Research shows that, in a crash at just 30 mph, an unrestrained or incorrectly restrained child can be thrown forward with a force 30 to 60 times their body weight. Common problems with child seats include:
- Seat belt too loose.
- Seat belt not routed through child seat correctly.
- Buckle crunch (buckle is resting against the frame of the seat).
- Handle on baby seat not positioned correctly.
- Child seat incompatible with car.
- Child seat is old and in bad condition.
- Wrong size for the child.
Tips to help make sure your car seat is fitted correctly courtesy of RoSPA.
- Buy the correct sized seat and seek advice.
- Follow manufacturers instructions on fitting.
- Check with the car manufacturer that your seat is compatible.
- Replace a child seat if it has previously been in a crash.
- Only ever buy brand new child seats.
A campaign has been launched in Birmingham to raise awareness of the dangers of incorrect use of child car seats.
Tests at Asda in Small Heath in January found 19 out of 25 car seats checked were incorrectly fitted.
In most cases this was because they were too loosely fitted, but some were the wrong type or size.
Every year in Britain, around 15 children aged between birth and 11 years old are killed while travelling in cars, about 225 are seriously injured and over 5,000 slightly injured.