Child Car Seats
Help make sure your child is safe by checking their car seat is fitted correctly
Recent research shows that 65% of child car seats are not properly fitted. You can get your child's car seat checked at one of our free events. Our experts will be on hand to answer questions and check your child's car seat is correctly fitted.
For comprehensive car seat advice see the ROSPA Child Car Seat Website which also has a selection of short films that will help you select the seat that matches your child weight and height.
You can also get expert advice for choosing and fitting a new car seat, from the Good Egg Safety Website and the RAC Child Car Seat webpage.
2020/21 child car seat check events
Littledown Centre, Chaseside, BH7 7DX
The Ark, Poole Park
Peeks Party Store, Christchurch, BH23 2BT
- Our car seat experts will be based in the car park in designated bays. You can bring your car to our expert and have your seat checked.
- On the day, our road safety team will be based on site to answer any questions.
Why it's important to make sure your child's car seat is fitted correctly
- Your child's car seat is there to keep injuries to a minimum if there's an accident. It is extremely important to make sure it's properly fitted. It could even save your child's life.
- Many parents don't get the correct fitting advice from the store they purchased the seat from, putting thousands of lives at risk.
- Not every type of seat will fit every car. Even if the seat is compatible, it could still be fitted incorrectly or the wrong restraint may be used for the child’s weight.
- Don't use a second-hand car seat. Experts advise parents not to use a second-hand car seat because the history of the seat may be unknown and it could be damaged.
- Watch the video highlighting a 'fatal' rear-facing infant carrier car seat fitting error.
Retailers still not showing parents how to choose and fit child car seats
Figures published recently (4 Feb 2018) by Good Egg Safety show a 47% increase over the last eight years in the number of child car seats found to be incorrectly fitted.
Good Egg Safety points out that ‘child casualties are on the rise’ and says parents rely on advice from car seat retailers on how to properly fit seats.
However, in tests carried out in 2017 by the community interest company, more than nine out of 10 retailers from across 146 stores failed to give the correct advice – despite this being ‘freely available’ through Good Egg Safety, for further information please see link below.
Car seat clinics - results
We evaluate our Road Safety Car Seat Clinics. You can read the full reports from 2013 - 2015 and the results from our recent Car Seat Clinic in January 2018 and March 2017 below. Please take the time to have a look at these and you'll see why it's so important to have your child's car seat checked. For example, in March 2017, nearly 80% of the children's car seats that we checked were incorrectly fitted and nearly 70% in January 2018.
Booster seats law
We strongly recommend you do not remove the back of high-backed booster seats, or use a backless booster cushion. The lack of a back and side wings removes any side and head protection from the child car seat. This would leave the child vulnerable to head and side injuries, particularly in side impacts.
It also makes it more difficult to position the diagonal strap of a three-point adult seat belt correctly across the shoulder.
From February 2017, changes were made to the rules about backless booster seats. Previously, parents could buy these types of seats for children who weigh 15kg (2st 5lbs) and above, typically aged three and over.
- The rules mean retailers can only sell backless boosters for children who weigh over 22kg (3st 7lbs) and who are over 125cm (4ft 1ins) tall.
- The United Nations, which sets the safety standards for car seats, has approved the change which must now be implemented by the EU.
- This rule puts the onus of responsibility onto the retailer.
- However, we would recommend that if you have a backless booster, you do not use this until your child fits the criteria above. Ideally we would recommend your keep your child in a high-backed booster seat until they are at least 135cm in height although it's better to wait until they are 150cm (5ft) or taller before moving them to the seat belt on its own.
To find out more about this law
Argos car seat recall
For further information regarding the Argos recall of some of their Mamas and Papas car seats, please use the links below.
i-Size the European wide standard for child car seats
The i-Size regulations are designed to provide children with additional protection and safety in the car. i-Size does not replace the existing R44/04 legislation, but runs alongside it.
These seats offer increased support for the child's head and neck and better protection in the event of both frontal and side-impact. The seat's five-point harness ensures that the child stays in the seat even in a roll-over accident.
For further information regarding the European i-Size standard for child car seats, go to www.i-size.org.uk
Find out more about in-car safety
If you'd like to know more, email our road safety team firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for our free booklet about in-car safety for up-to-date advice on the law about child car seats.