Child car seats & preventing serious head injuries
Every day we put our children into their car seat and rush off to the nursery or school run. However, how many times do we check whether the child seat is correctly fitted into the back of the car?
Here are 8 child seat fitting tips:
- Is the seatbelt or restraint secure and untwisted? Check if the child seat is secured with a seatbelt and this must be tight so the seat does not move. The seatbelt must not be twisted anywhere around the seat.
- If the seat is rearward-facing, is the handlebar in the correct position as shown in the instructions? The handlebar may need to be in a certain position and will provide protection if your vehicle turns over in a crash.
- Is the child car seat sitting correctly on the seat of the car and is the headrest in the correct position? Again check the instructions on your car seat and in some cases the headrest should be removed so it does not touch the seat.
- The seatbelt should follow the correct red or blue route guides.The red guides are for forward-facing seats and blue guides for rearward-facing seats and if these are not correctly followed will weaken the seat’s protection.
- Is the metal end of the seatbelt in the right place? The metal end of the seatbelt must not be bending around the child car seat as this could fail to secure your child in the event of an accident.
- Isofix seats. There are visual indicators and if fitted correctly will change from red to green.
- The floor of the vehicle must be clear. In some vehicles there are storage compartments just below the rear passenger seats and if they are present you must be aware in a serious accident the child’s legs may well come into collision.
- Winter clothing must be removed. A child wearing a bulky coat will make the harness less effective so it would be good practice to remove their coats before placing them in the child seat.
Child seats are well designed however, a majority of the injuries occur because 76%* of the population in England fail to address the basic issue and this is to correctly install a child seat belt. *based on figures in 2015