Child Car Seat Checks Results Revealed
65 checks were carried out by officers from the council’s Road Safety Unit during a week of Car Seat Clinics around the county at the beginning of September. The checks were carried out in Newtown, Brecon, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells.
Road Safety Officers checked the fit and suitability of the child car seats and found that only 9 of the seats did not need any adjustment. In addition to the 48 seats that needed a minor or major adjustment, officers recommended that 8 seats were not used as they did not meet current regulations or safety checks.
A common fault included the headrest interfering with the child car seat, where there should be no contact. When fitting a rearward facing baby seat, check the position of the carry handle – there should be a picture on the side of the seat. The handle will normally, but not always, need to be in the upright position or towards the baby’s feet.
There should also be a gap between the baby seat and the seat in front and finally, the harness straps should be tight enough that you can just slip two fingers flat between your child’s body and their collar bones, ensuring there are no twists in the straps.
Powys Road Safety Officers are trained to give advice on the fit and suitability of a child car seat and are available to conduct checks throughout the year. During the whole of 2014/15, Road Safety Officers checked a total of 289 seats and provided advice to 387 individuals. Only 75 of the 289 seats ‘passed’, which equates to 26%, however, the officers were able to rectify the problems of the remaining 214 seats.
Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Please do not be afraid of asking for our advice. We are trained and available to offer advice and show you the correct way to fit your child car seat.
“With so many makes and models of seats available, it can be confusing for parents and carers to know if the seat is correct for the child, the car and also to ensure that it is fitted correctly. We are also urging parents to ensure that everyone responsible for their child knows how to fit their car seat. We have seen a number of relatives who have said that mum or dad have put the car seat in and that is how it has stayed.”
Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said “Child car seats need to be fitted correctly in order to protect your child in the event of a collision. I would recommend that parents contact the Road Safety Unit if they have any concerns about their child’s safety or for a free check, which will only take a few minutes of their time.”
For advice or to arrange an appointment to check your seat, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01686 611586 for Montgomeryshire or 01597 826637 for Breconshire & Radnorshire, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can even ask for advice via the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys