Child car seat advice putting children at risk
In theUKthis week the focus has been on Child Safety and consumer champion Which? has found that parents are still getting incorrect and potentially dangerous advice from retailers on how to fit child car seats.
They sent mystery shoppers into seven branches for each of the five major child car seat retailers to scrutinise the standard of advice on offer from trained members of staff.
Shockingly, no more than two out of seven stores from each of Halfords, Mothercare, John Lewis, Mamas & Papas or Babies R Us gave the correct advice when it came to correctly installing the seat.
Many visited stores failed to ask the vital question, what type of car the seat would be used in?
It is crucial that any seat is installed and adjusted to the manufacturer’s instructions, because protection for the child in a crash is likely to be compromised if the seat is incorrectly installed or adjusted. This could put a child at serious risk in the case of an accident.
Mothercare came top of the five chains investigated but still scored much lower in comparison to independent stores Which? tested last year. Mamas & Papas and Babies R Us made a substantial improvement but are still a long way from satisfactory, and Halfords and John Lewis scores were worse than in the previous investigation.
None of the five retailers improved on their scores for correctly installing a child car seat, compared to the previous investigation in October 2011, with three doing worse.
The failings continue despite all of the five retailers promising to improve the service they offer to parents, after last year’s investigation.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:
“It is unacceptable that major high street retailers are still giving poor advice and failing to highlight crucial information that is key to a child’s safety, despite them promising to do better last year.
“We want retailers to improve their staff training and knowledge of child car seats so that all major high street retailers offer the correct advice every time. Parents should be able to trust the advice they get from major retailers.”
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