Road Safety News

One in three children at risk on the roads: Child Seat Safety

Thursday 26th October 2017

A new child car seat campaign has been launched which focuses on the issue of children being fitted incorrectly in their car seat.

Experts at Child Seat Safety, who have launched the campaign, say that as many as one in three children ‘are at risk right now’ because they are fitted incorrectly in their car seat.

Child Seat Safety has been collating information from its car seat checks over an extended period of time and has discovered that often, although the seat is correctly fitted in the car, the child has not been properly fitted into the seat.

To help overcome this, Child Seat Safety has published a series of tips on its website giving practical advice to parents and others transporting children in car seats.

These tips cover:

  • Getting the harness position correct on your child
  • Ensuring the harness is correctly tightened
  • Removing coats before placing children in car seats
  • Older children and high backed or booster seats
  • Resisting the temptation to put your child in the next stage seat as soon as they reach the minimum weight – or to keep your child in a seat any longer than the maximum weight or height for that seat.

Julie Dagnall, co-founder of Child Seat Safety, said: “We have said so many times that there is no point in having a perfectly fitted child seat and a poorly fitted child!

“Sadly, though parents and carers seem to still be getting it wrong.

“It’s worrying that although the messages are getting home about checking your seat fits your car - and you get good advice and service from the people in the know - the important part we all play in placing our children in the seats is being seriously neglected.

“No one doubts that car seats save lives, but so do the people fitting the precious cargo in them. Let’s get this right before it goes horribly wrong.”


Categories: Children, In-car safety.


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Fair comment David and as a cost-effective deployment of road safety resources with a view to child KSI reduction, you're probably right, but not necessarily because the real problem has been addressed. I wouldn't want parents to think that having made sure their child is securely seated then the '1-in-3 three' risk has been magically removed - it hasn't. A key road safety message is that all drivers have a responsibility for the safety of all their passengers and it shouldn't be a case of just making sure they're safely seated.

A child may well have escaped physical harm but let's not forget also the mental trauma a child may experience from even a low-speed collision.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

While Hugh is without a shadow of doubt correct that the manner in which the car is driven is a bigger problem, it is also a much more difficult nut to crack.

Most people are only too happy to be shown how a child should be restrained in a seat, but will not be too pleased when you suggest that they can improve their driving. Even if they are receptive to advice about their driving, it is going to take more serious input to rectify things. We always come back to picking the low-hanging fruit, and this is precisely that.
David, Suffolk

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Well done Julie. Many parents can spend a lot of money on expensive seats and believe that they are protecting their child. But with so many common errors made with fitting both the seat, and indeed the child, campaigns such as yours are so important.
Andrea, Knowsley

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

Julie Dagnall's quote: "Through our Police and local authority enforcement work, we felt that parents needed to be aware of the high number of mistakes made when they put their child in the car" possibly - but nowhere near the high number of mistakes they're very likely to make when they're actually driving it!

Perhaps when child-seat/sitting advice is given to parents, they could also be reminded of their further responsibility in keeping their occupants from harm, by concentrating on driving smoothly and defensively in the first place. I see too many young mothers driving their young ones around too fast and too close, cancelling out the benefits of correct child seating arrangements.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

Thank you for all the comments. Just to clarify this campaign is only looking at children fitted into their car seats as there is already been previous work undertaken about incorrectly fitted restraints.

Through our Police and local authority enforcement work, we felt that parents needed to be aware of the high number of mistakes made when they put their child in the car.

As we frequently say, it is vital that the child is fitted correctly on every journey as well as the car seat, but this is often over looked.
Julie Dagnall Director of Child Seat Safety Ltd

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

I agree with you, Pat. While we welcome any campaign which raises awareness of incorrect child fitting and how to address it; sadly the incorrect fitment rate we've found from thousands of checks is more like two thirds and urgently needs to be addressed.
Jan James CEO Good Egg Safety

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

I think there should be more publicity around this subject - when I speak to parents they have often spent a lot of time trying to track down someone who could check their car seat. High street stores will only check seats that have been purchased from them - and a lot of the advice they give isn't always the best. With the cuts to road safety officers this service will be even harder to maintain.
Elaine, Havering

Agree (12) | Disagree (0)

One in three would be a big improvement. Most times child car seat checks are carried out where I live, we find it is more like two thirds of seats/children are poorly fitted. Parents are frequently shocked to find that their little ones are not safe and secure.
Pat, Wales

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)

If a parent is in the habit of driving carelessly or recklessly and therefore collision-prone anyway, what chance is there that they would conscientiously check that a child passenger is properly seated? If, as a matter of fact, 'one in three children' are at risk on the road, I would suggest that is more likely because of the behaviour of the person behind the wheel.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (2) | Disagree (12)