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Sales of second-hand child car seats raises safety fears

Cash strapped parents could be putting their children’s safety at risk by buying second hand infant car seats, industry experts have warned.


Cash strapped parents could be putting their children’s safety at risk by buying second hand infant car seats, industry experts have warned.
New figures show that purchases of pre-owned child travel seats are rising, as families struggle to cope with today’s difficult economic conditions.

Car accessories retailer Halfords reports that 7% of its customers admit they have recently bought second hand car seats for their children, a rise of 2% compared to figures from its 2009 customer survey.

This is despite the fact that it can be virtually impossible to tell how old a second hand child seat is, if it has been involved in an accident, or even how to fit it, as most are rarely sold with the original fitting instructions or safety manuals.

“A lot of wear-and-tear on a pre-owned child car seat may not be visible to the untrained eye and buckles and straps that look fine at first glance may actually be so damaged that they could fail during an accident,” warned Halfords Child Travel Expert Samantha Preece.

“We know from our own research that 51% of parents do not know how to check if their child seat is correctly fitted, so it is a big worry that some people may buy a second hand car seat that doesn’t even come with instructions.”

Statistics on car accidents involving children are stark: every year 30 children between the ages of 0 to 11 years are killed, 400 seriously injured and over 7,000 slightly injured while travelling in cars 1. A correctly fitted car seat can help prevent some of these injuries.

Robert Anslow, managing director of the Baby Products Association, explained: “Generally a car seat will be used numerous times each day for many years and the BPA can’t stress enough the importance of buying new from a retailer who can provide expert product advice and the correct fitting instructions, which in the event of an accident, could save their child’s life.”

Samantha Preece added: “Some child seats will last for around 12 years, so given the added protection to the child and the peace of mind for the parent, a new child seat, correctly fitted, is an investment worth making.”
Source: ROSPA
UK LAW : From babies to toddlers and pre-teens, any child up to 135cm tall travelling by car should always travel in an appropriate child seat or booster seat, even on short journeys.
Drivers now face a fixed £30 penalty or fine of up to £500 if they fail to comply with regulations on child seats in cars. See Halfords’ guide to Child Seat Law.
Halfords provide free fitting and demonstrations of all child car seats purchased from them.

For more information contact:
Nicola Toulson
t: 01527513464
The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products and through Halfords Autocentres is also the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operator.
Halfords employs approximately 11,000 staff and sells over 12,000 different product lines with significant ranges in car parts, cycles, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords own brands include the in-store Bikehut department, for cycles and cycling accessories, Apollo and Carrera cycles and exclusive UK distribution rights of the premium ranged Boardman cycles and accessories.
In outdoor leisure, we sell a premium range of camping equipment, branded URBAN Escape. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service called wefit” for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a “werepair” service for cycles.
Halfords customers shop at 462 stores in the UK and ROI and at for direct home delivery or pick-up at their local store. Halfords Autocentres operates from 227 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at more affordable prices.


 infant car seats
 car seats
 Child Seat Law

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