Child Car Seat Safety

Is your child in the correct car seat?  It might be time to think again. 

A recent legal case raised the issue of car seats and it will no doubt make all parents think very carefully about how their children are secured in a vehicle.

The facts of the case were that the child was aged three years and two months. Her mother had placed her onto a booster seat and put the adult seat belt around her. The child’s mother had read the manufacturer’s manual.  The child was happy and comfortable on the booster seat, and her mother had seen other parents with similar-sized children securing them in exactly the same way.

They were involved in a very serious head-on collision with another car.  The other driver was at fault as they were under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the accident. The child in the booster seat was very badly injured.

The Court considered whether a proper child seat with a 5-point harness should have been used.

The decision was that the child’s injuries were more severe than would have been the case, had the correct safety seat been used. The amount of compensation awarded was reduced by 25%.

It must have been a bitter blow to a mother who was far from reckless or thoughtless, who had purchased safety equipment, and read the manual, then used her knowledge of her own child and her judgment.  The Court accepted that the child’s mother was “an excellent and caring mother whose daughter’s safety was naturally of paramount importance to her” but she was still partly responsible for the seriousness of her daughter’s injuries.

For the up-to-date law on child car safety, visit the link below.