Figures published today (4 Feb) by Good Egg Safety show a 47% increase over the last eight years in the number of child car seats found to be incorrectly fitted.
Good Egg Safety points out that ‘child casualties are on the rise’ and says parents rely on advice from car seat retailers on how to properly fit seats.
However, in tests carried out in 2017 by the community interest company, more than nine out of 10 retailers from across 146 stores failed to give the correct advice – despite this being ‘freely available’ through Good Egg Safety.
In response to retailers ‘falling short’, Good Egg Safety is encouraging parents to download its free checklist which outlines the questions they need to have answered in order to be more confident that the seat will protect their child.
Good Egg Safety has founded a joint industry group of leading retailers, child seat manufacturers and road safety organisations and the 2017 results have been shared with them to help bring about change.
Jan James, Good Egg Safety chief executive, said: “We have been relentlessly campaigning for over 17 years and it is of major concern that we are still finding major errors in child seat fitting in our free car seat clinics.
“The difference between a correctly fitted seat which is compatible with the car, and fits the child who will use it, could literally mean the difference between life and death in the event of a collision.
“it is clear that the retailers represented in our national industry group care deeply about this issue and costly training can seem like a luxury in the face of other business challenges. But it’s not a luxury, it is essential to help save lives, and we are calling for the Government to endorse the need for child car seat specialists to be fully accredited.”
Neil Greig, policy & research director at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Parents need the best possible independent and informed advice when choosing a new seat for their most precious cargo.
“It is very disappointing that some of our most trusted retail brands have done so badly in these secret shopper surveys.
“We are confident these retailers can turn this around quickly through better training and more consistent service delivery.
“In the meantime our advice to parents is to do your research thoroughly and go into every shop armed with the Good Egg questions.”