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Buckle up in March for Child Car Seat Safety Month

Wiltshire Council and partners are running three child car seat safety check events in March to give advice and guidance on the safe fitting of child car seats, and remind people to always use the correct car seat.

Published 24 February 2020

The three free events, which run from 9am-4pm and will be attended by Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Wiltshire Police, will allow parents and carers to have a free fitting and safety check of their car seats.

The three car seat check events across the partnership area, which includes both Swindon and Wiltshire will be at:

  • Devizes Fire Station, Monday 2 March
  • Salisbury Fire station, Tuesday 3 March
  • The County Ground car park, Swindon, Wednesday 18 March

The law requires all children passengers to be in an appropriate child seat, with all seats displaying the weight, height and age of child they are suitable for. Children aged under 3 years must use a correct child seat in the front or back of the car; children aged 3-12 or under 135cm tall must use a correct car seat in the front and in the back where a seatbelt is fitted; children aged over 12 or more than 135cm tall must use a vehicle seatbelt.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: It's so important that car seats are fitted correctly, and that people check their vehicle handbook and the seat manufacturer's guidance to keep their children safe.

Statistics show that children are more likely to be killed or seriously injured as vehicle passengers than as any type of other road user, so it is vital that people use the correct car seat to keep children safe.

These free roadshows are a great way to get your car seats checked to ensure they're safely fitted, to give you piece of mind when on the road.

How to keep your children safe in the car:

  • Always use the correct car seat for your child and vehicle, no matter how short your journey.
  • Check your vehicle handbook and the seat manufacturer's guidance to ensure that a seat is compatible with your vehicle.
  • Don't be tempted to use a second-hand car seat. It probably won't come with fitting instructions and you may not know how long it's been used for, how it's been looked after or if it's been in a collision.
  • Always follow the fitting instructions provided with the seat. Seats fitted using a vehicle's seatbelt have coloured guides to help blue for rear-facing seats and red for front-facing.
  • If you have an Isofix seat, ensure the drop-down foot is securely on the floor and/or the top tether is firmly attached to the vehicle mounting point.
  • Don't rush to move your child into the next stage seat. As long as their head is still in the seat, it's safe.
  • Ideally keep your child in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 15 months old or 13kg, as this is proven to be safer in frontal impacts.
  • If you are using a rear-facing seat in the front passenger seat, ensure you deactivate the airbag first.
  • Although you can still use a booster cushion without a back if you have one, they can no longer be sold for use by younger children. A booster seat with a full back will protect your child's upper body.
  • Check that the seat harness is tight enough by using the pinch test. Try to pinch the webbing together if you can, it's not tight enough.
  • Remove thick coats before fastening the harness.
  • If you are using an infant carrier for a newborn, limit the amount of time they spend in the seat to no more than two hours at a time. If you're making a long journey, take regular breaks and take your baby out of the seat.
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