NO MATTER HOW MANY AWARDS OR POSITIVE REVIEWS A CHILD SEAT HAS, IF IT DOES NOT FIT YOUR VEHICLE THEN IT IS NOT THE BEST SEAT FOR YOU.
At Click, we believe it is irresponsible for anyone to be awarding ‘Best Buys’, ‘Awards’ or ‘Test Scores’ to children’s car seats. In what already is a complex sector the potential to influence families and have them focus on a particular ‘top of the list’ seat increases their chances of choosing the wrong restraint and misuse. We constantly see this scenario with people only focusing on what they have read or been told is a ‘Best Buy’.
A restraint that also is scored low or described as a ‘Don’t Buy’ is also acting irresponsibly if it does not highlight any safety concerns. The seat may still meet the needs and requirements of your child, vehicle and your family requirements. (Safety concerns with any restraints should be avoided).
Consumer group Which? highlight some very important concerns with the reports below. These reports and results are from retailers across the country. The issue (as per the highlighted report section below) is nothing new.
‘Years of safety failings’ What’s most disappointing is that these safety failings aren’t the first we’ve seen. Which? investigated car seat retailer fittings, and online retailer advice, in 2011, 2012 and 2014. In each of those years, we received similarly shocking results, which were fed back to retailers. In our 2014 investigation, nine out of 10 retailers failed our car seat fitting tests and promised to follow up and improve the situation. Retailers offer training, but some things are still not filtering down to the shop floor’.
When you put your trust in a retailer (and seat manufacturer) the seller should be licensed and meet all the regulated guidelines to ensure you are making the correct decision and safety cannot be compromised over sales targets and through discounted promotions. It would be great to see a business like Which? campaign for a more regulated and structured industry in the UK when it comes to the selling of children’s car seats. From the report the retailers are able to reply with the same ‘corporate response’ we are all accustomed to ie. ‘we take this extremely seriously.
Large retailers, given the scale of their operation, will never be able to change when it comes to the safety focus of children’s car seats. They will always be targeted driven compromising safety. They will want to sell their latest promotion or ‘exclusive to us seat’. Selling children’s restraints correctly takes knowledge and this comes through experience. Training has never been a priority with bigger retailers, and any business that does a ‘days training’ and gives you a certificate to say you can safely sell & fit children’s car seats is extremely irresponsible! Large retailers cannot be experts in every product range they offer.
Getting a product on a major retailer's shelf is no easy task. Here is another good example of major failings by retailers when it comes to sales over safety.