Child car seat qualification ‘a huge step forward’

12.05 | 7 December 2011 | | 6 comments

A new training course to make the fitting of child car seats safer has been launched.

The new course, created by Child Seat Safety and accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), will assist retailers in providing the right advice to parents and parents-to-be.

Julie Dagnall, Wirral council’s principal RSO and a Road Safety GB specialist with regard to child car seats, is one of the co-founders of Child Seat Safety. Julie said: “This qualification fills a huge gap within the nursery industry.

“Parents, especially first-time parents, trust the advice they’re given by retailers when it comes to choosing the right car seat for their child. It is, therefore, vital that the staff providing advice and fitting or checking the car seats, are aware of the health and safety issues surrounding what they’re doing.”

A Which? undercover investigation into child car seat fitting, published in October 2011, found that many high-street and independent stores across the UK fail to give accurate advice, and half the shops investigated failed to install seats correctly.

The new course will educate anyone who provides advice or fits/checks children’s car seats, up to the standards required by Which? magazine’s Child Car Seat Retailer Best Practice Charter.

Using interactive learning the course covers topics such as legislation, ergonomics, child development and in car safety.

Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “This qualification is a huge step forward in the road safety field.

“It is a much needed and long overdue qualification that will give hundreds or even thousands of people who check car seats, the confidence in knowing that they have received high quality training, to ensure our children are safe in cars. Congratulations to the team and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Click here to visit the Child Seat Safety website, or for more information contact Julie Dagnall or Claire Waterhouse on 07581 709975 or 07952 898895 respectively.


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    I kept my lo in a carry seat til he was 25lbs n 2yrs old, now I’ve upgraded to an extended rear facing seat n would not use anything thing else. Am very happy they are becoming more known about, I had soo much misleading info from shops before I found a wel known facebook page which has and is still being soooo helpful. Every step in the right direction is a good thing.

    gemma, i.o.w
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    Well Done Julie and Clare! This is much needed and something I have been looking to start up myself! I’m very much looking forward to doing the course!

    I work for a major retailer of child seats and it really does drive me crazy watching other staff members sell incorrect seats for the child, or not offering the safest option.

    I too believe there should be a much larger focus on extended rear facing and have also had parents get offended when I tell them they are not allowed to put their 8 week old baby front facing! (The couple in question then went next door and bought an awful cheap seat – that would not have fitted their Saxo and put the baby in it front facing!!!!)

    I also believe that it would be appropriate to stop retailers selling seats without trained staff on hand and eventually change the view of child seats to ‘you don’t buy one without getting advice’. I see far too many seats unsuitable for child and car, as well as being fitted incorrectly for comfort.

    When it comes to child safety there is no room, in my eyes for compromise.

    Kate – Cheshire
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    About time too!! I agree with what others have said about rear facing seats. I had to educate myself and would it not have been for natural parenting forums discussing rear facing seats I would have been none the wiser. I turned my 1 year old back to rear facing after being forward facing from 10 months old. He only just graduated onto a high back booster seat at 4 1/2.

    It is incredibly frustrating seeing parents use car seats incorrectly, but, when approached, insisting I must be wrong because the staff at retailers told them to do it that way.

    I’ve seen horrific uses – from forward facing infant seats(!) to having a two year old on a booster cushion with BOTH SHOULDER AND LAP BELT ROUTED THROUGH THE ARMREST giving NO protection to the upper body!

    When approaching parents regarding rear facing they look at me as if I’m crazy and are OFFENDED at the suggestion that there may be a better way.


    Petra UK
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    This is certainly much needed. I’m sick and tired of retailers giving incorrect information and fitting car seats wrong and parents take their word as gospel! Car seats go on weight (height of the child may come into play) but the number of parents who think it’s age that matters drives me crazy. They will forward face their child at 9 months even though they are under the minimum weight of 9kg, which is in fact illegal as their child is then not in the appropriate child restraint as stipulated by the law.

    We should follow the Swedish model where they rear face their kids to a minimum of age 4, which is the why they have a near zero fatality rate.

    Parents are totally unaware that rear facing, even after the group 0+ infant carrier is 5 times safer than forward facing car seats and they have no idea that these group 1 (9-18kg) and group 1 & 2 (9-25kg) extended rear facing car seats even exist in the UK but they do. They refuse to believe it’s safer as it’s not the law but it’s not the law in Sweden, they just seem to have more common sense than us! It’s so infuriating!

    I totally back and support Jan and The Good Egg Team, they do fantastic work and back extended rear facing. I do hope that this campaign with IOSH is effective and has an impact too. Please also include extended rear facing as this is when looking rearward has more foresight.

    Linsey, South Yorkshire
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    This qualification is long overdue and should bring standardisation in the advice given regarding fitment of child car seats. Well done Julie and Claire, I wish your initiative every success.

    Penny Thorpe, Cwmbran
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    This is indeed a very positive step forward, having explored the opportunity for a recognised qualification for in-car child seat fitting last year in our RSGB Steering Group meetings.

    Well done Julie & Clare for taking this forward with IOSH. An important step in helping further improve in-car child safety.

    Jan – Good Egg Team
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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