Parents and carers putting childrens’ lives in danger
Parents, grandparents and carers are putting childrens’ lives in danger by allowing them to travel in cars without booster seats before they are legally allowed. The research of 1,000 carers showed that three-quarters of respondents (74%) have stopped or plan to stop using booster seats while their children are aged ten or under, despite the law saying that children must be aged 12, unless they are over 135cm tall.
The research carried out by BubbleBum, the world’s first inflatable booster seat, showed that respondents – who all regularly carried children in cars – were largely unaware of the 2005 laws relating to booster seats. 72% of those surveyed did not understand when it was permissible to carry children without booster seats and 75% did not know the purpose of booster seats.
Every year 1,423 children aged 11 and under are killed or seriously injured whilst travelling on UK roads - and travelling by car is when Britons are most worried that children are at risk of injury, with 41% citing this as their main concern. With key travel periods on the horizon and May half term and summer holidays fast approaching, usual travel safety habits may be left behind. When using rental cars, travelling by taxi or having three children in a row in the back seat, it is important to plan for all eventualities.
Men confess that they are less likely to use a booster seat and seat belts for children as regularly as women. In addition, women are more likely than men to keep a child in a booster seat for longer – 58% of men will stop using a booster seat when a child reaches 8 years of age, compared to 43% of women.
Martin Howard, spokesperson at Brake, said: “It is alarming that so many drivers are unaware of the height and age at which children are safe to travel without using booster seats. Children have delicate bodies and are never more at risk than when travelling as passengers on the roads, and it is therefore vital that they are provided with the correct support. Brake is calling for parents, grandparents and carers to ensure that children are carried safely in booster seats until they are over 150cm tall, in line with EU recommendations. We are also urging the Government to invest in educational campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of not using booster seats, which will help ensure that drivers are not unwittingly putting children’s lives at risk”.
“These findings offer real insight into the limited knowledge parents today have about booster seat safety,” said Grainne Kelly, CEO of BubbleBum. “It’s apparent that whilst many parents are doing everything they can to keep their children safe in cars, there’s no real understanding of the protection provided by booster seats. There is clearly a lot of work to do to educate about not only the law but the reasons why it’s in place, and to make sure parents aren’t putting the lives of children at risk. This is something that we’re passionate about and working hard to do, as ensuring that your child has the right booster seat for their height and weight can have real results in the event of a collision.”