Thursday, 10 July 2014

Britax 'Bin The Booster'

BRITAX partners with Emma’s Diary to advise parents about the benefits of high-backed boosters in Group 2-3

This week, leading child safety brand, BRITAX, has launched a nationwide initiative designed to educate parents about car seat safety in Group 2-3 and to highlight the dangers of using booster cushions with older children. The ‘Bin the Booster’ campaign urges parents to opt for high-backed boosters with side impact protection to ensure little ones are safe and secure on their travels in the lead up to summer and beyond.

The current law says that children must travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or approximately 12 years old, whichever comes first. With this in mind, many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the car seat belt sits across them at the right angle. However, BRITAX found that approximately half (49%) of seat belts used to secure child seats may be fitted incorrectly*. They are often twisted, too high, or fitted around the seat and not the child.

Booster cushions also do not offer children any side impact or head protection, which is why BRITAX now only sells high-back boosters, which offer deep protective side wings and head support. Despite this, booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions, even though around 1 in 4 (25%) car accidents are from a side impact crash**. However, if the regulations change to include side impact testing, BRITAX experts do not believe that any new booster cushion would pass. 

Recent research from consumer champions, Which?, reveals that 55% of 4-12 year olds are using a backless booster seat when travelling in a car and that 22%*** believe they offer the same protection as a high-backed booster seat. Like BRITAX, Which? experts recognise that this simply isn’t the case and so have also urged parents to switch their booster cushions for a high-backed option in a bid to keep children as safe as they can be whilst on the road.

Product developers at BRITAX design their products to provide protection during traffic collisions from every angle of impact. This protection includes deep side wings, head support and a v-shaped backrest which grows with the child to ensure comfort and security at all times. These are all safety features evident on BRITAX’s latest KIDFIX XP SICT car seat, which has set new safety standards within the industry with its energy absorbing seat belt pad, the XP PAD, and new adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT) for superior side impact protection. Also, to ensure the seat is perfectly in place every time, the XP range also uses ISOFIT technology to connect directly and rigidly to the ISOFIX fittings in the car.
BRITAX products surpass legal safety requirements and set high safety standards in the international market – and the company is not alone in its belief that booster cushions are not the safest option for children. 

To help further educate parents about safety in Group 2-3, BRITAX has teamed up with leading parenting advice programme, Emma’s Diary, to run a week long campaign dedicated to getting out and about with children safely this summer. The week will include tips on giving your car seat a health check and what to look out for when purchasing a new Group 2-3 seat. The campaign, which will run from Monday 7th July, will also include a live Q&A on the Emma’s Diary Facebook Page with BRITAX safety expert, Mark Bennett, who will be on hand to answer any questions parents may have on the topic.

* Based on internal BRITAX testing 2013
**Loughborough University, 21st International Tech Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, 2009 Stuttgart
*** Which? research of 1,000 parents conducted in April 2014:

British brand BRITAX has been manufacturing child car seats and travel systems since 1939. Today, BRITAX is a globally operating company with a total of nine facilities across the world, all dedicated to child safety.
For more than 40 years, BRITAX has been at the forefront of designing products specifically for children’s safety whilst travelling; including car seats, prams, baby carriers and accessories. To provide even greater choice for parents, BRITAX has acquired the BRIO pushchair and car safety business in 2013 and the hugely popular outdoor stroller brand BOB in 2011.
With design centres and testing houses in Germany and the UK, engineers use state-of-the-art facilities, including in-house crash test systems, to pioneer innovative products such as the ISOFIX anchoring system, which was developed in 1997 in cooperation with Volkswagen, and has since become an international installation standard for car seats in vehicles. The expertise BRITAX develops is regularly shared with government agencies, transport related institutions and safety experts worldwide.
Top European test organisations, such as independent motoring and consumer organisations consistently rate BRITAX amongst the best – and constantly exceed legal safety requirements. 80% of all cars rated by Euro NCAP in 2011 have tested with at least one of our seats during their independent crash test assessments.

Fit FinderTM is a BRITAX online tool that assists a consumer to identify the right car seat for their child and their car. The newly updated function allows parents to narrow their car seat search by the age and weight of their child as well as the make, model and year of the vehicle. For each seat, Fit FinderTM will also inform users what seat positions are approved in the vehicle and the appropriate fitting method – be it the ISOFIX, ISOFIT or via the car seat belt. You can view the latest Fit FinderTM here

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