I’ve been waiting to write this blog for a number of months now, but we haven’t been able to do it until now. However, timing is everything and as we are just getting back into the new school year it seems the right time to post it.
My daughter has reached that magical 135cm tall, so legally she no longer needs to use any form of child seat.
But that isn’t going to happen…. Not on my watch!
She will continue to use a car seat until she’s 150cm. Not because I’ll an overprotective mother, a terrible driver or even because I’m a Director at Child Seat Safety. I’m doing it because it makes absolute sense (and because I literally love the bones of my little human.)
So I thought I would show you why …. It’s really simple, we took the following three photos
1. High backed booster – upper body protection, diagonal belt across the breast and collar bones. Using the shoulder guide to ensure it stays in position in an impact.
2. Booster cushion – No upper body protection, but the diagonal belt does sit across the breast and collar bones. However, the diagonal belt could easily move into the neck in a side impact.
3. No seat – She’s legally allowed to travel like this, but the diagonal belt is not across the breastbone and the collarbone but sits into the side of her neck, which could do some serious injuries in a collision.
And it’s not just my daughter in our car – this is the beautiful Millie, she’s 137cm tall pictured in their Renault Clio.
So why is this legal, but clearly not safe for her?
Car seatbelts are fitted by manufacturers into cars with a requirement to fit a person who is 150cm – THAT’S 15cm taller than my child!
If I was to travel to other European countries including Southern Ireland, their Road Traffic laws state that a child has to be 150cm tall before they can just use the vehicles adult seat belt without any sort of child seat.
SHAME ON YOU – UK ROAD TRAFFIC LAW!
“But Billy doesn’t use a seat!”
Now I know I am in a different position than most parents, in that I haven’t had any arguments from my children about the fact that we choose to continue to use our High back boosters until they are 150cm, because they understand my job and it plays a big part of our everyday lives.
But I also fully appreciate that convincing children who are 135cm tall or above, that you know best is really hard, we have had countless conversations with 8 and 9 year olds at enforcement and check events, who think they know better, because “Billy, in my class, doesn’t have a seat”
So I tell them to go to YouTube and type in “Highback booster v booster”
Or click on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cH5WaYpCfg. It’s not graphic or scary and kids love seeing crash tests! This shows clearly the difference between a highbacked and booster in a side impact collision – check out where the dummies head makes contact with the car door on the booster seat clip and then ask them to imagine what could happen without a seat at all? I remind them that they aren’t 11 and ½ stone and 150cm tall, so just for a short while it’s worth using their existing seat.
And for those of you that are seeing this issue at your school, why not ask them to send out the attached note to all parents of the Keystage 2 children. You might just save a life.
135cm infosheet b+w black and white version (2 leaflets per page)
135cm infosheet colour version (2 leaflets per page)
Child Seat Safety Ltd