County checks reveal that majority of child car seats are incorrectly fitted

PUBLISHED: 12:01 29 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:28 06 May 2010

THE MAJORITY of children s car seats in the county are incorrectly fitted or dangerous - that was the shocking finding of a round of checks carried out during the last two weeks. Seven out of ten parents were told their children s car seats were not adjus

THE MAJORITY of children's car seats in the county are incorrectly fitted or dangerous - that was the shocking finding of a round of checks carried out during the last two weeks.

Seven out of ten parents were told their children's car seats were not adjusted properly when qualified fitters from Herts County Council's (HCC) Road Safety Unit and retailer John Lewis checked them at 10 local supermarket car parks.

The assessors were stunned to discover that 70 per cent of the 800 seats checked were incorrectly fitted.

Some were so badly fitted that had the car been involved in an accident, the seat would not have protected the child from injury.

Among the problems discovered were loose seats, seatbelts routed incorrectly, carrying handles left in the wrong position, children in the wrong seat for their age and weight, and seats not being compatible with the car.

In some cases the parents were upset to learn they had fitted their child's seat incorrectly while others knew the seat was loose but had no idea how to rectify it.

County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "The aim of these checks was not to catch people out but to ensure that parents were aware of the dangers of an incorrectly-fitted seat - but we were nevertheless horrified to discover so many problems.

"There's no point in spending a lot of money on a seat and then not fitting it correctly in the car - which could put the child's safety at risk."

He added: "Once again, we'd like to remind people never to buy a child's seat without trying it in the car first, and always go to a retailer where they have properly-trained staff who will match the seat to the child and the car."

Anyone concerned about the compatibility of their children's car seats or needing help and advice can contact Barbara Crane at the Road Safety Unit on 01992 556814 or barbara.crane@hertscc.gov.uk

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