53 out of 82 shops run by well-known national chains and independent retailers selling child safety seats did not give the correct advice to mystery shoppers, according to data published today by Good Egg Safety.
Good Egg Safety says staff in the majority of stores “did not ask the basic information” to ensure a safe fit of the seats they were selling, and points out that a seat will not perform as it is designed to do in a collision if incorrectly installed, or if it doesn’t fit the child or car it is purchased for.
The findings have been unveiled as Good Egg Safety launches a new advert which uses imagery of a child safely transported in the womb to inspire parents to safely transport their children.
Jan James, chief executive of Good Egg Safety, said: “We’ve checked over 21,000 child car seats since 2002, and have found a 43% growth in incorrect fitment or incompatibility in the last five years, which is a major concern.
“Last year alone we discovered that 67% of seats were incorrectly fitted across the UK. These seats will provide reduced or possibly no protection in the event of a collision. There’s clearly a correlation here between incorrect fitting and substandard retailer fitting advice and this has to be addressed.”
Honor Byford, Chair of Road Safety GB said: “This is very timely – just as families are taking more day trips and planning their holidays, checking the children’s car seats also needs to be on every parents “to do” list.
“We know from the many enquiries that we receive from parents that they find the multitude of different car seats and types of fittings very worrying. Parents, and grandparents, are relying on retailers to give them the best advice and service.
“Car seat retailers should be parents’ safety partners in keeping children safe when they are travelling in cars. This is a big responsibility but it is one that retailers can achieve.”
Tanya Robinson, child safety centre manager at TRL, said: “TRL continues to contribute to the development of the safety performance of child car seats. However, this work will not achieve its goals if those using the car seats are not provided with adequate guidance on how to choose an appropriate child seat, and do not understand how to fit and use them correctly.
“That is why we are working with Good Egg Safety to understand the common errors made by parents, grandparents and carers and to provide training for retailers.”
The Mystery Shopped exercise was undertaken by an independent third party agency. A copy of the full report can be obtained from Good Egg Safety.
Good Egg Safety
Good Egg Safety provides information on safe driving for new and older motorists, family cycling, in-car child safety, and in-home child safety.