Good Egg Safety has launched a new national initiative in partnership with the ITV programme Good Morning Britain to raise awareness of common child seat fitting errors, and how to rectify them to improve in-car child safety.
The campaign demonstrates ‘common faults’ with the way child seats are fitted including loose or twisted harnesses, padded clothing, ‘buckle crunch’ (where the adult belt rests on the child seat) and incorrect seat belt routing. A video has been recorded to demonstrate how easy it is to rectify these.
Based on almost 11,000 checks conducted between 2010 and 2013, Good Egg says the average child seat ‘failure rate’ is 54%. However, The Good Egg team has been filming with Good Morning Britain for its Belt up Britain campaign, where as many as 80% of seats have been found to be incorrectly fitted.
To help address the problem, between 23-30 June branches of Mothercare and Halfords are offering free safety checks on child seats, including seats not purchased from them. Along with Mamas & Papas stores, they will also be giving away free copies of Good Egg’s In-Car Safety Guides.
Jan James, chief executive of Good Egg Safety, said: “In these times of austerity, parents handing down child seats to younger siblings and loaning from friends is perfectly understandable. However unlike cots, prams and pushchairs, using a second-hand child safety seat means you could be putting your child in danger.
“To be safe, the seat has to be the right seat for your child’s height and weight, the right seat for your make and model of vehicle, and should be correctly fitted.
“Our research suggests that an alarming 54% of seats are now dangerously fitted, or simply the wrong seat for the car and the child. What’s worse, the figures are going up, not coming down.
“Thanks to a huge amount of help from our partners and sponsors, we want to get those figures going in the other direction.
“Our aim this year is to see a 10% reduction in incorrect fitting. Of course, we want every child to be sitting safely, and 10% is just a start, just to get us to the place where most seats are safe, as opposed to currently where most seats are dangerous.”
Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, said: "Statistics show that there are still far too many child car seats that are incorrectly fitted.
"Good Egg Safety helps road safety officers across the country to address this issue by raising awareness, providing useful easy to understand information materials and supporting vital seat checks."
Amanda Scacchetti, for Mamas & Papas, added: “The statistics are truly frightening. That’s why we have teamed up with Good Egg Safety and completely redesigned our car seat collection, handpicking the very safest products."
The campaign – which is also backed by stakeholders including Road Safety Scotland, Police Scotland, Which?, DfT, Road Safety GB, TRL, RoSPA and RoadSafe – runs until November with Good Egg free child seat clinics nationwide.