A research survey of one-thousand British parents conducted in 2019, revealed fifty-percent were guilty of the negligent commuting of a minor – albeit their own children, friends or family. Their offences included, children overcrowding the rear-seats, incorrect use or absence of a child restraint system, D.U.I and leaving children in the car to sleep but unsupervised.
In the U.K, negligent parents face a £500 penalty and three demerits for an incorrectly installed child protection restraint system…‘ignorantia legis neminem excusat’…ignorance of the law is not an excuse! U.K road traffic safety laws permit only EU-approved, i-Size-certified child car-seats; cross-reference the specifications of the child car-seat with both your child’s weight and height – moreover your rear-seats and the child car-seat must be a perfect match. Some vehicles have only one or two pairs of ISOFIX baby-chair anchors in the rear but not in the front passenger-seat. A passenger-side installed baby-chair must face rear-ward and the airbag deactivated – it is illegal in the U.K to drive with the passenger-side airbag activated with a minor in a child-seat. The onus is on parents to become the foremost authority on how to correctly install a child-seat – do not rely on the store attendant and steer clear of online child car-seat purchases. Safety experts recommend you use a child car-seat for all children under 1.5m tall, a statutory traffic law in Europe, Ireland, and a little over the U.K’s 1.35m legal requirement.
Among the myriads of child car-seat regulations and safety rules. Let these three be the bedrock, cornerstone and pillars: first, a baby car-chair is intended for travel purposes only – it must never be used as a cot or crib. Next, observe the two-hour rule. Your baby or toddler must never be restrained in a baby-carrying device for longer than two-hours – worldwide infants and toddlers have succumbed to positional asphyxia as a result. Thirdly, baby car-chairs and other baby carrying devices are not intended for unsupervised sleeping or extended nap-times – whether inside-or-outside the car. An excellent indicator to determine the safest position to install your baby-car seat: you must be able to clearly see your baby’s nose, mouth and face square on; and without any difficulty or dexterity be able to gently lean-over and kiss them on the lips.
Written by Dean Joseph