Belt up - it is the law!

The laws governing how you transport your children in cars are about to change - later this year (September 18), children under 12 or under the height of 4'5" will have to be in car seats, on booster seats with backrests or booster cushions when travelling in England or Wales.

However, research commissioned by Toys R Us has revealed that less than a third of parents have the required car or booster seats. The toy store is working with Britax to make parents aware of the changes - and shift some merchanidise no wonder.

If you're concerned, pop down to your local store where advisors aer on hand to conduct safety checks and and help parents with concerns throughout July and August.

Top tips for car safety:

1. Don't buy second-hand - the seat could have invisible damage and may be unsuitable for your car.

2. The WEIGHT and HEIGHT of the child are more important than the age
of the child - which is only to be used as a guide. So always go by weight
recommendations rather than age when buying your car seat.

3. Ensure the car seat you choose is compatible with ALL the cars it
will be used in. Or consider purchasing separate seats, especially if your
child regularly travels in another car other than your own. Ensure that
anyone who takes your child out in a car knows how to fit and secure the
child seat and monitor its use.

4. Make sure you ask the sales assistant to show you how to fit the car
seat into your car. They will remove the seat from your car and ask you to
refit it, if you are unsure, don't be afraid to ask them to show you again.

5. Always check the tension of the adult seat belt after fitting and
make sure it is as tight as possible, this will minimise the seats forward
and sideways movement.

6. Always check for 'buckle crunch' where the seat belt is bent around
the seat frame.

7. Check that your baby is secure in the car seat harness and
comfortable before you set off.

Mostly common sense, but anything making car travel safer is a plus in our book.


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