20 August 2010>
Local motorists have been offered the chance to have their child car seats safety tested as part of a safety drive to identify unsuitable or poorly fitted equipment.
Trading Standards Officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council carried out checks and offered help and advice to parents at two free safety testing sessions held this summer.
Over the course of the two days a total of 185 child car seats were examined, with 52% failing the tests with at least one fault.
Cllr Lyn Ackerman, Cabinet Member for the Environment said, "The overall aim of these events was to raise public awareness about the lack of protection provided by an unsuitable or badly fitted car seat. With just a little extra knowledge, parents can help ensure their children are safe during car journeys and help prevent possible injuries should car accidents occur in future."
During the safety testing sessions, some of the faults identified were minor and were rectified by the team of experts on hand.
Other faults however included the seat being unsuitable for the child or incompatible for the vehicle. 11% of the faults were classed as major and included the incorrect routing of the adult belt with the result that the child would be offered little or no protection in the event of an accident.
Some parents also brought along newly purchased seats that had not yet been fitted into their vehicles. The experts were happy to demonstrate fitting for these, as well as provide advice to those seeking general advice about in-car safety.
Also apparent from the safety check sessions was how eager some parents are to move children up to a booster cushion.
The suitable weight range for a child to use a booster cushion is between 22kg and 36kg, but the event saw some booster cushions being used by children far too early. All children under 135 cm (4 ft 5 in) in height and 12 years of age must use a suitable child restraint by law.
It is important that children travel using the correct restraint for their weight range and drivers must not allow children to use only the adult belt too early. Drivers commit a criminal offence if they allow a child under 14 to travel without a suitable restraint.
For further information, please contact Trading Standards on 01495 235 291.
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