A report published today has revealed that a worrying 34% of 8-11 year olds in the UK are not using a booster seat on a car journey. UK law states that a child under 12 or less than 135cm in height must use a booster seat.
The report conducted by Good Egg Safety suggested parental feedback had attributed booster seats as not being ‘cool' as a reason for the lack of regard for this legal requirement. Worryingly, this news comes as statistics from the Department for Transport show that there is an increase in the number of children being killed or seriously injured in collisions. There was also an increase in the amount of children in the 8-11 category sustaining minor injuries in car accidents.
In 2014, there were 2,040 causalities among 8-11 year olds –
they make up almost half of all injuries among those under the age of 12. The
safety checks revealed that 79 children were found not to be in a car seat at
all, when they should be. Of those using a booster seat, a high
number of them were found to be fitted incorrectly. Parents can face a fine or
even penalty points if their child is not travelling correctly. You can read
the rules here.
Jan James, Good Egg Safety Chief, said: "We are very concerned about the results showing that a third of older children are not using a suitable booster seat. Not only is it a legal requirement for children to use a booster until they are 12 years old or 135cm, but equally importantly seat belts are designed for adult use and are not suited to a child's anatomy.
"A booster lifts a child up high enough that the adult seat belt fits across their hips and chest safely. If older children do not use a booster and are too small for the seat belt, the belt can cause very serious – or even fatal – injuries."
Sarah-Jane Martin, spokesperson for Brake, the road safety charity said: "These figures are very worrying and show that we're not taking child car seat safety seriously enough. It's vital that all parents understand that it's not just toddlers who need protecting. We're supporting Good Egg Safety with this important awareness raising campaign and ask all parents to ensure that their child has the appropriate safety seat fitted."
What are your thoughts on this? Do you struggle to get your 8-11-year-old in a booster seat or are you insistent on it? Let us know below.