Firefighters urge parents and cares to make sure child car seats are fitted correctly

Parents and carers across South Gloucestershire are being invited to make sure their child car safety seats are fitted correctly.

On Tuesday 21 September firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service will be joined by South Gloucestershire Council’s Road Safety Team, Mothercare, Britax and Avon and Somerset Constabulary at Kingswood Fire Station, Tenniscourt Road, Kingswood.

Between 10am and 3.30pm parents and carers will be able to pop into the station, have their child safety seats checked and talk to experts about how to pick the correct seat for their vehicle.

This event follows a similar one in May where faults were found in 80% of car seats checked. The issues identified by staff from retailer Mothercare and car seat makers Britax included twisted belts, headrests in the incorrect position and fasteners not connected.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Station Manager at Kingswood, Matt Peskett, said: “Figures suggest that a child is 90% less likely to be killed in a collision if they are properly restrained.

“As an emergency service we respond to road traffic collisions and all too often witness the devastating effects of these types of incidents, so we hope this event will help ensure families in our area are as safe as possible when travelling on the roads.”

Members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Road Safety Team will also be providing eye checks for drivers and police will carry out road hazard perception tests.

Cllr Brian Allinson, executive member for planning, transportation and strategic environment, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for families to get expert advice on selecting and correctly fitting a child car seat. This kind of free advice could save a child’s life, so I urge families to go along to the event at Kingswood Fire Station next Tuesday.”

Until parents and carers get the opportunity to have their car seats checked by experts, Avon Fire & Rescue Service suggests the following advice:

  • Research which seats are most suitable for your vehicle;
  • Only buy a seat that carries the United Nations ECE R44.04 safety mark;
  • Make sure your retailer has trained members of staff who can fit and check your seat; and
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

If you would like to find out more information on child seats and upcoming events visit www.avonfire.gov.uk or www.protectchildgb.org.uk