buying. If you're buying online, don't unless you can put this information in. If the seat arrives without clear instructions for fitting and testing, then send it back. If you're offered a secondhand seat, just politely decline: there is very little chance that a secondhand seat will be right for your car and your child – you wouldn't entrust your child with a stranger yet that's exactly what you are doing if you place them in a seat without knowing its history."

Honor Byford, the chairman of Road Safety GB said " There are so many different makes, styles and versions of child car seats that it isn't surprising that so often the seat parents (or grandparents) have bought is either not the best one for that car or is proving difficult to fit securely every time you make a journey. We strongly recommend that parents check if their car has iSofix child seat securing points - most new cars have had these for some years now. Using an iSofix seat means that the seat is bolted into the frame of the car and is not entirely dependent on the tightness of the adult seatbelt around it. It usually also needs a single tether to be tightened as well but is more user friendly for parents. We welcome the latest report from the Good Egg team. We are pleased to support Good Egg with their clear and helpful guides for parents and appreciate the work they do in supporting local road safety officers to help parents provide the best protection they can for their children."


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