When it comes to child safety, parents and caregivers instinctively do their upmost to protect their children and ensure that they are never in high risk situations. So why is it, according to research*, that 33 per cent of parents across Europe have taken a child out in a car without a suitable car seat in place?
We’ve all been there. An emergency arises in work, or we get caught in traffic, and have to frantically make a call for a relative or friend to collect the kids from school, nursery or childminder. No problem with the unexpected pick up request, but would they, or your child, have a suitable booster seat for the journey?
With no easy alternative, parents of one out of every three children admit to travelling illegally without a car seat on unexpected or overcrowded car journeys. In the UK it is a legal requirement to have a child car seat or booster seat for any child travelling in a car under the age of 12. Most parents have these available in their own car for each of their children. But what about the 30 per cent of journeys that children take which include cab rides, transport on holidays, outings with grandparents or school friends and those unexpected trips when there is a need to take an additional child in a car? In these situations an appropriate car seat is not always available but in a collision this is potentially fatal.
Parents don’t intentially expose their child to extra risk, however children’s car seats are historically tedious to mount, heavy and hard to move. With a school bag, sports kit, musical instruments and all the other paraphernalia kids are requested to cart about, should we really add a bulky car seat to the pile every day?
Thanks to dad Jon Sumroy though, this could now be a much easier task. His mifold – Grab-and- Go Booster® seat is the most advanced, compact and portable child car safety seat child car safety seat ever invented. It’s more than 10x smaller than a regular booster seat – and just as safe. Regular booster seats lift a child to be in the position of an adult, whereas mifold does the exact opposite by holding the seatbelt down. It’s that simple! With three belt guides, mifold adjusts the lap belt and shoulder strap to fit the child and accurately holds the seat belt on the hip bones and shoulder, offering the correct amount of restraint in case of impact. Jon admits he was driven to create the mifold as he was concerned about the number of car pool journeys his children were making without the correct booster seat.
Suitable for children from the age of 4 all the way up to 12 years** and with approval according to the European regulation R44.4, mifold meets the highest legal standards for child restraint systems. And, if you still have doubts, the mifold has also been awarded the ‘Create the Future’ design award from NASA – a true validation and endorsement. Available online from John Lewis and other selected retailers for £49.95
*Source: Research Now, March 2015
** UK law requires that all children must use the correct child seat until they are 12 years old or 135 cm in height (which ever comes first). Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
S4K Tried & Tested
Smaller than an iPad, it’s so compact you can store it almost anywhere and it pops easily into your glove compartment, handbag or your child’s school bag. You can even fit 3-in-a-row across the back seats of the smallest of cars. It’s the perfect solution for those 8 to12-year-olds who refuse to sit on a ‘babyish’ booster seat. The understated, slick and streamline design was a huge hit with the kids and you can even pick their favourite colour, or have it personalised.
2017 Change in Car Seat Group Classifications
Earlier this year the Government reclassified the group classification from Group 2 to Group 3 for all newly-developed booster seats. This means that after this change in law any NEW booster seats being launched to the market place and seeking approval to be sold in the UK will be classified as a Group 3 seat. However, if you already own a booster seat before this change in law which bears an R44/04 Group 2 label, then you will not need to replace it, it will still be 100% legal for these booster cushions to be used.
When a Child Can Travel Without a Car Seat
Legally a child can travel without a child car seat in some circumstances:
TAXIS, MINIBUSES & COACHES Minibus, taxis or coach drivers and companies don’t have to provide child car seats. You must provide your own if you want to make sure a child has one.
If the correct child car seat isn’t available, a child aged 3 or older can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:
- over a short distance
NB: Vehicles without seat belts – Children under 3 must be in a child car seat. If there’s no seat belt, they can’t travel.