Monday, July 21, 2014

Boosters and Beyond





To follow on from here - and the confusion regarding car seats, boosters and high-sided protection - comes a piece from BRITAX to steer us through the minefield of car safety and seats for our children.




BEYOND GROUP 1, WHAT NEXT?
Mark Bennett, Car Seat Safety Expert from BRITAX explains that as children move to a Group 2/3 stage car seat, safety whilst travelling should remain a key priority.



With many families setting off on journeys in the car this summer, it’s important to run a health check on your car seat to make sure it’s still the perfect fit for your child. This will ensure they are comfy and happy on their journey and you can rest assured that they are safe and secure whilst travelling.

It may feel that only yesterday you were buying your first car seat for your newborn and then just when you were getting to grips with Group 1, the next stage car seat will sneak up on you. Whilst your little one may appear to be a strong big boy or girl as they reach the age of four, keeping them safe whilst travelling is still top priority.

Mark Bennett explains, ‘Many parents are still unaware that it is required by law for children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old - whichever comes first - so the final Group 2-3 stage car seats will see your child from the age of four all the way until they are 12 years of age.

At the age of four or 15 kg, children are old enough to move to a Group 2-3 seat with adult seat belt but this doesn't mean they don't need the same level of protection.  Many parents believe children will be safe on a booster cushion, a small platform that lifts them up on the seat, however these are not safe as they do not have the all important side impact protection of deep side wings and a protective headrest.

Mark Bennett has compiled some FAQ's to help parents understand the final Group 2-3 car seat stage and how to choose the seat that’s just right for you and your family.

Q. What is a booster cushion?  If they are sold why are they not safe?
At BRITAX, we're always striving to ensure that we offer the maximum protection for your children as they develop.  With recent research showing that side collisions are one of the most frequent and fatal types of crashes on the roads*, BRITAX decided to stop selling booster cushions.
Booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions, however if the regulations change, our experts do not believe that any new booster cushions would pass. 

Booster cushions are better than no car seat, however they offer no side impact protection. BRITAX recommend a BRITAX 'highback' booster, which offers deep protective side wings and head support. These work to absorb crash forces in the event of a collision whilst protecting the child's head.

Q. How do I know when my little one is ready to move to Group 2-3?
You should move your little one from a Group 1 to a Group 2-3 seat when they reach the weight limit of 18kg, or if their eye-line is higher than the seat's highest point - whichever comes first. This is usually at the age of four years.

Q. Can I buy an XP-PAD to add to my old Group 2-3 seat?
No. The XP-PAD is integrated into the KIDFIX XP SICT.

Q.  What actually is the current law when it comes to car seat safety for 4 + year olds?
It is required by law for children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or approximately 12 years old whichever comes first.

Q. How do you fit a Group 2-3 car seat?
A Group 2-3 car seat can be fitted by ISOFIT, where the child safety seat is attached to the vehicle body with connectors in the same way as ISOFIX.  It is classified as ISOFIT rather than ISOFIX as the child is secured by means of the adult 3-point seatbelt. ISOFIX is a term used in Group 0+/1 where the child is secured by means of a five point harness, and the car seat is fitted to the ISOFIX connections points.

Q. How do I know which is the best Group 2-3 seat for my family?
Every family is unique and has different considerations and practicalities to consider when choosing a seat. To help simplify the process, BRITAX has created a unique online tool that assists a parent to identify the right seat for their child and their car. For each seat, Fit FinderTMwill also inform the users what seat positions are approved in the vehicle and the appropriate fitting method. You can view the latest Fit FinderTM here http://www.BRITAX.co.uk/car-seats/fit-finder.




Saturday, July 05, 2014

"Bin the Booster" with BRITAX




You may be aware of my previous posts on car seats and car safety, all of which stem from my friends being in a horrific car accident - luckily they all survived, but in an instant their lives changed beyond recognition.  Today I want to tell you about a new campaign "Bin the Booster" which is relevant to all mummys and daddys with children between 15-36kg.

From Monday BRITAX has teamed up with leading parenting advice programme, Emma’s Diary, to run a week long campaign dedicated to getting out and about with children safely this summer. The week will help further educate parents about safety in Group 2-3 and will include tips on giving your car seat a health check and what to look out for when purchasing a new Group 2-3 seat. The campaign, which will run from Monday 7th July, will also include a live Q&A on the Emma’s Diary Facebook Page with BRITAX safety expert, Mark Bennett, who will be on hand to answer any questions parents may have on the topic.







BRITAX URGES PARENTS TO BIN THE BOOSTER AND TRAVEL SAFELY THIS SUMMER
BRITAX partners with Emma’s Diary to advise parents about the benefits of high-backed boosters in Group 2-3

This week, leading child safety brand, BRITAX, has launched a nationwide initiative designed to educate parents about car seat safety in Group 2-3 and to highlight the dangers of using booster cushions with older children. The ‘Bin the Booster’ campaign urges parents to opt for high-backed boosters with side impact protection to ensure little ones are safe and secure on their travels in the lead up to summer and beyond.

The current law says that children must travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or approximately 12 years old, whichever comes first. With this in mind, many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the car seat belt sits across them at the right angle. However, BRITAX found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly*. They are often twisted, too high, or fitted around the seat and not the child.

Booster cushions also do not offer children any side impact or head protection, which is why BRITAX now only sells high-back boosters, which offer deep protective side wings and head support. Despite this, booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions, even though around 1 in 4 (25%) car accidents are from a side impact crash**. However, if the regulations change to include side impact testing, BRITAX experts do not believe that any new booster cushion would pass. 

Recent research from consumer champions, Which?, reveals that 55% of 4-12 year olds are using a backless booster seat when travelling in a car and that 22%*** believe they offer the same protection as a high-backed booster seat. Like BRITAX, Which? experts recognise that this simply isn’t the case and so have also urged parents to switch their booster cushions for a high-backed option in a bid to keep children as safe as they can be whilst on the road.

Product developers at BRITAX design their products to provide protection during traffic collisions from every angle of impact. This protection includes deep side wings, head support and a v-shaped backrest which grows with the child to ensure comfort and security at all times. These are all safety features evident on BRITAX’s latest KIDFIX XP SICT car seat, which has set new safety standards within the industry with its energy absorbing seat belt pad, the XP PAD, and new adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT) for superior side impact protection. Also, to ensure the seat is perfectly in place every time, the XP range also uses ISOFIT technology to connect directly and rigidly to the ISOFIX fittings in the car.
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BRITAX products surpass legal safety requirements and set high safety standards in the international market – and the company is not alone in its belief that booster cushions are not the safest option for children. 

For more information on BRITAX’s range of Group 2-3 seats, visit http://www.BRITAX.co.uk/car-seats/award-winning-highback-boosters/award-winning-highback-boosters-home



Friday, June 27, 2014

Tears and Foolishness







I often "pause for thought" just before work - a moment of reflection to start the day. Sometimes a piece resonates deeply and the following blessing did just that; it gives me permssion to be angry; to cry tears of rage, frustration and hurt;  and, every once in a while, to be silly and headstrong and foolish. On hearing these words, my very existence - my role in this world - was confirmed... and off to work I went.  




A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.


May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.


May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.


And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.


Sister Ruth Fox