This week is Child Safety Week and IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has put together five key tips to keeping your child safe in your vehicle. Read Richard's useful information about fitted car restraints and ensuring your child has a safe and comfortable car journey.
If your child is 12 years old or younger they must be in an appropriate car seat.
The child seat you use may need to be different to the one your friend who has the same aged child has. This is because your car seat needs to be in line with the legal requirements for your child's height and weight. You can find out more information here.
Car seats often get worn, so be sure to check for any wear and tear. Take a look at the manufacturers tag to check the expiration date.
Make sure the seat in suitable for your child as well as it being compatible with your car. ISOFIX is the international standard for attachment and most modern vehicles have compatible mounts. If your car seat is secure, there shouldn't be room for it to move around. If you have any doubt, it's always best to seek professional advice.
Always install the restraint on the back seat of your car where possible. If the front is the only option, ensure the front passenger airbag controls are disabled by taking your car to a garage.
Small children are more at risk of spinal cord injuries in a front facing seat, so make sure you place them in a rear facing one for as long as necessary.
Richard said: "Toddlers don't like to sit still, so will try and get their arms out. Double check the harness is the correct height and pulled comfortably around your child. If you are in any doubt, seek advice from a professional.
"Check regularly to see that your child is still strapped in correctly and if you are unsure, pull over somewhere safe to check this. Keeping your child occupied can avoid them being tempted to try and wriggle out."