Check It Fits - Car Seat Safety Campaign
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Research conducted at the Road Safety Authority's 'Check it Fits' Road show in September 2007 has revealed that 3 out of 4 parents are fitting their child car seats incorrectly. Similarly, almost half of the child car seats checked would have provided little or no protection to the child in the event of a crash.
To educate parents of the importance of child safety in cars, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is bringing its 'Check it Fits' Road show to 6 venues nationwide.
When did the 'check it fits' roadshow start & has it made a difference?
The first Check it Fits Road show was held in 2005, when it visited five locations nationwide. Since then, two further Check it Fits road shows, with another road show beginning this Saturday at Marshes Shopping Centre. It is difficult to establish the level of difference it has made as we have visited different locations during each road show in order to raise awareness of the importance of fitting child car seats correctly nationwide. However, we are confident that more people are informed of the absolute necessity of getting their child's car seat fitted by an expert and will seek this expertise when purchasing a child restraint.
What are the statistics emerging from last years roadshow?
. Road Safety Authority's 'Check it Fits' Road show in September 2007 has revealed that 3 out of 4 parents are fitting their child car seats incorrectly.
. Only 1 in every 4 child restraints was correctly installed.
. 1 in every 20 car seats checked were deemed condemned.
. Almost half of the child car seats checked would have provided little or no protection to the child in the event of a crash.
Why is it so important to get the right car seat?
. Ireland had the 2nd highest child casualty rate of the old EU 15 Member States in 2006 were 35% were passengers in a car. Although this can't be specifically linked to car seats being fitted in correctly, ensuring a child is properly restrained in a child car seat can reduce injuries by a factor of 90-95% for rear-facing seats and 60% for forward-facing seats.
Four types of car seats:
1: Rear Facing Car Seat
. Weight: For babies up to 13kgs (29lbs)
. Approximate Age Range: Birth to 12-15 months
Rearward-facing seats provide greater protection for the baby's head, neck and spine than forward-facing seats. So, it is best to keep your baby in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible. Only move them to a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for the baby seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.
2: Front Facing Car Seat
. Weight 9-18kgs (20-40lbs)
. Approximate Age Range 9 months -4 years
Only move your child to a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the maximum weight for their rearward-facing seat, or the top of their head is higher than the top of the seat.
3.Booster Seat & Booster Cushion
. Weight 15-25kgs (33-55lbs)
. Approximate Age Range 4-6 years
***Some booster seats are designed to be converted into a booster cushion by detaching the back rest.
3: Booster Cushion
. Weight22-36kgs (48-79lbs)
. Approximate Age Range 6-11/12 years.
Booster cushions do not have an integral harness to hold the child in place. The adult seat belt goes around the child and the seat. So it is important that the seat belt is correctly adjusted.
IFOFIX is now being fitted into all new cars, it will take the stress and the strain out of seat belts and is simply two plugs which will hold the car seat in place and is suitable for all seats.
ALL CARS & CAR SEATS WILL HAVE THE IFOFIX PLUGS AS STANDARD FROM NOW ON BUT IF YOU HAVE AN OLD CAR MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WITH THE SHOP EXPERT TO SHOW YOU HOW TO FIT THE SEAT CORRECTLY IF YOU ARE USING THE REAR AND FRONT FACING OR BOOSTER SEATS.
Points to note:
. The right seat depends on the height and age BUT MAILNLY THE WEIGHT of a child
. All seats must conform to EU Safety standards ( Mark to show safety codes on seats)
. All children to 1.5m in height should be in a car seat (approximately 11-12)
Who is the onus on the fit the seat correctly?
The ultimate responsibility is with the parent, however, mark urges parents to seek the proper advice and ask for help fitting the seat on purchase.
Where is the roadshow taking place this year?
The "Check It Fits" Road show 2008 will take place in the following venues across the country from Saturday 27th September.
DATE, VENUE, TIME:
Saturday 27th September Marshes Shopping Centre,Dundalk 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday 28th September Blackwater Retail Park, Navan 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Monday 29th September Bray Retail Park, Bray 10:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 1st October Wexford Retail Park, Wexford 10:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday 2nd October Poppyfields Retail Park, Clonmel 10:00am to 5:00pm
If I can't get to any of these areas where should I go?
Always check with the shop where you buy the car seat and ask them to help you install it. Always buy your car seat from a reputable shop and ask for their expert.
The road show is currently in the process of running twice yearly, last year the road show visited majority west coast areas, this is why the venues are more east this year.
The golden rule for selecting and installing a child car seat is to ensure that it is not only appropriate for their and weight but that it also conforms to EU safety standards. Come down to the 'Check it Fits' Road show and we'll give you advice on how to choose the most appropriate car seat for your child as well as showing you how to install it.