According to a recent study carried out by What Car?, more than half of children (59%) are sitting in car seats which are incorrect for them.
The survey revealed that almost two-thirds of children have been placed in incorrectly fitted or otherwise inappropriate seats, many of them due to parents being unsure of when to move a child from one stage car seat to the next.
Global car seat Cybex has stepped in to release a guide for consumers, ensuring maximum safety for their children as the move can daunting, especially as some car seat groups overlap.
The advice – which retailers should also pass onto consumers – is that:
- Height and weight are more important than age. When the top of the child’s head reaches the highest point in the car seat, then it’s time for the next stage.
- Shoulder straps test. If the shoulders straps are level with the baby’s shoulders then the child fits that car seat. If they have to come up and over the child’s shoulders, then the child is ready for the next stage.
- Rearward facing for as long as possible. In the UK, parents have to use a rearward-facing car seat for their baby from birth until 15 months (regulation R129). It is widely recognised that it is beneficial to continue rearward facing for as long as possible for maximum safety.
- Don’t rush to a booster. It is much safer to keep a child in a five-point harness until they reach the right height and weight.