13 December 2022
By Tom Collins
Over half of child car seats (56%) checked by the Road Safety Authority’s Check it Fits service were incorrectly fitted and needed some type of adjustment to make them a safe fit. If a child’s car seat isn’t fitted correctly, it could lead to a serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.
The RSA are delighted to announce that their face-to-face child car seat checking service – Check it Fits –is back on the road visiting locations around the country after a two-year absence due to the Covid 19 pandemic and is coming to Cork on 13th, 14th and 15th December 2022.
Car seats may seem simple to install, but the installation is often easy to get wrong. The RSA have found that almost a third of seats fitted incorrectly needed major adjustments *. We know parents are not intentionally putting children in danger and it is an education issue. To help address this problem, the RSA Check it Fits service will be visiting County Cork, to help parents and ensure car seats and restraints are correctly fitted.
Aisling Sloyan, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer for the RSA commented:
“While the RSA’s experience with its Check it Fits service shows that half of child car seats are fitted incorrectly, worryingly, it found that 30% of these needed a major adjustment to fix them. For example, the seat being excessively loose so as to make the fitting almost ineffective. 67% were minor adjustments, for example, the fitting being loose or a twisted seatbelt. Having a correctly fitted car seat is a simple measure parents, grandparents and guardians can take to ensure children are safe while travelling by car. I would encourage people to visit the Check it Fits service when it comes to County Cork and give yourself the peace of mind that your children are travelling safely.”
The service takes between 10-15 minutes and runs from 10.00am – 5.30pm, it is free of charge and offers parents and guardians reassurance that their child is safe while travelling in the car. It is a walk-in service, no appointment needed.
It is important to use your child car seat correctly every single time during a car journey so parents should regularly check the fitting of your child car seat or get it rechecked at a Check it Fits service. For example, if you got your child car seat fitted in winter now coming into the summer months you may need to tighten the harness as your children are wearing lighter clothes. If your child’s car seat or restraint is incorrectly fitted, the Check it Fits experts will advise on how to fix the problem, demonstrate how to fit the restraint correctly and answer any queries participants might have to avoid potential serious or fatal injury in the event of a collision.
Schedule of events in Cork:
Garvey’s SuperValu, Tiknock, Cobh, Co. Cork, P24 CY96
Tuesday 13th December 2022
10:00am – 5:30pm
Collins’s SuperValu, Main St, Carrigaline Middle, Carrigaline, Co. Cork, P43 A096
Wednesday 14th December 2022
10:00am – 5:30pm
Riordan’s SuperValu, Courthouse Rd, Rath-Healy, Fermoy, Co. Cork, P61 AX04
Thursday 15th December 2022
10:00am – 5:30pm
Top Tips for Parents:
It is now EU law that all children must travel in a child seat, booster seat or booster cushion.
The golden rule for choosing a child car seat is making sure it is suitable for your child’s weight, height and age and that it conforms to the latest EU safety regulations (look for the ‘E’ mark).
Do not use age exclusively as a guide while picking a car seat, as every child is different.
When buying a child car seat, make sure you go to a retailer or visit the Check it Fits service who can show you how to fit it in your car. If the child car seat will be used in more than one car, make sure it’s compatible with additional cars as well.
In order to increase awareness of car seat safety and reduce misuse rates, the RSA has launched a new voluntary Code of Practice for Child Car Seat retailers. The new Code of Practice will ensure that best practice is achieved when parents or guardians are buying a child restraint system. People should look out for the RSA’s Code of Practice stickers in retailer outlets or you can check the list of participating retailers on rsa.ie.
Avoid using a second-hand child car seat or restraint unless you know its history. It may have been damaged in a previous collision, and although the damage may not be visible, it won’t provide the same level of protection for your child.
Don’t move your child from a rearward-facing child car seat to a forward-facing child car seat too soon. If you’re unsure, always consult with your retailer before you buy your next child car seat.