'worrying' | 

RSA say over half of child car seats are not correctly fitted

A third of seats needed a major adjustment to make them safe

(Stock Photo)

Clodagh Meaney

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have said that over half of child car seats are not fitted correctly.

56% of car seats checked by the RSA’s Check it Fits service were found to be incorrectly fitted and needed adjustment to make them safe.

If a child’s seat is not fitted correctly, it could lead to a serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.

Ms Aisling Sloyan, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer and Child Car Seat Expert with the RSA, said: “While the RSA’s experience with its Check it Fits service shows that half of child car seats are fitted incorrectly, worryingly, it found that 30% of these needed a major adjustment to fix them.”

“For example, the seat being excessively loose so as to make the fitting almost ineffective.

“67% were minor adjustments, for example, the fitting being loose or a twisted seatbelt.”

Chief Superintendent, Michael Hennebry, An Garda Síochána, added: “The importance of proper fitting of a child car seat cannot be underestimated when it comes to protecting the safety of our younger passengers when travelling in cars.

“It is equally important to know how to properly adjust car child seats as a child grows. When carrying children in a vehicle, drivers must ensure that they use the correct type of child restraint for the height and weight of the child passengers.”

In order to increase awareness of car seat safety and reduce misuse rates, the RSA has launched a new voluntary Code of Practice for Child Car Seat retailers.

The new Code of Practice will ensure that best practice is achieved when parents or guardians are buying a child restraint system.

It also means that when buying a new child car seat, families can be confident that they are getting the best advice and guidance on the most suitable car seat for their child and car.

To date, 15 child car seat retailers have committed to the new Code of Practice, across 40 stores nationwide.

Three child car seat manufacturers are signed up, with interest from another three.

“This initiative will help ensure that best practice is followed when buying a child restraint system,” Chief Superintendent, Michael Hennebry continued.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Ms. Hildegarde Naughton, said: “I am delighted that this new Code of Practice has been launched and I want to applaud the manufacturers and retailers of child car seats that have adopted this new Code of Practice.

“It is through practical measures like this, where we all work together, and achieve our core target of the new Road Safety Strategy, which is to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030.”

Manufacturers who are signed up to the Code of Practice are committed to offering training and education to their retailers about their products.

This in turn will ensure that retailers understand the features of child car seats and are properly trained to advise consumers on its suitability for the child and car in question.

The Code acts as peace of mind to consumers that retailers signed up to it are able to provide expert advice and training on how a child car seat should be safely installed into the car.

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