Taking a trip to the seaside, zoo or theme park this summer? If you have kids, the chances are you’re likely to do at least one of these three things over the next couple of months. Whilst the attraction and adventure will to doubt be full of fun and memories, the journey itself can get quite tedious, especially if you live far from any top attractions.
If the journey gets tedious and makes you restless, imagine how your kids feel! If you want to ensure journeys with kids are happy and tantrum-free, here are a few things you should avoid:
Sure, the scenic route might be prettier, and you might get to see some things that you like the look of, but in reality the trip isn’t about you. The trip is about the whole family and having a great day out. So in that respect, you shouldn’t take unnecessary detours and only stop for comfort breaks where necessary.
You may have just fed your kids breakfast about 2 minutes before you hit the road, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t get peckish an hour or two into the journey. Kids can get thirsty, particularly if you’re travelling on a hot day, so ensure there’s enough to hydrate them and keep them satisfied. It’s not the end of the world if you forget snacks, as there will no doubt be service stations you can stop at along the way, but this will significantly add to your journey and could cost you an extra small fortune.
Ignoring kids’ grievances
Sure, you might have a child that says they don’t need the loo when you leave, only to proclaim ‘I need a wee’ a mere 15 minutes into your journey. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them, as a false alarm is better than the alternative! Similarly, ignoring cries of ‘I feel sick,’ could have disastrous consequences. If your child is a particularly bad traveller, take a trip to the pharmacy beforehand for something that could help settle their stomach.
Whether it’s the kids’ favourite film soundtrack (Let it go! Let it go!) or some innovative car games, be sure you’ve come prepared or else you could be in for a solid hour of ‘are we nearly there yet?’
Don’t underestimate how curious and confident toddlers are, especially when you’ve specifically told them not to do something. Always ensure your car is central locked, with a child lock on the back passenger doors where possible. Also, ensure your child is strapped into their car seat or booster properly, to minimise the risk of injury in a crash situation. If your child likes to remove their belt and wriggle around in the seat, a huggybelt could help keep them safe. By ensuring the seat belt rests at the correct position on your child’s body at all times, your child will be best protected in the event of a crash.
By following some of these tips, you can ensure your journeys with kids are happy and fun, almost as good as the day you’ve planned at your chosen destination!
As the summer holidays roll around, you may be planning to take your kids on a holiday abroad or a staycation. Either way, this can involve a fair bit of travelling, so it’s important to ensure your kids are safe and happy along the way. Thankfully, a huggybelt can help with the former.
Whether you’re driving to a holiday home or caravan, or simply making your way to the airport, the huggybelt is an ideal way to ensure your child is fully protected on the journey. Working in tandem with your child’s car seat or booster, the huggybelt ensures the seat belt sits in the correct position on your child’s body. This means it’s highly unlikely to fall off, and can offer maximum protection with less chance of sustaining injury should you become involved in a crash.
Home or away
The great news is that a huggybelt is flexible and portable, so you can take it with you wherever your child goes. If you plan to rent a car while abroad, simply unclip the huggybelt from the Isofix point, fold it up and pop it in your hand luggage. Whilst the rules of the road may vary slightly in other countries, you can still ensure your child is protected in case of a crash by taking your huggybelt with you.
It’s worth bearing in mind the belt’s portability when you are at home too. If your child is going on a trip with a friend’s family, you can easily remove your huggybelt to transfer to another car, in the event that the other car owner does not have a huggybelt.
Keep the kids amused
When you’re sure your child is comfortable and safe in the car, the hardest part begins – keeping them amused! Fortunately, there are plenty of games you can play that everyone in the car can enjoy. For instance, if you’re on a car journey abroad, you could play spot the difference between there and home. If you’re in a rural area, you could each pick a farm animal and see how many you can find before you stop. Why not check out our car games for Easter travellers post for more inspiration?
Whether you’re travelling at home or abroad this summer, our tips should keep your kids safe and happy. If you haven’t purchased a huggybelt yet and want one in time for the summer, you can get yours from Halfords, Tesco, Amazon or Baby Security. Each come with express delivery options so you needn’t be without yours for long
When it comes to child car safety, there are great laws in place ensuring our children are protected appropriately with the best equipment available. With standards for car seats and specific guidelines for each stage of your child’s growth, it’s fairly easy to make sure your child is strapped in to their specific requirements.
However, despite legislation stating which car seats should be used for which age groups, and standards that safety equipment must meet, there’s still a risk that your child is not being protected to the best level possible. This is why it’s necessary to seek the help of safety experts to help install your car seat.
It can be difficult to get right
Laws exist to ensure protection to a minimum standard amongst safety equipment such as car seats and boosters. The equipment you buy could be the best and safest in the business, but it might be tricky to install correctly. Each seat and booster is different; even within brands car seats of different sizes can have completely different fitting instructions.
It could be that you are not correctly fitting the seat yourself. This is usually through no fault of your own, as an upgrade to your child’s seat could mean installing something in a completely different way than before. You are not alone in this instance, as 9 out of 10 parents this year have said they’ve experienced problems fitting a car seat, according to a survey conducted by Halfords and Britax in association with Mother & Baby magazine.
In addition, you need to be sure the seat is compatible with your car, or the equipment may not be installed to the best fitting position. Over half of parents are not sure that they have purchased the right car seat equipment for their car.
Older cars for example, may not have ISOFIX points, which is something many new car seats and boosters rely on to secure them in place. It’s worth checking the make and model of your car before upgrading your seat, and similarly if you’re upgrading your car, it’s worth noting the features and whether it would be compatible with your existing car seat or booster.
If installed incorrectly, your child could be in danger
As much as 70% of 3,000 seats checked by Good Egg Safety in 2015 had been installed incorrectly. This is worrying as it means that kids sitting in those seats could be put at serious risk in a crash situation. In short, the seat could fail and offer little to no protection for the child, should an accident occur.
Experts are everywhere
The good news is, experts are everywhere. Good Egg Safety are relentless in their child car safety campaigns and can be found checking seats and helping parents up and down the country throughout the year. Check here for events near you soon.
In addition, Good Egg Safety have worked with TRL to develop courses which car seat retailers, professionals and individuals can study in order to become child car safety experts. Anyone with their CPD certification will be able to help you check your car seat is fitted appropriately. Always ask the retailer about their safety qualifications and how to fit a car seat before you consider purchasing.
The week focuses on a variety of different aspects, but the main aim is to raise awareness of the risks children face, and how to prevent accidents from happening. One of the main areas looked at throughout the week is road safety, and how we can help prevent child accidents on the roads.
With the theme in mind, parents are asked to focus on technology in terms of their children using devices as pedestrians and adults using technology in cars. For instance, your older children may already have mobile phones, if not a tablet or portable gaming device. The temptation for children to message friends, watch YouTube videos or send Snapchats on the way home from school can often mean that your child will not be paying 100% attention to their surroundings. As with road safety campaigns in the 90s where youths were encouraged to remove earphones as a distraction for crossing the road, children are also being asked to stop using their devices before crossing any street.
That’s just one facet of road safety that Child Safety Week looks at. The other element is of technology in cars. Some technology has been fantastic, for example sat-navs, hands-free kits for your phone and sensors to warn you if someone doesn’t have their seat belt on. On the other hand, technology can also be a distraction. In 2015, over 5,500 people were caught using a mobile phone at the wheel. This is not only a distraction, it becomes a danger to those in your car, and other road users. It also leads a bad example to your children, who may then grow to develop the same bad habits.
With more than 2,000 child deaths per year attributed to road accidents, there has never been a better time to focus on road safety and the things we can do to protect our children. A huggybelt is a great piece of equipment which can help in the event of a crash, but if we can stop dangers such as technology distractions, we could well prevent crashes happening in the first place.
For more information on how you can get involved in this year’s Child Safety week see the Child Safety Week website.
The weather is getting warmer and the nights are certainly longer, which means one thing – summer is almost in our reach! With that in mind, plenty of families will be planning trips over the break, to see family, to visit attractions and of course travelling for their summer vacation.
Whatever you do this summer, make sure you and all the family have a safe and happy time in the car. After all, figures have shown that more incidents involving children tend to occur on the roads in summer than in winter, so it pays to make sure your little ones are protected as best as possible. Here are a few summer safety car travel tips:
The simplest yet most overlooked thing to do is to ensure all family members are belted up properly. It may come as a surprise to learn that most parents don’t know if their car seat is fitted properly or not, so it pays to take your seat (and car!) to your nearest Halfords or local safety day to ensure your seats are secured in the right way. Safety experts such as Good Egg Car Safety can also check, and advise you on the correct seat for your child’s height and weight.
Seat belts are not designed for children, so even if you are using the correct booster or car seat, it’s worth considering a huggybelt to ensure the seat belt stays in the correct position without slipping off your child’s shoulder or riding up on their abdomen. The best way to ensure your child wears their seat belt is to lead by example. Ensure all adults in the car wear their belt whilst the engine is on.
When planning a summer trip to a caravan or holiday home, it’s more than likely that your car will be packing a lot of luggage. With that said, anything that’s not properly secured in the boot or the back has the potential to become a projectile in the event of a crash or emergency brake situation. Make sure any prams/buggies, large bags, sports equipment and unoccupied car seats are all in a secure position that can’t fly across your car. Put what you can into the boot, buckle up unoccupied car seats and place smaller items like handbags etc on the floor.
Stop kids from overheating
On a hot day in a traffic jam, cars can be uncomfortable places to be. For kids, this can make them restless. Plus, there may be additional factors at play, such as the metal buckle on a car seat overheating and irritating their skin. This is another reason to consider a huggybelt, which attaches to your seatbelt to restrain your child properly, without any metal exposed to their skin.
Keep water in a cool bag in the car so that kids – and adults – stay hydrated on the journey. It can also be a good idea to invest in some window shades (which can be inexpensive and easily suctioned onto the rear passenger windows) in order to keep children cool.
By following these tips your summer road trip should be a far more comfortable and pleasant experience for all involved. If you’re looking for something to keep the kids amused, why not check out some car games to play on the journey?
Shocking figures from a recent road safety campaign in Torfaen, Wales, suggest that half of 10 and 11 year olds don’t regularly wear seat belts. This is not only alarming and potentially very dangerous, but sadly is not that uncommon.
A report from Good Egg Safety this year suggests that as many as a third of children aged 8 to 11 are travelling without an appropriate booster or car seat. By law, a child should be restrained by the correct booster or car seat until a they reach 12 years old, or 135cm, whichever comes first. However, if your child is under 12 but over 135cm, a booster or seat is still advised.
If you are stopped in your car and your child isn’t restrained according to the law, you can be fined up to £500. Aside from a hefty cash penalty, there are also many other dangers you expose your child to by not restraining them properly.
Dangers of not properly securing your child
There are many dangers associated with not properly belting your child in, including the fact that your child is twice as likely to die in a car accident if they are not wearing a seat belt.
Even if your child is wearing their seat belt, they are also permitted by law to use an appropriate booster or car seat as this offers much support and protection. For smaller children, it’s important to ensure their whole body is protected, which includes keeping their head in the correct position and cushioning their sides to prevent any side impact injury.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we look to strap kids in using a seat belt or harness, there’s always a danger that as your child moves around, the belt will no longer support them. Harnesses are much more effective for smaller children, but there is a danger the child could remove it themselves. In addition, as your child grows, harnesses are often removed from the car seat design, so your child can use the standard 3-point seat belt with their car seat or booster cushion. As seat belts are designed for adults rather than children, this can become problematic as it doesn’t support children in the same way it does for adults.
By using a huggybelt to keep the seat belt in the correct position on your child, you can rest assured that the belt will not move from the adjusted position, and will protect your child as best as possible in a crash situation.
Below you can see from our video the difference between using and not using a huggybelt, as tested on a crash dummy.
Baby Security is one of the leading retailers in child safety products. This is just one of the reasons huggybelt has paired with them to sell our car safety belt.
Part of EDPA, Baby Security has been trading for 10 years, with the mission to offer parents the very best in baby and child safety products. Not only are they committed to offering the best, they are also dedicated to providing the most helpful service possible. By working directly with suppliers and being consistently on-hand to answer any queries you have, you can trust that the expert team at Baby Security will find you the safest product that meets your needs.
In addition to this, anyone purchasing any child safety product from Baby Security can look forward to exceptional value for money. This is because they promise to price match each product they sell, which means you won’t get it cheaper anywhere else. Prices are checked on a daily basis, and there’s even a finance option if you spend over £300 with them (that’s a lot of huggybelts!).
How do I get a huggybelt from Baby Security?
You can purchase your huggybelt directly from the Baby Security website, any time of night or day. If you follow this link you’ll be able to get your hands on yours now. Fill out your details in the same way you would with any online store, and your belt will be on its way before you know it. There are a range of options to choose from in terms of delivery, quantity and payment method. Make multiple purchases at once and have delivered at a time to suit you.
- Standard delivery of the huggybelt is completely free from Baby Security
- Standard delivery takes 3-5 working days
- Expedited delivery (1-day delivery) is also available for £2.99 This is only available Monday to Saturday
- Alternatively, shoppers can click and collect for £3.99 to collect from their nearest DPD location the very next day. Orders must be placed before noon to take advantage of this.
- Users can buy in bulk, which is ideal for a nursery/school group who go on outings
Thanks to everyone who has purchased a huggybelt from Baby Security so far. The next time you are looking to upgrade your car seat, or even any nursery items, why not get your huggybelt at the same time at with no delivery charge?
We would also be grateful if those who have purchased from this site would take the time to leave a review of huggybelt on the site so that others can see just how well huggybelt works in practice.
Child car safety legislation has changed a lot over the last generation, which has led to a number of parents unsure as to how they should be best protecting their children. With safety guidelines based on a child’s height and weight, plus a number of car seat groups to contend with, it’s easy to see why this could get confusing.
One change which is currently being rolled out is the introduction of the i-Size standard. This is a gradual change which is slowly coming into force, and could affect you differently depending on your child’s height and weight. Here’s what you need to know:
What is i-Size?
Basically i-Size has been created to co-ordinate with both Regulation 129 and ECE R44.04 (the main standard to which all car seats are currently tested). It’s set to take over from the R44.04 standard, which is currently mandatory, as it meets this criteria plus the criteria of the new regulation (129).
Overall, Regulation 129 aims to improve child safety across rear-facing, front facing seats and boosters, and this is being looked at in stages. So far, the forward facing seats have been looked into, with i-Size now being the standard for seats for younger children. I-Size looks to keep children rear-facing until they are 15 months, which is an increase of 6 months on the current law. However, there is also a height restriction in place, meaning that if your child is 15 months+ but small, they will have to use the infant seat until they meet the requirements of a forward facing seat.
Side impact protection
At the regulation moves to look at Group 1, 2 and 3 car seats and boosters, there will be improved provisions regarding side impact protection. Although this is the least common type of accident, it’s still important to protect children, especially young children, from any side impact injury to their head or body.
Changing the rules
As part of the new regulations, changes will be made in terms of what restraints children should be using. At present, this is determined on age and weight, with height only being relevant if your child is over 135cm and therefore not permitted by law to use a booster or car seat. For example, each car seat group currently comes with a weight limitation, but if your child is within the weight range but too small or too big, the seat may not offer them the best protection.
The new rules will look at a child’s height, their hip to shoulder ratio (how the seat belt sits) and more to determine the most appropriate seat and restrain system available.
Do you need to change anything now?
At the moment, the ECE R44.04 regulation is still law so you don’t need to throw out your current seat straight away. In fact, this type of seat will still be valid for some time yet, so it may wise to keep an eye out when upgrading your car seat, but aside from this you are ok to use your current seat as long as it conforms to the ECE standard.
Phase 2 of the regulation looks at booster seats, and is due for completion by the end of this year. At this point you may look to upgrade your booster cushion or opt for a larger car seat.
Retailers will still be legally allowed to sell seats and boosters meeting the ECE R44.04 criteria until 2018, so you can still buy and use these now. Alternatively, you can choose to upgrade to i-Size right away – you will still be protecting your child and operating within the law. Even after retailers stop selling the R44.04 products, you will still be able to legally use them for a few years after this.
We all want to protect our children as much as possible, in every situation. One thing that isn’t necessarily at the front of our minds when we think of child safety is a group outing or trip involving road travel.
Kids will inevitably go on trips or excursions with nursery or school groups, and any clubs or sports your child is involved in may also have an element of group travel. When parents are unable to attend such trips, our faith is put in the hands of the teachers, coaches and other appropriate adults or chaperones in this situation.
To this extent, we assume our children are safe as they are being looked after by responsible adults. However, it may come as a shock to learn that actually in some circumstances, there can be very little protection for our kids in coaches or minibuses. Even more shockingly, it is legal.
If your child is in a small minibus (unladen weight of 2,540kg or less) then the same child safety laws applicable in a car apply here. That is, children under 3 should use an appropriate child restraint, as should children under 12 or under 135cm. The only leeway here is that should such a restraint be unavailable for 3-12 year olds, the regular 3-point seat belt is a permissible form of restraint and should be used instead.
With larger minibuses (unladen weight of over 2,540kg), things are less strict. The current law states that children over 14 must use a seat belt when travelling in a larger minibus, however, children aged 3 to 13 are not permitted by law to wear a seat belt. Despite having no legal obligation to be strapped in, it’s very much advised that your child uses an appropriate restraint such as a standard seat belt where one is available. After all, research shows that you’re twice as likely to die in a car accident if you’re not wearing a seat belt.
Most coaches nowadays (those built after 2001) have individual 3-point seat belts or a retractable lap belt on all seats, whether forward or rear facing. However, similar to larger minibus travel, the law does not require those under 14 to wear the seat belt, whilst those over 14 must be strapped in using the standard belt. In this instance it’s strongly advised that your child uses the belt available.
Making trips safer
Most teachers and responsible adults on trips do still encourage children to wear seat belts on group trips, even if it isn’t the law in coaches or some minibuses. Whilst this does offer a degree of protection and shouldn’t be discouraged, seat belts are actually designed for adults, not children. This means that although your child will be restrained, it’s not the most effective form of protection for them.
Products like huggybelt which can be easily fitted to a minibus or coach seat belt can offer the most appropriate and effective protection your child needs. The huggybelt ensures the seat belt sits in the correct position on your child, so that there’s less chance of your child sustaining a seat belt syndrome injury. In fact, your child is 45% less likely to sustain injury in a crash situation if they are wearing a huggybelt than if they were to rely on the standard belt or safety seat.
The huggybelt is easily adjusted, so can be used to restrain a 4-year-old and a 10-year-old (though not both at the same time!), which is ideal in a school or club situation. The belts are durable and adjustable enough that they last as a child grows.
In a group situation, this is an ideal solution for drivers, and doesn’t take long to adjust to children of different heights and weights. From an individual parent perspective, you can easily pop a huggybelt into your child’s sports or school bag to be used on trips.
This is a question which hopefully never has to cross our minds. However, when you consider the fact that there are around 190,000 road accident casualties (of varying severity/age) in the UK each year, being involved in an accident is not as uncommon as you may think.
If you have been involved in a car collision when there was a car seat in the car, the safest answer to this question is yes, you should replace the car seat(s). This is as true for a collision with your children involved as it is with a car seat that was empty at the time of impact. Many parents are usually under the assumption that if your child hasn’t sustained any serious injury and if the seat looks to be in the same shape and condition as before, the seat will be ok.
This isn’t strictly true. Although you may not be able to see any visible damage from the outside, it may have been weakened on crash impact, to the extent that it can no longer provide the same level of protection. When it comes to kids, we believe that safety is priceless so you should always consider replacing the seat. When making an insurance claim, be sure to include the cost of the replacement seat in your claim, meaning you don’t have to fork out for what can often be an expensive but necessary replacement.
Exceptions to the rule
There are of course, exceptions to every rule, and it may be that your seat doesn’t need to be replaced. If the crash occurred at a very low speed impact, or if there was little to no external damage to the car, the impact may not have had an effect on the seat. However even in these circumstances we would advise checking with the manufacturer, as they often give advice as to the circumstances which would require you to replace a car seat.
Safe over sorry
Our stance is that we would rather be safe than sorry, so would always replace the seat. In addition, we believe that protecting your children in the best possible way is the way forward when choosing a car seat after a collision. This is why we would recommend purchasing a huggybelt alongside any replacement group 2/3 car seat as this lowers the risk of your child sustaining serious injury in the event of a crash by 45%. By ensuring the seat belt is positioned correctly across your child’s body we are able to minimise this risk by almost half. So if you’re looking to replace your car seat, either due to a collision or change in weight/height, consider purchasing a huggybelt too.
The United Nations standard for child car safety seats is ECE R44/04. This standard categorises car seats into 4 groups, 0-3 and determine the suitability of a car seat for your child. All seats sold in the UK should, by law, meet this standard.
How to tell if your seat meets the standard
You can clearly see this standard as it will be marked with a yellow ECE label on your chosen car seat. The label outlines the category (group 0, 1, 2 or 3) which the car seat has been approved for, the weight category it’s approved for, the type of restraint system, the EU approval indicator and number alongside the country in which the seat was approved.
The huggybelt and standards
At present, car and travel accessories do not meet this level of standard. However, we believe child safety is priceless and that quality is everything, so we made sure the huggybelt was tested to the same standard. With this in mind, you can expect a lasting, quality product from us which has been tested in various conditions to prove just how protective and effective it can be when used correctly.
We know the huggybelt is an important safety device which could potentially save your child’s life, so it was imperative to us that we rigorously test the product to the same standard that other safety devices are held to. This gives us the benchmark and you the peace of mind to know that the huggybelt is giving your child extra protection in the event of a crash.
Transparency is key for us – we want you to be aware of exactly what you’re buying and what level of protection is offered. This is why we have made all of our data and crash test information available on the website. Here you can see the huggybelt in a crash situation, and view the difference in a crash situation between a child wearing the belt or relying on the standard seat belt.
Not all products similar to huggybelt have been tested in the same way, but we want to give customers reassurance and faith in our product by testing it to such a high standard. Remember, your child’s safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless, so choose a product you can trust!
Just one of the retailers you can buy a huggybelt from is Halfords. The popular UK car part and bicycle retailer has long offered things like accessories and safety equipment to ensure your car is as safe as possible – particularly for children.
First founded in 1892, it’s one of the longest standing retailers in the industry, with a name and reputation you can trust. Over the years the retailer has adapted as technology and legislation have changed. Now you can look forward to its one-stop-shop approach, offering everything from MOTs and parts fitting to car seat checks to ensure your seat is fitted properly.
Halfords are also known for their various campaigns which champion safety, whether that be on bikes or in cars. They will regularly run car safety campaigns, including the Safer Seat Campaign which they are championing at the moment, encouraging you to check your child’s current seat. They are also offering promotional discounts if you trade in your current seat to upgrade. With great aftercare and safety initiatives, Halfords is a retailer we are proud to have selling the huggybelt.
How do I get a huggybelt from Halfords?
At the moment, the huggybelt is only available to purchase online from the Halfords website. To get yours, simply click this link and then complete as you would any other online purchase. You can purchase up to 9 in one transaction so it’s quick and easy if you’ve a few children or vehicles to cover.
- Standard delivery is available at £2.99 and will ensure your belt arrives within 3-5 working days
- Next day delivery is available at a higher rate of £4.99
- Halfords accepts most major credit/debit cards and PayPal as a form of payment
- Huggybelt is not yet available for Click & Collect, so all purchases will be delivered to your chosen address
Thank you to everyone who has already made a purchase of huggybelt from Halfords. We’d really appreciate if you could spare a minute to fill out a quick review of the product, so others can see for themselves just how useful and practical a huggybelt is.
It’s hard to believe that Easter is almost upon us already! If you are set to be one of the 16 million Brits who take to the road to get away for the holiday weekend, it can be a stressful time, particularly if you have a full car. Travelling with kids means extra safety, extra packing and extra fun. Take the monotony out of a long Easter drive by taking part in some of the great car games we’ve listed:
It’s an oldie but a goodie – I Spy is the classic go-to game for all the family to take part in. Take it in turns to pick out an object or item in view and let the rest of the car guess what it is. Either go around the car letting each family member have a go at picking an item, or let the correct guesser choose the next item. Points for correct answers, with optional points going to anyone picking a subject that leads the family to give up!
This is a great game for any trip, but which can work especially well if you are going to be on a motorway for any length of time. Each person in the car picks a different colour when you start your journey. From there, they have to keep count of all the cars they see that match their colour. As an optional Easter extra, you could consider giving a Crème Egg or something similar to the person who finds the most cars on their journey.
Starting at the top with the letter A, the first player shouts out when they see something beginning with A (for example an apple tree or an ASDA lorry), once they find their item, the game moves to the next player who has to find something beginning with the next letter of the alphabet and so on.
This is another familiar game, which now comes in its own smartphone version which is great if you can’t think of a famous person off the top of your head. Obviously the driver can’t play the smartphone way but they can still think of a celebrity or famous figure and give the rest of the car the answers to 20 yes or no questions to let them guess who you’re thinking of!
Of course when it comes to travelling safety matters more than amusements, so always remember to pack your huggybelt first, before any car games! Plus, as the huggybelt is so quick and easy to fit, you can also remove it from your car and take it with you if you’re going on a further journey, or anticipate travelling in a different vehicle when you are away. By offering extra protection for kids aged 3-12 in the event of a crash, you can rest easy on the long drive ahead thanks to huggybelt. Remember, your kids safety isn’t expensive – it’s priceless.
Did you know that the humble seat belt is 50 years old this year? Considering cars have been around for over 100 years, it’s taken time to adapt and take on board safety features.
The first steps towards car safety were taken in 1966 where legislation made it compulsory for all new cars to have seatbelt fittings installed. Seatbelts offer huge protection in the event of a crash, with figures suggesting you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seat belt at all than if you do.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing reinforces the point:
“Seat belts are not only a legal requirement, they are the first and best line of preventative defence against death and serious injury in a road traffic collision.”
Penalties for not wearing seat belts include on-the-spot fines of £100 if caught without one on, or a fine of up to £500 if prosecuted. As a result of this law, it’s thought that 98% of drivers now wear a seat belt at all times whilst a car is moving.
Improving Seat Belt Safety for Children
However, seat belts have been designed primarily for use by adults, so don’t offer the best protection for your child. Where a seat belt has been created in such a way to fit an adult body protecting the shoulder, chest and hips, the belt often falls off a child’s shoulder and instead rests across their stomach. Both of these factors can lead to serious injuries in the event of a crash, including damage to the collar bone, spine and internal stomach wounds – often referred to as seat belt syndrome.
In order to prevent this happening, the huggybelt was invented. Designed to work alongside the compulsory booster/car seat for those aged 3-12, the huggybelt ensures your child is properly strapped in with the standard 3-point seat belt. Fixing to the existing belt and ISOFIX points, the huggybelt allows your seat belt to rest comfortably across a child’s shoulder and chest, without slipping or sliding as they move. It also comes with a shoulder rest, offering comfort to an area which most annoys kids wearing seat belts.
Easily transferable from left to right and car to car, this portable solution is one of the best ways to ensure your child makes the most of the adult-sized 3-point belt and is protected as best they can be.
Who knows what the next 50 years holds for the humble seat belt, but for now, make sure your child is properly protected by it with the help of a huggybelt.
You may have heard of seat belt syndrome before in relation to child car safety, but you may not be sure what causes it or how it can be prevented. Here’s a helpful breakdown of what it is, what causes it and how to prevent it:
What is it?
Seat belt syndrome is a group of injuries relating to injuries in a crash which have been sustained through improper seat belt use. Many injuries can be presented by this term, which often sees the wearer jack-knife over the lap belt upon impact, putting a massive force onto the abdomen and often leading to the head colliding with the passenger seat.
This can cause a number of injuries ranging from internal bleeding to a lacerated liver, ruptured bladder or even broken neck. Not all injuries present themselves on impact, and unfortunately sustaining one or more of these injuries through ill-fitting belts is not an uncommon occurrence, which is why the medical community has dubbed it ‘seat belt syndrome.’
What causes it?
Put simply, seat belt syndrome is caused by children being improperly restrained in their seats. It can also affect adults who are not properly restrained by their belts either. Children are far more susceptible to this as seat belts are designed for fully-grown adults, so don’t really fit a child properly until they reach around 12 years old or 135cm (about 4’6”). This is why children in the UK are, by law, required to be restrained by a car seat or booster until they meet either the height or age requirement. However, the car seat alone is not enough to prevent this, as even with the protection from the seat, your child may still not be properly restrained by the belt which is quick to slip off the shoulder of young children. Whether your child has moved the belt under their arm, wriggled around so that the belt has slid off the shoulder, or moved the lower section so it is placed on their abdomen rather than lap, your child could be at risk of sustaining a seat belt syndrome injury in a crash.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent all car accidents from happening, but there are safety devices you can use in tandem to ensure your child is protected as best they can be in case of a crash. One of the main aims of the huggybelt is to try and prevent seat belt syndrome, thanks to its restraining technique. By fixing on to your standard 3-point seat belt and holding your child in place from behind, the huggybelt combats the problem of the belt slipping off shoulders or being removed by your child. It’s also easily adjustable so you can move the restraint as your child grows. There’s also a cushioned edge to ensure no discomfort to your child around the neck – one of the most irritating problems for children, and a major reason they seek to move the belt.
Huggybelt is not only used in addition to a standard seat belt, but can also be used with almost all Group 2 and 3 car seats. This means your child can still benefit from the comfort and restraint a car seat offers, whilst adding extra seat belt protection.
At huggybelt, we believe your child’s safety isn’t expensive – it’s priceless. By offering this simple and portable product which can easily be switched from seat to seat, car to car, we hope to protect more children from the horrendous injuries which fall under the category of seat belt syndrome. For safer kids on the move, protect your child as much as you can with safety equipment that works together in the event of an accident.
We know that child safety is a priority to all mums which is why we’re giving you not one but TWO chances to win a huggybelt this Mother’s Day.
The huggybelt is an innovative new child safety belt which works alongside all boosters and most group 2 and 3 car seats to ensure your child has maximum protection in the event of a crash. Suitable for those aged 3-12, kids in this age group wearing a huggybelt are 45% less likely to sustain injuries in a crash than those without.
For your chance to win one simply:
We will be giving away 2 huggybelts, with one winner picked from Facebook and one picked from Twitter. You can choose to take part in one or both competitions. The competition is open until midnight on Sunday 6th March (Mother’s Day) so get liking, commenting, following and retweeting for your chance to win!
Terms and conditions:
- Players may enter both competitions
- In order to be eligible for the prize players must meet both entry criteria for each competition, by following and retweeting on Twitter, and by both liking and commenting on Facebook
- Competition closes at Midnight on Sunday 6th Likes, follows, shares or retweets made after that will not be counted towards either competition.
- Winners will be drawn at random on Monday 7th March
- No cash alternative available
- Winners will be publicised on the huggybelt social media channels and website.
Since 2008, the laws surrounding child car safety have tightened, with clear instructions on who should be using additional seating equipment and why. Do you know the laws and how to best protect your child in the event of a crash?
Recent laws now mean that all children under 12 or under 135cm should use a car seat. This means that if your child reaches 135cm or above before their 12th birthday they do not need to use a car seat. Similarly, if they are under 135cm but over the age of 12, they also do not need to use an additional seat. However, in the latter instance it is still recommended you offer your child the extra protection of a car or booster seat.
EU Approved Car Seats
As part of this law, only EU-approved car seats may be used to strap your children in. Compliant car seats are easy to distinguish as they contain a label with a capital E in a circle. Car seats come in all shapes and sizes, and you should only use one suitable for your child’s age and weight to ensure maximum comfort and best protection.
The rules on EU approved car seats are also changing, with new guidelines on appropriate restraints being phased in over 5 years. At the moment this only applies to babies around a year old or younger, whereby the age restriction on using a forward facing car seat has increased.
The methodology behind the laws is also changing, to focus on a child’s length, or height, rather than their weight. The rules are also adapting to accommodate iSize car seats, which should be available for all age groups and usable in almost all vehicles as each phase of these changes is rolled out. iSize car seats use ISOFIX fittings in your car and will have been more rigorously tested than the current ECE R44/04 standard, which is the mandatory test at the moment.
Not your child? Still your responsibility
The law also states that it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that a child is appropriately restrained in a car, in compliance with the new car seat guidelines. This means that if you give your friend’s child or your niece/nephew a lift, you must ensure that they are also adequately protected.
Whilst these laws are changing to ensure your car seat does the best job possible for your child, they still do not tackle the issue of the seat belt. Seat belts in general are not designed with children in mind, which is why they so easily slip off a child’s shoulder, or irritate a child’s neck/shoulder enough so that the child removes it or places it behind their body, offering little protection. The huggybelt aims to combat this issue by allowing freedom of movement whilst retaining the seat belt in the correct position. This is the ideal accompaniment to a safe and compliant car seat to ensure your child is best protected when travelling.
We believe that kid’s safety is paramount, and the way to do that on the road is to ensure your child wears a huggybelt. With around 2,000 children killed or seriously injured on the roads each year – many as a result of improper seat belt use – it’s essential to offer your child the best protection available. After all, your kids’ safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.
Although EU regulations state that children up to 12 years of age should use a car seat, this alone isn’t the most effective way to ensure their safety when travelling. The car seats require the child to remain strapped in using the standard 3-point seat belt, which is often known to slide off when a child moves around the car. This is just one example of an improperly used seat belt.
When a car is fitted with a huggybelt, your child is 45% less likely to sustain injury than with their seat belt and car seat alone. This is because the belt offers extra protection by ensuring the standard 3 point belt stays in its correct position over your child’s shoulder. If you take a look at our videos, you will see the difference on impact of a test dummy with a huggybelt, and one without.
Although the huggybelt ensures the seat belt performs correctly during your journey and in the event of a crash, the device itself doesn’t restrain your child any further. Kids strapped in with a huggybelt can still move freely, making the journey just as enjoyable, and allowing them to take part in all their regular in-car activities from playing games to watching movies.
- Protection in Under a Minute
The huggybelt takes just 35 seconds to fit, which is no time at all to ensure your child is properly protected in your car. Working alongside your car seat, and fitting onto the standard 3-point seat belt, it offers additional protection for your child, and peace of mind for you. By clipping this onto your standard seat belt your child will also have a soft, protective cushioning over the chest and neck area. Seat belt discomfort here is just one of the reasons kids remove their belt from over their shoulder, leading to increased risk of injury. The design of huggybelt aims to combat that.