Worrying lack of knowledge in Choosing and Fitting Child Car Seats
Over half of new parents have never been shown how to correctly choose or install a child car seat.
Even more worrying, the study, conducted by Mamas & Papas and Alfa Romeo for the SAFER SEAT campaign, also found one in 10 parents choose a child car seat based on price alone, rather than the correct fit or function for their specific vehicle.
Almost two-thirds (61%) of parents did not know that different child car seats are suitable for different types of vehicle – installing a car seat that is wrong for the vehicle can severely compromise its safety. A third of survey respondents also did not know that the safest direction for a baby up to at least 13kgs is to face rearwards in the car seat.
Despite 80 percent of new parents admitting to a post-natal change in driving habits, the survey results indicate a worrying over-reliance on advice from friends and family, rather than a consultation of proper guidance on safely transporting children.
The result is that a large proportion of child seats are being incorrectly installed, or installed in vehicles incompatible with the model of car seat, reducing the protection the seats offer for their child passengers.
To combat the problem, Mamas & Papas has produced the SAFER SEAT initiative, supported by Which? in partnership with Alfa Romeo, which is launching a series of Roadshows during National Road Safety Week (19-25 Nov). SAFER SEAT provides information including a step-by-step checklist to help parents find the best car seat for their child and specific car, with advice on correct installation. The guide is available through Mamas & Papas stores, online, via Which? and Alfa Romeo dealerships.
Alfa Romeo’s model range is officially recognised for its high safety credentials. The stylish 5-door Alfa Giulietta is one of the safest vehicles in the small family car class, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Mamas & Papas is also providing consultations and seat fitting advice by fully trained specialists across its 60 stores nationwide.
The detailed guide provides parents with all they need to know when it comes to selecting and fitting their child’s car seat, including: restraints, impact shields and how to adjust the car seat as their child grows.
Vicky Butler-Henderson, TV presenter and supporter of the SAFER SEAT campaign, said; “Worryingly, according to some statistics*, more than 70% of child car seats are fitted incorrectly. SAFER SEAT is a good way of helping parents to keep their children safe in cars. I am proud to be supporting this campaign.”
In partnership with Alfa Romeo, Mamas & Papas is launching a SAFER SEAT Roadshow across the country to raise awareness with consumers. The SAFER SEAT Roadshow kicks off in London on 15 November before visiting Birmingham (Saturday 17 November, Birmingham Gallagher), Nottingham (Sunday 18 November, Giltbrook Retail Park), Manchester (Saturday 24 November, Manchester Fort Retail Park), and Edinburgh (Sunday 25 November, Edinburgh Fort Retail Park).
Mamas & Papas’ expert advisors will be on hand to go through SAFER SEAT with customers and they can drive their cars into a covered fitting area to try a selection of car seats.
SAFER SEAT information will also be available in Alfa Romeo showrooms and from Mama and Papas.
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