Baby and toddler

For advice on road safety from pregnancy to primary age please see ‘Bump to Five’ leaflet or visit the DfT Education site

Secondary age – See the DfT THINK! campaign website

Driving age – Visit our Safe Drive Stay Alive website at  www.safedrive.org.uk

You can also find additional advice on the 3M Streetwise website

Child Restraints

Every year, over 10,000 children are killed or injured while travelling in cars, this is a worrying fact and one that needs to change. The use of high quality, well fitted safety restraints can and will reduce these numbers.

New regulations governing the use of child car seats came into force on 18 September 2006.:

“Most people make sure that children use some kind of restraint when travelling on the road, but it is vitally important to use the right one; and not to use an adult belt before the child is big enough…small children need the protection that baby seats and child seats are designed to provide. Seat belts are designed for adults. Children who have grown out of child seats still need to use booster seats and booster cushions…we estimate that these changes could prevent over 2000 child deaths or injuries each year.”

Stephen Ladyman, Road Safety Minister 2006

Having a correctly fitted seat for your child in the car is essential to keeping them safe in a vehicle. For advice on exactly what seat to use for your child and buying advice go to:

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk

How to Persuade Your Child to Use a Child Car Seat/Booster

*Here, Jean Birtles, the Director of Top Notch Nannies who has over 10 years experience in childcare gives us her top five tips on how to encourage your child to accept and use their new car seat:

  • Make it theirs – Take your child with you when you buy the seat. Get them to choose the colour/pattern they like best so that they have ‘ownership’ of the seat.
  • Explain why calmly – Explain to your older children why they need to sit in the seat. Don’t frighten them with horror stories explain to them logically and calmly that it will help them be safe. That it will stop them bumping their head or hurting their legs if there’s a sudden stop.
  • Routine – Simply make it part of the ‘getting in car’ routine. Children like routine and repetition, it makes them feel secure, and simply treating it as something normal and unsurprising will help them get in the seat without thinking about it. Make it a fun checklist, “Daddy seat belt – check! Mummy seat belt – check!”.
  • Travel treats – Put together a special ‘travel pack’ that goes with the seat. Put a drink, a book, crayons and a puzzle book or whatever your child enjoys playing with on car journeys.
  • Name it! – Get your child to name the seat! He will be happier to sit on ‘Henry’ the seat if it’s a name he has chosen.

“Getting your child to accept a car seat, even if they’re older, is about making it theirs, making it part of the routine and not frightening or threatening them with horror stories. Children respond really well to calm explanation and the odd treat or two!”

Jean Birtles from Top Notch Nannies.

Older Children

Some older children might have been using adult Seat belts already and won’t be keen to go back to using a booster cushion. Our experts at Norland College, who have been at the forefront of childcare since 1892, offer their advice on how to encourage older children to use car restraints.

Explain to the child that the seat isn’t a car seat / booster seat, which they used to have to use when they were younger, but that it is the right equipment to enable them to wear an adult seat belt safely.

Try comparing the protective clothing worn by one of the child’s role models (e.g. footballer, racing driver) to keep them safe, with the equipment in the car which keeps the child safe.

For more information on Child Seats & the Law you can down load the DfT’s leaflet using this link.

*Extract from DfT Think! Website

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