Retailers still not showing parents how to choose and fit child car seats: Good Egg Safety

21.28 | 3 February | | 5 comments


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.”

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    Good Egg Safety is doing some good work and their advice here on child car seats is fine. However they are not the only one as one can see from an earlier article on Child Seat Safety and their guide http://rsgbarchive.org.uk/news/6085.html

    In response to Derek’s comment of a central website source, nice idea but who would keep it up to date? Also, there are consumer organisations out there that are not the ones you would probably think of in terms of road safety that have been in the forefront of vehicle and passenger safety for decades.

    For example, when we recently bought a couple of child car seats for the grandchildren my first port of call for child car seat safety crash test assessments and then best prices and best places for good fitting advice was the Which? website. All that information under one ‘roof’.
    Déjà vu really as our first child car seat 35 years ago came from the USA as the Which? tests back then indicated the regular UK suppliers car seat products were rather lacking in terms of restraint and crash protection.


    Pat, Wales
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    0

    This is disappointing, but not surprising. I have been on the receiving end of poor advice from a major retailer and seen and heard many other examples.
    Personally I think the big high street retailers are missing a trick. With so many people now buying online I would have thought they would be doing everything in their power to emphasise the benefits of actually chosing items like this in store. So, promoting ‘try before you buy’ services and getting their staff trained up to offer the best quality advice and a decent fitting service.


    Becky, Leeds
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    +3

    An interesting comment, Derek

    At present Good Egg Safety is commissioning a leading behavioural change specialist to develop accredited e-learning modules to augment existing classroom based training. This could have wide ranging potential and fill the current gap in provision.

    The goodeggcarsafety.com website, funded by Government and local authorities provides free information nationally for useful information on keeping babies and children safer in cars.


    Jan James, Bedfordshire
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    +3

    Totally agree with Jan’s comments. It is not particularly encouraging that 17 years after the first ever Good Egg initiative that he numbers are still unacceptabile.


    Bill Smith, Glasgow
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    +7

    We need a central website source on the internet where people can access all the information relating to UK road safety instead of having many different organisations running there own separate initiatives. Better still, introduce a regular e-training programme for all qualified drivers with an additional module for people who will be transporting children. The recommendations and regulations are being regularly updated and a system is needed to keep drivers up to speed on them.


    Derek Hertfordshire
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