Sainsbury’s Motor Insurance is urging parents not to buy second-hand child car seats because it is impossible to know if they are safe or whether they have been damaged in an accident.
Latest research reveals that some 713,000 child car seats (around 14 per cent) currently in use are given by a friend or family member or even bought second-hand and that around a quarter of a million (5 per cent) may need replacing because they have been involved in an accident or minor bump.
Recent analysis of the online auction site, Ebay, confirms that trading in second-hand car seats is a reality, with some 131 “used” child car seats for sale on the website. Sainsbury’s motor policies offer new-for-old replacement seats after an accident as a standard feature, even when there is no perceived damage.
In addition to the importance of using a brand new child car seat, Sainsbury’s also warns that parents should make sure that they choose one that is compatible with their car and ensure that it is fitted correctly. Some two-thirds of child car seats are not fitted correctly. Below is useful advice when buying and installing child seats:
Is the child seat suitable for my child? It is essential that the child restraint is suitable for your child. Check the packaging before you buy.
|My Child’s Weight and Age||Suitable Restraint|
|Child weighing up to 10kg (22 lbs) roughly from birth to 6 -9 months||Rearward-facing Baby Seat
|Child Weighing up to 13kg (29lbs), roughly from birth to 12-15 months||Rearward-facing Baby Seats
|Child weighing 9 – 18 kgs (20 – 40 lbs), roughly from 9 months – 4 years||Forward-facing child seat
|Child weighing 15 – 25 kgs (33 – 55 lbs), roughly aged from 4 – 6 years||Forward-facing child seat or/ booster seat
|Child weighing 22 – 36 kgs (48 – 79 lbs), roughly from 6 – 11 years||Booster cushion
Safety Standards : ISOFIX
ISOFIX stands for “International Standards Organisation FIX”. It is a standard for installing child seats into cars and is intended to make fitting child seats quick and simple.
When cars are manufactured, ISOFIX points are built into them. Child seat manufacturers also build ISOFIX fitting points on their child seats. This will enable ISOFIX child seats to be simply plugged into the ISOFIX points in the car.
ISOFIX is an essential development because many people find it difficult to fit child seats correctly, and many surveys have found that a high proportion of the child seats are not fitted securely enough.
ISOFIX is designed to solve all these problems. The ultimate aim is that any ISOFIX child car seat you buy will fit your car simply by plugging it into the ISOFIX points.