British parents are taking risks with their kids’ safety when driving, according to a study released by portable child restraint mifold and Brake, the road safety charity.
The new partnership is calling for greater awareness of in-car safety following the research, which found that – of the 2,000 parents surveyed – 34% have allowed their young children to travel without a suitable child restraint.
The study also revealed that 35% of children aged four and above have travelled using the car seatbelt alone while 20% of parents have used a cushion instead of a car seat. A shocking 16% even admitted to having travelled with their little ones in the boot.
Particularly worring was the fact that many parents did not know the dangers of a child using an adult car seat belt. Over half were unaware that in a crash situation a child can slide under a standard car seat belt, while over a third (36%) did not know that it can cause serious injuries.
“There’s certainly confusion among parents about what’s required to keep their children safe,” said mifold founder Jon Sumroy. “When a child is too small for a seat belt, as is the case before they are 135cm tall, it can cut into their face or neck and ride up onto their soft stomach – this is incredibly dangerous in the event of a collision.”
A spokesman for road safety charity, Brake, which has partnered with mifold, said: “Child safety is paramount and too many children are being affected by road crashes, devastating families and ruining lives. Parents need to take responsibility for keeping their children safe, whether in their own car or in vehicles driven by other family members or childcare providers, by using appropriate restraints at all times.”
The survey, which has been picked up by the national consumer press, was carried out through OnePoll.com and also found that a significant 85% of parents believe the Government should do more to raise awareness of in-car safety.