59% children not safe in car seats

Almost two-thirds (59%) of children are not as safe as they should be when travelling in a car, What Car? reports as part of Child Safety Week (4-10 June).

An independent check on more than 3000 vehicles, carried out by specialist organisation, Child Seat Safety, revealed that 36% of car seats were incorrectly fitted to the car and 33% of the seats were not suitable for the children they were carrying.

The investigation also discovered that more than 90% of drivers using a large impact shield-style seat had correctly restrained the child, whereas only two thirds (61%) of children were secure in a harness style seat. ISOFIX mounted seats had fewer problems with eight out of 10 (79%) seats correctly fitted, while belted seats only protected 52% of children.

The most common problems with car seats are simple and easy to avoid with more than two out of five (41%) requiring the seatbelt to be rerouted. An additional third (30%) simply needed to adjust the headrest to ensure the seat was safe.

Claire Evans, What Car? consumer editor, said, ‘Ensuring a child is seated safely is vital for all parents but often many don’t realise the mistakes they are making. Taking simple steps such as checking the seatbelt is fitted tightly enough around the seat and making sure the seat is the right size for the child can go a long way to improving children’s safety.’