Child car seats safety checks in Norfolk

Stock image of Norfolk firefighters Kim Scotney and Mark Sands carrying out previous child seat fitting checks
Stock image of Norfolk firefighters Kim Scotney and Mark Sands carrying out previous child seat fitting checks

Families in Norfolk are being given the opportunity to get their child car seats checked.

The county council’s road safety team and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews have taken to the roads today to embark on a three week programme of free child car seat checks.

They will be hosting 18 events, including one at Sainsbury’s in London Road, Thetford, from 10am-2pm on August 2, where parents will be able to get their child seats checked and quiz the experts about any aspect of road safety.

More Norfolk children are killed or seriously injured in a car than as a pedestrian or cyclist, with one in three child car seats in the county fitted incorrectly.

The council’s experts are also hoping to encourage parents to keep their children rear facing in the car for longer.

A spokesman said Scandinavian countries routinely keep their children in a rear facing seat until they are four or five years old which research proves is five times safer than the UK approach of putting a child in a forward facing seat at around nine months old.

Iain Temperton, the council’s road safety manager, said: “I would urge anybody carrying young people to visit one of our events. It will only take five minutes but that will be time well spent if it improves the safety of the next generation of road users.”

Alistair Steele, a consultant anaesthetist, said: “During my time as an air ambulance doctor and as a trauma doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn I have seen too many children severely injured from car accidents.

“In addition to the messages about driving safely we really want to help parents and carers get the right advice about child safety in cars, and there is a confusing array of restraints and booster systems available.

“The best thing to do is to take advice from a professional car seat fitter to ensure you’ve not only chosen a safe seat but also it is installed correctly. Well fitted, rear facing seats in the back of the car are probably your best chance of protecting children in the event of a crash.”

For a full list of the roadshow events click here.