Road Safety Authority Issue Serious Warning On 'Killer Car Seats'
Ireland's Road Safety Authority has issued a warning to parents on fabric car seats that are available to purchase online which offer no protection to toddlers or babies.
Available to purchase for as little as a tenner on AliExpress, the flimsy fabric seats are described as 'portable, safe and strong' while also recommending use from birth to five years of age.
Dubbed the 'killer car seat' by the UK consumer watchdog, Which?, the cloth car seat has no side impact protection, padding nor have they passed any safety regulations that meet EU standards. By law, car seats are required to have a red central release harness button which these car seats do not have.
In a Facebook post, Ireland’s primary road safety organisation said: "Child car seat products like these are available to buy online by Irish customers but they DO NOT meet minimum EU testing standards and offer little or no protection to your child in the event of a crash or hard braking."
"If your child is using one of these products, please stop using it immediately and replace with a child car seat which is appropriate to your child’s height and weight and ensure that it meets EU standards."
"You should see an orange sticker on the side / underneath of all car seats, with the letter ‘E’ and the EU regulation it has been tested under."
In 2014, Britax crash tested one of the 'killer car seats' on a three-year-old test dummy. In a 30mph accident the straps failed, the seat fell apart and the toddler was hurled through the windscreen.
However, a quick google will confirm the seats are still available to purchase in various colours with accompanying photos advertising they can be used in cars.
In Ireland, car seats are legally required until a child is either 150cm/4.92ft or 36kg, which is approximately 12 years old. The penalty for this offence is 3 penalty points and a fine.
The RSA also recommend rear-facing car seats for as long as possible as they provide greater protection than forward facing car seats. Various extended rearward-facing car seats can accommodate children up to 25kgs (55lbs) in the rearward position.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 5 and 9 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). Described as a self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee, loves to travel and shares her every day true to life moments on Instagram.