Which? issues Easter child car seats warningIs your car seat putting your child at risk?

25 March 2016

Child sleeping in a car seat

Keep your little one secure by following our essential child car seat safety knowledge

Are your children or grandchildren as safe as they should be in their baby or child car seats? Discover the simple checks you can do to help keep your little one safely strapped in this Easter.  

The RAC is predicting 16 million cars will be on the road over this Easter bank holiday, with around a third getting out there on Good Friday as the Easter getaway starts. 

If you're planning on joining the throng, make sure your little passengers are as safe as they can be with our expert top tips on child car seats. 

Child car seat reviews - Need to upgrade your car seat? We crash test each car seat reviewed.

Top five tips for car seat safety

  • 1) Check your car seat fits
    A poorly fitted seat can affect crash protection and by the time you find out it could be too late. Don't take the risk. Get your car seat fitted by an expert when you buy it, then get hands on yourself and check the seat regularly. If you've lost your instructions, download a new copy now.

    How to fit a child car seatwatch our expert, step-by-step video guides to help you.
  • 2) Check the harness
    In our child car seats survey in Spring 2015, 6% of parents admitted they don't fit the harness tightly enough, but car seat experts suspect this figure might actually be much higher. A poorly fitted harness could reduce crash protection when you need it the most. Always check that your baby or child is held in his or her car seat securely before you set off.

    10 essential child car seat fitting checksdownload our free PDF to double check your car seat.
Parent fitting child car seat

You can make simple checks to ensure your child's car seat is safe

  • 3) Replace your backless booster seat
    Backless booster seats are temptingly cheap and legal to use, but they lack any crash protection for your child's head and chest if you're involved in an accident where your car's hit from the side. The older the car you drive, the worst this could be. 

    We currently do not recommend backless booster seats, especially for younger children. Swap to a high-backed booster seat as soon as possible.

    Booster seats and multiple group car seatswatch our shocking testing footage and see for yourself.
  • 4) Remove bulky clothing
    Large coats or bulky clothing will prevent the car seat harness from being tightened around your child properly, making it less effective in a crash, so take them off before putting your child in his or her seat. If you're worried about your baby getting cold, use a fleece layer.

    Common car seat mistakesdiscover other car seat pitfalls and how to avoid them.
  • 5) Know the law
    UK law states that all children up to 12 years of age or 135cm (whichever comes first) must use the correct child car seat. Don't risk a maximum £500 fine. It's illegal not to use a child car seat for any passengers 12 years or under, whether they're your children or a friend's. It's the drivers responsibility to ensure all children are properly buckled up.

    The law on child car seatsmake sure you're clued up to avoid a potential fine.

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