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Child car seat safety needs to be simpler: Britax

Monday 8th June 2015

The child car seat company Britax has suggested that parents are spending more time and money choosing a new mobile phone or tablet than the right car seat for their child.

Britax makes the claim on the back of a new report, State of Safety, based on interviews with more than 4,500 parents across Europe, which was commissioned to provide “a better understanding of how parents and parents-to-be make crucial decisions about safety”.

The report highlights a lack of understanding and confusion among parents when it comes to purchasing car seats, and Britax is calling for the child car seat industry to “come together to make safety simpler”.

18% of respondents spent less than an hour researching their child's first car seat – less time than they spent choosing a new phone or tablet. 67% said they spend more money on their mobile phone than their child's car sear, with almost one in seven spending less than £50 on a car seat. One in seven said they don't know when to move their child up to the next stage or group seat, and 22% said they would incorrectly change simply to make more space in the car.

Paul Gustavsson, CEO of Britax, said: "Parents are understandably concerned about childhood safety, particularly when in the car. Yet our study shows they are knowingly and unknowingly still taking risks. 

"This is often due to parents being left baffled by the huge product choice or the complexity of legal guidelines, indicating a need for the industry to collectively come together to make safety simpler.

“Our report clearly shows where we need to help parents cut out seemingly small risks that could have a monumental and heart breaking impact on their lives."

Jan James, CEO of Good Egg Safety, added: "The fact that so little time and money is currently being invested in choosing the right seat suggests that parents do not realise that some seats will not fit their car/child and in that instance their most precious passenger - their son or daughter - is at risk of serious injury or worse. 

"We strongly urge parents to take a little more time to get the facts and arm themselves with this important information.”

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With similar issues recently being seen in Ireland, isn't this an indication that we need to take and be involved with a pan-European perspective on child car seat safety.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

The good news, Iain, is that industry IS aligning and we have two leading brands, Britax and Maxi cosi working alongside Good Egg Safety to improve child transportation for everyone. They are to be commended. They, together with our other partners at TRL, RoSPA, Brake, Scottish Government, Police Scotland,and many others are really helping us to ramp up the messages. What would be REALLY great is if RSOs could put more safety info on their websites and through their teams...then we can exponentially increase visibility and reach...
Jan Deans

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

Bringing the industry together is quite a challenge, it is a very competitive market. This is yet another area where we are missing that central government lead. There's lots of good information out there, the RoSPA website being a case in point, but people need to know where to look.
Iain Temperton

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)
+4

You cannot blame your customer for their inability to manage the shortcomings in your products and in the regulatory systems. The call from Britax to make safety simpler is exactly the correct thing to do and they are to be applauded for taking that stance.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
+5

It was all going so well until it fell back onto the standard 'blame the worker' viewpoint.
Duncan MacKillop. No surprise - No accident.

Agree (1) | Disagree (8)
-7