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New Video Campaign Warns Parents Against Booster Cushions

By raccars Published

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The parents of children between the ages of 4 and12 are being hit by a new safety campaign, urging them to 'bin the booster' and make sure their children travel in a proper child seat. Car seat maker, Britax, has produced a hard hitting crash test video demonstrating the effects of a crash on a child in both forms of restraint - and it's not easy viewing.

Children aged between 4 and12, or 15-36kg, should use Group 2-3 car seats while travelling. These can include simple booster cushions or full child safety seats with a full back and sides. The Britax video shows that children using only a booster cushion are at a far higher risk of serious injury in the event of an accident. It shows a crash test dummy in such a seat being thrown against the car door and coming loose from the top part of the three point seatbelt. By contrast, the dummy using the full child safety seat remains upright and is held in place by the seatbelt and side supports.

Safety experts at Britax released the video to show the importance of lateral restraints, head support and properly fitting seatbelts, and are urging parents not to use booster cushions, which it says do not provide adequate protection for child passengers. Britax made the video at its own premises in Andover in Hampshire and is aimed at parents who do not fully comprehend the implications of switching from a full child seat to a booster. While all child seats, including boosters, are subject to EU safety tests, the procedure to apply standards to Group 2-3 seats does not include side collisions.

Family safety organisation, Good Egg Safety, welcomes the advice provided by Britax and backs up its opinion that booster cushions do not provide children with enough protection, should an accident occur.

Regulations state that children under 12 or 135cm in height must use a child seat while travelling. For the first 15 months or until they weigh 9kg, children need to be in rear facing child seats, after which it is legal - if not always recommended - to switch to a forward facing seat. Forward facing seats then graduate according to weight, and legally, children weighing 22kg and over can use a booster cushion. When buying child seats, parents should always follow the fitting instructions very carefully - most shops will be happy to show you how they should be installed on your car.

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