More than one in every three child car seats recently tested in Wiltshire were not fitted correctly.
Wiltshire Council’s trading standards team, working with nursery products provider Baby 2000, carried out free safety checks up and down the county on 141 child car seats and of those, 54 were deemed to be incorrectly fitted.
The vast majority needed minor adjustments, some needed re-routing of the adult safety belt that holds the child seat in place, some were inappropriate for the child and one seat was inappropriate for the make of car it was in.
Wiltshire Council and Baby 2000 representatives were also on hand to offer advice to parents.
In the event of an accident the car seat is intended to minimise injury to small children. If the effectiveness of the seat is reduced, the likelihood of more serious injury is greater.
Parents and guardians of children are legally required to fit their car with an appropriate car seat for the age and weight of their child. As children grow at different rates, each stage of the child’s growth must therefore be adequately catered for at the appropriate time.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public protection, Jerry Wickham said: “It’s clear that these types of events are needed and we hope the advice provided and the free checks will potentially save lives.
“If people are unsure if their seats are correctly fitted or not I’d urge them to contact the manufacturer or retailer for advice and, at the very least, get some peace of mind.”
The safety checks took place during the recent Child Safety Week, organised by Child Accident Prevention Trust, to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.