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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Road Safety Authority
Over half of child car seats found to be incorrectly fitted, Road Safety Authority says
The RSA has launched a new voluntary code of practice to assist child car seat retailers and consumers in response to its findings.

RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has found that over half of child car seats are incorrectly fitted. 

56% of child car seats checked by the RSA’s Check It Fits service were incorrectly fitted and needed some type of adjustment to make them a safe fit.

The RSA has warned that car seats that are not fitted correctly can lead to a serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.

Following this research, the RSA has launched a new voluntary code of practice for child car seat retailers in order to reduce misuse rates and increase awareness of car seat safety. 

It said the new code of practice means families can be confident that they are getting the best advice and guidance on the most suitable car seat for their child and their car. 

So far, 15 child car seat retailers have committed to the new code of practice, covering 40 stores across the country. 

Aisling Sloyan, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer and Child Car Seat Expert with the RSA, said that 30% of seats found to be fitted incorrectly needed a major adjustment to fix them, such as the seat being excessively loose so as to make the fitting almost ineffective.

Minor adjustments were found to be needed for 67% of the seats, such as the fitting being loose or a twisted seatbelt. 

“This new Code of Practice will help the public feel confident that they are getting the correct information they need from retailers when buying a child car seat. This includes help on deciding the correct seat for their child’s weight, height, and age. All child car seat retailers and manufacturers are welcome to participate in this Code,” Sloyan said. 

Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the new code of practice and commended the manufacturers and retailers of child car seats that have adopted it. 

“It is through practical measures like this, where we all work together, and achieve our core target of the new Road Safety Strategy, which is to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030,” she said.

Sam Waide, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, said: “The point of sale, where child car seats are bought and sold, is critical to driving down misuse rates of child car seats. I would like to thank all the retailers who already go above and beyond when providing customer care and after sales support.”

Waide also appealed to retailers who haven’t signed up to the new code of practice to “please do so”, deeming the measure a win/win for everyone.

“Parents get the reassurance that what they are buying will keep their child safe and for the retailer it’s a unique selling point for your business. Most importantly of all its going to save lives and prevent injuries on our journey to Vision Zero where we eliminate all deaths and injuries by 2050,” he said. 

Garda Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry said: “The importance of proper fitting of a child car seat cannot be underestimated when it comes to protecting the safety of our younger passengers when travelling in cars.”

“It is equally important to know how to properly adjust car child seats as a child grows. When carrying children in a vehicle, drivers must ensure that they use the correct type of child restraint for the height and weight of the child passengers. This initiative will help ensure that best practice is followed when buying a child restraint system.”

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