This week, leading child safety brand, BRITAX, has launched a nationwide initiative designed to educate parents about car seat safety in Group 2-3 and to highlight the dangers of using booster cushions with older children. The ‘Bin the Booster’ campaign urges parents to opt for high-backed boosters with side impact protection to ensure little ones are safe and secure on their travels in the lead up to summer and beyond.
The current law says that children must travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or approximately 12 years old, whichever comes first. With this in mind, many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the car seat belt sits across them at the right angle. However, BRITAX found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly*. They are often twisted, too high, or fitted around the seat and not the child.
Booster cushions also do not offer children any side impact or head protection, which is why BRITAX now only sells high-back boosters, which offer deep protective side wings and head support. Despite this, booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions, even though around 1 in 4 (25%) car accidents are from a side impact crash**. However, if the regulations change to include side impact testing, BRITAX experts do not believe that any new booster cushion would pass.
Recent research from consumer champions, Which?, reveals that 55% of 4-12 year olds are using a backless booster seat when travelling in a car and that 22%*** believe they offer the same protection as a high-backed booster seat. Like BRITAX, Which? experts recognise that this simply isn’t the case and so have also urged parents to switch their booster cushions for a high-backed option in a bid to keep children as safe as they can be whilst on the road.
Product developers at BRITAX design their products to provide protection during traffic collisions from every angle of impact. This protection includes deep side wings, head support and a v-shaped backrest which grows with the child to ensure comfort and security at all times. These are all safety features evident on BRITAX’s latest KIDFIX XP SICT car seat, which has set new safety standards within the industry with its energy absorbing seat belt pad, the XP PAD, and new adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT) for superior side impact protection. Also, to ensure the seat is perfectly in place every time, the XP range also uses ISOFIT technology to connect directly and rigidly to the ISOFIX fittings in the car.
BRITAX products surpass legal safety requirements and set high safety standards in the international market – and the company is not alone in its belief that booster cushions are not the safest option for children.
To help further educate parents about safety in Group 2-3, BRITAX has teamed up with leading parenting advice programme, Emma’s Diary, to run a week long campaign dedicated to getting out and about with children safely this summer. The week will include tips on giving your car seat a health check and what to look out for when purchasing a new Group 2-3 seat. The campaign, which will run from Monday 7th July, will also include a live Q&A on the Emma’s Diary Facebook Page with BRITAX safety expert, Mark Bennett, who will be on hand to answer any questions parents may have on the topic.
For more information on BRITAX’s range of Group 2-3 seats, visit http://www.BRITAX.co.uk/car-seats/award-winning-highback-boosters/award-winning-highback-boosters-home
* Based on internal BRITAX testing 2013
**Loughborough University, 21st International Tech Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2009 Stuttgart
*** Which? research of 1,000 parents conducted in April 2014: http://www.which.co.uk/news/