Friday 5 June 2015

The importance of a good car seat

My girls have got to that size where they are asking me if they have to keep using their booster car seats. They are only a month off of 8 years old but both are above the 135cm threshold and of course my preference is to keep them using seats, that is the safest thing for them and safety has to come before convenience or their street cred, surely?

Halfords certainly think so and as part of national Child Safety Week (1-7th June 2015) they are happy to check the fit of any car seat (bought from anywhere) and I love this sort of thing; when a big brand realises that safety is more important than sales and profit and they go out of their way to do the right thing.

I've been buying car seats for in excess of 12 years now and we have had quite a few different ones and I'll confess that my first one was bought on design and style rather than fit. It really was a revelation to me to know that not all car seats fit all cars and some offer much better safer than others, so please do make sure that you get yours checked out. I just happened to be lucky and the seat was a good fit for my then Ford Fiesta but of course it got lugged between my car, my husbands and my parents and it is all too easy for the fit to then be wrong.

Danielle Slater, Halfords child seat product manager, agrees “We know that child safety is the number one priority for customers purchasing a car seat. However, whilst we ensure every seat that we sell is fitted properly when it’s first purchased they are often removed for use in a second car or loaned to grandparents, which can mean they aren’t correctly fitted again when re-installed." 
“Safety groups estimate that as many as 51 per cent of child car seats in use are incorrectly fitted – so we are using Child Safety Week to help raise awareness of the danger and offering free car seat checks at all of our stores to give customers peace of mind. We want to ensure that every parent, grandparent and carer is confident when refitting their car seat.”  Good job Halfords!

If when you are at Halfords you find a car seat you prefer or that the one you have does not actually fit they are offering a special 5% discount. Just use this code at checkout B16CS01.

I'll leave you with some top tips from Halfords for choosing your next car seat; 

•         Double check that the seat you want is appropriate for both the size and weight of your child, and your car. Did you know, for example, forward facing car seats can only be used for children over 9kg that can sit unaided and support their own head? 

•         Think about how you will be using the seat, if you will be taking it in and out of the car is it convenient to secure? 

•         When fitting the car seat, make sure it is stable with no excessive forwards or sideways movement 

•         Remove all loose items from where the seat will be fitted – and never fit to a seat with an airbag 

•         Look out for side impact protection for extra safety just in case 

•         To cater for a growing child, look out for adjustable headrest and harness so the seat can grow with them

Those are great tips and from a pragmatic point of view I'd also add in to make sure you get a seat that has removable covers. The amount of times my kids have been sick or had little 'accidents' (you know the sort) and I have been glad of covers that can be thrown in the machine!

So do make sure you head to your nearest Halfords this weekend and get a free safety fit check on your car seat. You can find your nearest store on their website -

I reviewed the inflatable car set - the Bubble Bum back in 2011 and whilst it is popular with many, it wasn't a hit with me!

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