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Importance of child seats for in-car safety

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Car seat safety

The Department of Infrastructure's Road Safety Team is reminding people of the importance of using correctly fitted child car seats.

Injuries to young children can be significantly reduced by the use of a suitable child restraint for journeys by road.

With the Easter school holidays under way, people are being urged to travel safely and to ensure that any family or friends visiting the Isle of Man bring the necessary in-car equipment with them.

Legislation was introduced in 2007 requiring children in cars to travel in the appropriate restraint – baby seat, child seat, booster seat or booster cushion – until they reach either 4ft 5ins (135cm) in height or 12 years of age.

It is estimated that about 7 out of 10 child car seats are not fitted or used properly. Further guidance and information is available on the Department's website.

John Houghton MHK, Member of the Department of Infrastructure with responsibility for Road Safety, said:

'Easter is a popular time for families with young children to visit friends and relations in the Isle of Man. It is essential for the correct child restraints to be used for car journeys, as they can be lifesavers in the event of a traffic collision. We want people to remember their holidays and days out over Easter for all the right reasons.'

Members of the Road Safety Team can offer advice and check that car seats are fitted correctly. Call 686671 to make an appointment.

Always ...

• Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully when fitting the seat and keep them for future reference.
• Try the seat before you buy if possible; not all child restraints fit all makes and models of vehicles. You should use the child's weight to determine your choice of seat, age should only be used as a guide.
• Ensure the belt is not twisted and the buckle is not resting in the seat's frame.
• Adjust the harness every time the seat is used.
• Allow only two fingers thickness between the harness and your child's chest.
• Make sure that the harness rests across the child's pelvis with the shoulder straps level with or slightly above your child's shoulders.
• Immediately replace a child restraint that has been involved in an accident.

Never ...

• Under no circumstances should you use a rearward facing child car safety seat in a passenger seat equipped with an airbag.
• Never use a second-hand seat unless you know its history; it may be damaged or worn out, and may not have the correct fitting instructions.

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