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Four out of five child car seats aren't properly fitted

“You could have the best car in the world and best seat in the world but they could not work together.”

Image: Shutterstock/Melpomene

PARENTS ARE BEING warned to ensure their children’s car seats are properly fitted.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) will today launch a partnership with Toyota which will expand their free child car seat checking service.

The Check It Fits programme aims to prevent injuries by ensuring that car seats are properly fitted. The programme has been running since 2013 and has checked over 21,000 child car seats and restraints in Ireland.

Of that, four out five (79%) seats required a major adjustment, of which 3% were deemed not fit for purpose and condemned, meaning they could have caused injury or even death in the event of a collision.

Aisling Leonard of the RSA told TheJournal.ie that the biggest issue that arises is for children who are changing car seats.

“It can go from simple things like not having the belt tight enough or not having adjusted the harness tight enough to other things.

Another thing we come across is that people don’t know when to move their children on. So you have children using seats beyond the recommended weight which can be serious. If the harness is only tested up to 18kg and you have a 20kg child in there, that can be a problem.

To that end, the RSA has some advice, Leonard says.

“Know the height and weight of your children, make sure the car seat is properly fitted and make sure they’re compatible with your car.

“You could have the best car in the world and best seat in the world but they could not work together.”

Leonard says that the RSA has seen instances where children without proper car seats have been killed or injured.

The RSA service aims to check 10,000 child car seats in its first year. The Check it Fits service visits every county in Ireland throughout the year. For a full list of venues, click here.

Read: The State spends millions on road safety campaigns each year – but are they effective?

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