Cleveland Fire Brigade are advising parents to think twice about buying a used car seat and are reminding all car passengers to buckle up and wear a seat belt.
The Brigade, part of the Cleveland Strategic Road Safety Partnership, says second-hand child car seats could be putting children at risk.
The drive for improved road safety comes with latest figures showing that between 2016 and 2020 there were 55 casualties in Cleveland who were not wearing a seatbelt when required. Of these, 16 were seriously injured and four were killed.
Steve Johnson, Senior Area Manager Prevention and Engagement at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “As emergency responders we sadly see first hand the consequences of drivers and passengers who aren’t correctly secured. The forces applied to a driver or passengers - even in a low speed crash – are considerable and anyone not property secured is thrown forward with substantial force.
“It is vital before setting off that all occupants are wearing seatbelts and extra care is needed to ensure children are secured correctly in the appropriate age related seat. Securing other objects you might be carrying in your vehicle including pets is also important. It only takes a second to buckle up and it is a potential life saver.”
Andrew Corcoran, Chair of the Cleveland Strategic Road Safety Partnership said: “Your child's safety is paramount and it is import to be alert to the dangers posed by unsafe or poorly secured child seats and restraints. A previously damaged seat might not show visible signs leaving it weakened and unable to protect your child properly in the event of a crash. It could also have missing or worn parts that aren’t visible. If a second hand car seat is your only option please follow the advice below.”
- Don't buy anything that you suspect may have been involved in an accident. It won't give the same protection as a new one.
- Check that nothing is missing – including the instructions.
- Buying from family or friends is a good idea because you'll know the history of the seat.
- We do not recommend buying from car boot sales, free ads and other sources where you don't know the seller.
- Seek professional advice on suitability and fitting from a trusted retailer or get a Free Good Egg Child Seat guide at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/roadsafety
- Remember that safety standards are updated regularly and older seats may no longer be of the required standard
The partnership also advise parents when disposing of damaged or old seats to remove the seat covers and cut off the straps so they can’t be re-used.
Child Safety Week 1- 6 June. https://www.capt.org.uk/pages/category/child-safety-week