Did you know 71% of children’s car seats are fitted incorrectly*, or are completely incompatible to the car or the child? But that there’s an easy way to get your car seat safety and set-up checked, completely free?
We’ve been working with Maxi-Cosi and last week went on a mini road trip across south London with our new 2WayPearl car seat to find out if we’d installed it correctly and see what goes on behind the scenes at Good Egg Safety car seat safety checks.
Good Egg Safety is an independent organisation supported by brands including Maxi-Cosi, and it offers free safety checks on car seats to see that they’re installed correctly are the correct fit for your child.
Take a look at the video we made of our trip that takes a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on, along with lots of tips from the Good Egg Safety expert on things like the new i-Size regulations, the importance of rear facing seats for younger children. And an impromptu car disco:
So what happens at the Good Egg safety checks?
- The Good Egg Safety checks take place across the UK at a variety of locations (find your nearest one here). Ours was in the car park of the giant local Sainsbury’s
- I was asked a few questions about the girls’ age, height and weight to check they were in the right stage of seat. I had no idea of the weight of either *terrible mother alert* – it’s not a massive issue but bear this in mind before you go!
- The Good Egg Safety expert then checked the seat was installed properly in the car and then once Florence was sat in it, that the harness was on the right setting and the straps were tight enough
- She marked us against certain criteria but most importantly, pointed out how to fix any errors and made sure the seat was set up as safely as possible
- P.S. It’s all *free*
What car seat safety tips did we pick up?
As you can see in the video we picked up a lot of useful tips. Here’s the key info:
The importance of the new i-size regulations…I’d heard about these but not really known what they were or why. There’s a Maxi-Cosi infographic about it here which explains it all really clearly:
How important rear facing is…We were sent the Maxi-Cosi 2Way Pearl seat and initially had it forward facing for the drive over (I hadn’t realised how much of a difference it made). There’s more info about i-Size and the importance of rear facing car seats here.
And here’s the car seat turned round accordingly.
Other useful car seat safety tips we found out in the check
- Babies are changed to forward facing far too early – the first stage car seats are often suitable for much longer than parents seem to think and can often be used up to 15 months
- The most common mistake parents make is not having the straps tight enough. I knew this and thought ours were pretty tight, but they weren’t tight enough
- Don’t put your child in the seat wearing a thick coat or snowsuit. Use thin layers, put a blanket over the top or put their coat on backwards over the top of the harness
- While they’re sat in the car seat, don’t let them hold anything that you wouldn’t throw at their face (so, nothing heavier than a soft toy). In a crash everything accelerates so even a sippy cup will have the weight of a brick. This means no books, iPads and so on
One thing to stress about the checks is that it’s not about telling you off. It was our first time using the seat and we’ve never used the base before – as you see in the video there were a couple of errors we’d made, but it was about making sure we knew how to get it right. As we said on the way home, car seats are something that seem simple, can be easy to set-up wrong, but are crucial to get right.
I’ve been telling everyone I know about these car seat safety checks because it was so useful for us (and it only takes about five minutes if you’re off shopping anyway). So go go go!
Thanks to Maxi-Cosi for working with us on this post and sending us the 2Way Pearl car seat and isofix base. * stat from Good Egg Safety.