The statistics are frightening.
In Ireland, it is the law to put a child under 150cms in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight in a properly fitted car seat or booster seat when travelling in a car, no matter how short the journey is.
A recent survey of 5,000 checks conducted by the Road Safety Authority of Ireland showed that over 4,000 of the child car seats checked needed some type of adjustments at the RSA’s "Check it Fits" Service. In some cases, a major adjustment was required.
Of the 5,000 seats checked, one hundred and fifty were condemned meaning they were not fit for purpose and could have caused injury or even death if there was a collision.
According to the RSA, the most common car seat fitting errors made by parents and caregivers include:
- The safety belt has too much slack in it causing the fitting to be very loose.
- The safety belt not routed through child seat correctly.
- The buckle was resting against the frame of the child car seat, causing ‘Buckle Crunch’ which may cause the buckle to open.
- The handle on the baby seat was not positioned properly.
- The child seat is too big or too small for the child.
- The child seat not compatible with the car.
- The child seat has exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended guideline for duration of use and is in bad condition.
In a bid to curb the frightening statistics, the Road Safety Authority of Ireland has a full time, nationwide expert service offering a free ''Check it Fits'' service for parents all across Ireland which aims to put parents’, grandparents’ and guardians’ minds at ease that their child’s car seat is safely and securely fitted in their car.
Check it Fits are based in locations across Ireland where their experts check all car seats and booster seats to make sure they’re fitted correctly. If they are not, their experts will fix it for you on the spot and they will show you how to fit the restraints correctly while answering any queries you might have.
It takes a few short minutes, no appointment is necessary and the service is open to all makes and models of cars and child car seats.
If you're unsure whether your child's car seat or booster seat is fitted correctly you can check when the RSA Check it Fits Service will be your region next.