Will Child Car Seat Safety Laws Keep Your Baby Safe?

Will Safety Laws Keep Your Baby Safe?

child car seat safety laws

Most parents would agree that when it involves their child’s safety and well-being nothing is a lot more important.This then begs the question “will child car seat safety laws keep your baby safe?” or is it your responsibility to keep your baby safe?


The law requires all children travelling in the front or rear seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use the correct [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OBCKDA0″ locale=”UK” tag=”tennrackrevi-21″]child car seat[/easyazon_link] until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt. It goes on to state that…

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law.

Thus how safe are child car seats we fit in our cars? Recent research indicates that perhaps they aren’t as safe as we would like to believe.

Chemicals in car seats

The Ecology Center recently undertook a survey on child car seats and the results were astonishing. They found that within the US, of the fifteen child car seats examined and eleven of these seats contained halogenated flame retardants which help to meet federal needs. However, some flame retardants contain chlorine and bromine and have been linked to health problems as they will cause build up in bodily systems. Two seats were discovered to contain a carcinogen known as chlorinated tris. This is astonishing as it had been taken off kids’ pyjamas for this very reason several years ago.

Some of the seats tested revealed traces of serious metals like lead and chromium which were in low levels however were nonetheless gift. Heavy metals are known to gift very serious health risks. Luckily, there are exceptions, child seat manufactures such as [easyazon_link identifier=”B00AE2OO0Q” locale=”UK” tag=”tennrackrevi-21″]Britax[/easyazon_link]and [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OBCKDA0″ locale=”UK” tag=”tennrackrevi-21″]Maxi-Cosi[/easyazon_link] are constantly developing and researching and have moved away from hazardous flame retardants.

On balance the report concluded that the chance of a kid being hurt during a car crash was so much bigger than the risk from chemical exposures thus they recommended frequently use the child seat belts and restrains. However, they did suggest limiting the use of child seats for travel only and often vaccuming a car’s interior to get rid of mud that may contain the chemicals.

Mother & Baby Magazine also checked out a number of child car seats. Their review of the Gosatto Moova child car seats (cluster 1) in 2013 revealed that 2 testers were not confident about the capacity of the child seat to adequately protect the child. They said: “However, we have a tendency to take into consideration how the car seat is fitted into the car and therefore the harness straps didn’t look right, no matter what position they were secured in”. They also found that the mechanism on the Cybex Sirona didn’t work terribly well. Manufacturers that clearly have some work to do.

How safe are child automobile seats?

Experts frequently state that rear facing car seats are abundant safer for youngsters and research and testing have proved that it’s five times safer for a child to travel this approach. Sadly, the market doesn’t mirror this. Category Group 0+ (newborn – one year) are principally rear facing. But in the following category, Group one, ages 1 to four, seats face forward.

Legislation is changing and youngsters should currently remain rear-facing until a minimum of 15 months of age. The UK is still miles behind the rest of Europe though; in Scandinavia child car seats are rear facing until the age of 5 and their low fatality figures indicate that they must be doing something right.

This doesn’t mean that forward facing seats are ‘dangerous’, they merely aren’t ‘as safe’. Children in rear facing seats absorb less force on impact throughout an accident, compared 50kg to 300kg, reducing neck, spine and internal injuries. Rear facing seats will be more awkward to fit for older kids as they will be bulkier and less comfortable owing to the leg room available.

Ultimately, the most important issue is that child car seats are properly fitted, as it’s the drivers responsibility to ensure this.

Earlier this year Which? Magazine conducted a survey with Halfords and Britax.

The findings revealed:

  • Only 6% of parents stated they received any fitting advice from retailers
  • Half the parents in the survey didn’t know if they had even purchased the right car seat for their model of car
  • 80% of child car seats are not fitted properly.
  • 9 out of 10 parents reported having problems fitting seats
  • 55% of parents reported that they use  second hand car seat which are less effective
  • One in five parents allow young children to travel in another person’s car without a car seat.

The findings from the survey indicated that most of the UK’s best selling 22 seats would fail to prevent serious or fatal injuries. It further also highlighted parents knowledge of child car seats to be woefully inadequate. For example, most parents didn’t realise that child car seats should never be used on seats fitted with airbags unless the airbags are deactivated.

Lobbyists are trying to get the Government to make it law for all children up to the age of eleven to be properly restrained while in a vehicle. One of the seats tested, sold by Mothercare, a Daytona model, scored 0 out of a hundred. Mothercare has since claimed that it’s withdrawn the seat from its stores, but Which? allege that the new version is identical and are advising parents not to shop for it.

Experts advocate using properly fitted child car seats like the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OBCKDA0″ locale=”UK” tag=”tennrackrevi-21″]Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat[/easyazon_link] or even the [easyazon_link identifier=”B009O1P2OK” locale=”UK” tag=”tennrackrevi-21″]Britax First Class Plus Rearward Facing Group 0+1 Car Seat[/easyazon_link] as these provide adequate protection.

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Halfords and different industry leaders suggest using ISOFIX which is supposed to be a good child automobile seat safety system. ISOFIX stands for International Standards Organisation Fix which is an innovative way of using mounted association points instead of a seatbelt and allows for less complicated safer installation. It’s claimed ISOFIX can significantly reduce the danger of wrongly fitted seats as well as reduce the possibilities of a child being hurt in a collision. Halfords help fit child car seats with ISOFIX and give a 16 point safety checklist.

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