Children’s lives put in danger by parents and carers misunderstanding booster seat laws

Every single day, carers, parents and grandparents are putting children’s lives at risk by allowing them to travel on the roads in cars without booster seats, despite them not being old enough to travel without them.

Research amongst 1000 carers revealed that 74% of the respondents have already stopped, or plan to stop, using booster seats for children 10 and under, even the law states they must be used until the child is 12, or more than 135cm tall.

This research was carried out by BubbleBum, the first inflatable booster seat in the world, has shown that those respondents who regularly carry kids in their cars, were on the whole unaware of the laws that were passed in 2012 regarding the use of booster seats. 72% didn’t know when they were allowed to carry children without booster seats, and 75% didn’t know what purpose they served.

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.”