- Ensure the seat you are using is the right one for your child and that it is secured properly, it should not move around.
- Check the car’s seat belts too, to make sure that they release smoothly, and that they aren’t worn or frayed and that the shoulder straps are adjusted properly.
- If possible use ISOFIX, it is the international standard for attachment and the safest way to secure a car seat.
- Always install the restraint on the back seat of your car where possible. If the front is the only option ensure the front passenger airbag is switched off, if you are unsure as to how this is done take the car to a garage.
- Small children are more at risk of spinal cord injuries in a front facing seat, so make sure you place them in a rear facing one for as long as necessary. New regulations from the EU say that babies under 15-months-old must sit in car seats that are rear-facing. This is because babies and young children’s heads make up 25% of their total body weight compared to just 6% for an adult so if there is a frontal impact and the child is facing forward, the forces would be too much for the child to withstand.
- Under a new regulation i-Size your child’s height not weight is the deciding factor to determine what car seat is best suited to your child.
- All new seats are tested to European standards. Look for the E mark on the seat.
- Never use a second-hand seat if you don’t know its history as it could be damaged or have been involved in a collision in the past
- High back seats are safer than booster seats, particularly in the event of a high-impact side collision so don’t be too quick to move children to booster seats, keep your child in a high-back seat until they are 150cm in height
- The RSA ‘Check it Fits’ Service travel all over Ireland on a full time basis holding regular car seat fitting clinics where you can get the fitting of your seat checked by trained fitters. Check their website for further details
11th September, 2017