Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Car Seat Safety Guide

I spent some time at Nursery World this week helping out with their launch of Kids World - a showroom specifically for kids and mainly things like car seats.

They are doing a lot of work with their team on fitting the right car seats, especially infant carriers. If you are looking for a car seat for your new baby, then take a look at their site:


Here are a few pointers from them:

Guide to Car Seat Safety

The Regulations

The law says that all children up to 135cm tall, or under the age of 12, whichever is first, traveling in a vehicle must use the correct child restraint for their weight. There are very few exceptions to this.

Each year, about 30 children under the age of 11 are killed while traveling in cars and around 400 are seriously injured. The proper use of child car restraints would prevent many of these deaths and injuries.

In a 30 mph crash, an unrestrained child would be thrown forward with a force more than 30 times their body weight, injuring themselves and possibly others in the car. The safest way for children to travel in cars is to use a child seat that is suitable for their weight and size. A properly fitted child restraint keeps the child in their seat and reduces the likelihood of death or injury in a crash.

Nursery World have trained car seat fitters to ensure you can choose the correct car seat for both your child and your car. Below is a Guide to Choosing a Child Seat, but nothing replaces the one-to-one assistance the Nursery World team can offer at the store in Blackpool.

Choosing a Child Seat

The most important thing is to make sure that the seat you choose is suitable for your child and for your car. If you use the child seat in more than one car, if for example a partner or grand-parent also uses the car seat, you should check the fit for each vehicle.

Before you buy review the manufacturer's websites and brochures to help you gain an understanding of what is on offer.

Consider how you will use the seat. Answer the following questions:
• Will be constantly lifting it - a lighter weight seat might be preferable
• Will you be moving it in and out of the car - a base unit may be a good idea
• Do you do long journeys - a reclined seat or carry cot style may be better
• Will a child minder/grandparent use the car seat - isofit may be better to avoid confusion of belt routing

Choose a seat that is suitable for your child's weight and height.
• Babies need to be in rearward-facing infant carrier, and should stay in this for as long as possible. The maximum weight for most infant carriers is 8kg - but check the handbook for the car-seat to double check their weight limits.
• Once your child has reached the maximum weight for their rearward-facing seat or the top of their head is above the top of the seat, they can be moved into a forward-facing car seat.

Buying a Child Car Seat
Always try before you buy. Most retailers will not allow you to return a car seat that has left the shop. At Nursery World we will help you try the car seat. Pop in to see us - we have ample parking.

Do not buy a second-hand seat, you cannot be certain it hasn't been involved in an accident. The damage can be invisible and could have seriously weakened the protective properties of your seat. Second-hand seats are likely to be older and not designed to updated regulations. The instructions are often missing.

For more information take a look at the Car Seat Safety Guide on the Nursery World Website.

You can always access Nursery World via www.everydaymaternity.com

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