Leading child safety brand Britax is calling on parents to ditch booster seats over fears that they do not offer enough protection in the event of an accident. Supported by video footage that shows how two group 2-3 car seats, one high backed and the other not, have shockingly different outcomes. The dummy model is seen hitting its head on the side of the car with the booster cushion seat whereas the one with a high back seat stays more contained within the seat.
Both a booster cushion and a highback booster were put through a simulated frontal collision, with the highback booster providing far more support. The child sized dummy in the booster cushion is violently thrown forward and hits its head on the side of the vehicle, dangerously freeing itself from the upper belt, whereas the dummy placed in the highback booster is kept in place and protected by the side wings and headrest.
Britax is raising the issue in order to keep more children safe and secure on
their travels. Current UK law requires children to travel in a car seat until
they reach 135cm tall, but Britax argues that they do not offer enough
protection. As well as booster seats offering no head and side impact
protection, Britax's research discovered that 49% of seat belts used to secure
child seats may be fitted incorrectly, often being too high or twisted. Seat
belts were also fitted around the seat rather than the child.
Britax only sell highback boosters and their products surpass legal safety requirements, for example including energy absorbing seat belt pads and adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT).
Mark Bennett, safety expert at Britax, commented: "After watching this footage, parents will think twice when choosing a Group 2-3 car seat as it is incredibly haunting and really demonstrates the importance of deep protective side wings, head support and seat belt guides to ensure that seat belts are correctly positioned and fitted. We are calling for all parents using booster cushions to switch to a highback booster option and help us further spread the word about the inadequate protection these cushions provide - it could save precious lives this summer!"CEO of Good Egg Safety Jan James, supported Britax, saying: "We welcome this powerful footage from Britax which really drives home the dangers of booster cushions. The nerves in the neck don't stretch well and a collision which throws the head forward with the force demonstrated here could potentially result in catastrophic injuries to their child as a result. Good Egg Safety highly recommends the use of a high back booster for that extra vital protection."
Find more information about Britax here.