New campaign highlights common faults which jeopardise child safety

12.00 | 24 June 2014 | | 7 comments

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.


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    Thanks to everyone for their positive comments.

    Our biggest issue is retailers who fail to give the right advice at the point of purchase. We have an ambitious programme to get retailers checked across the UK and ensure they meet the minimum standard required to sell child car seats. We are working with road safety teams to help us do this and in turn offer more FREE materials in gratitude for that local support. If road safety professionals (can include FRS and police) would like to find out more please contact us on 0131 6678833 as we’d love to hear from you. Together we can really make a difference.

    Jan James CEO Good Egg Safety
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Isofix is not the answer to everything; people will still neglect to move the shoulder straps as their child grows, they will neglect to sufficiently tighten the harness, and they will still choose forward-facing seats that are simply inappropriate for their child. Parents will still turn their child to face forward believing that they have the correct knowledge upon which to base their decision, when in fact their knowledge is years out of date. What we need is education and publicity. The Good Egg guide is a real step in the right direction.

    David, Suffolk
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    ISO FIX is the solution you are seeking but car manufactures were slow to act and only now is it legislated for. For older cars without ISO FIX points the car seat designer is trying to make a product that will fit 100s of different models of cars made over a decade or more. These all rely on adapting the use of adult belts (some not the easiest for a adult to use in the back seat of some smaller cars) to a different task – and then relying on the public to achieve the correct result.

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    A brilliant campaign supported by great video and of course the outstanding Good Egg Guides. So pleased to hear that finally there will be retailers (albeit for a short time) that will check car seats from where ever they have been purchased. Not just a seat bought from themselves. This really needs to be the norm.

    Melanie McHale
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    If it’s possible to design a car seat that can’t be fitted incorrectly, why hasn’t it been done?

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    We have been running Good Egg clinics here since Feb this year. Parents are horrified when they turn up and are told that their seat had been incorrecetly fitted. The website informs parents and helps get such important messages across, as so many parents are unaware of the risk their are putting their children in every time they travel in the car.

    Liz, Lewisham
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    Just had to say how delighted and impressed I am with the ‘new look’ Good Egg Website, it is very easy to use and contains all the important safety information regarding child seat fitting and regulations, plus the all-important contacts for help and advice and where to find local ‘Good Egg’ clinics.

    Susan Martin croydon
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