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.