main banner

Car-Seat-Safety_-Why-Older-Children-Need-Protecting-Too

Car Seat Safety: Why Older Children Need Protecting Too!

The silly season is upon us, but (spoiler alert) I’m gonna get serious in this blog. It’s about car seat safety, and booster seats in particular.

I have two kids, aged 8 and 6, and they are both in high back booster seats. But what I’ve noticed with their friends from school, is that many are no longer in full booster seats and they (the friends) laugh at my kids because they are. I believe that most parents are unaware of the lack of protection a booster cushion provides…. So without wishing to sound holier than thou, or indeed dogmatic, I am going to very emphatically underline the difference between a booster cushion and a high back booster seat!

Read Next: How To Prepare For Stress Free Journeys

So first up let’s address the booster cushion – I will hold my hands up and admit, yes, they are indeed better than no seat. And I will admit I keep one in the boot of my car, as a spare, if I end up collecting an additional child from school. However, parents should ask themselves: If booster cushions cover the same age/weight categories as a high-back booster seat (which they do), why would you chose the less safe option as a seat you will use for approximately 8 years?

Read Next: Forward Facing, Isofix, Boosters - A Guide To Car Seats

A booster cushion offers zero side impact protection, Z-E-R-O, none, zilch… but 1 in 4 accidents are from the side. Furthermore, if you haven’t belted the child correctly on the booster cushion, the actual seat belt is going to do more damage (to internal organs) than if it is fed through the seatbelt guides of a highback booster.

Lastly cushions are usually a piece of plastic with some padding on the seat, and if they are not attached to the car when not in use (through fielding the seatbelt through guides, or isofix/latch attachments) then that cushion will become one dangerous missile flying through the car, in the case of a collision.

Read Next: 4 Vital Tips For Avoiding Driver Distraction

I promise I will step off my soapbox in a minute, but I just wanted to praise a Britax campaign (recently launched I think): ‘Older children need protecting too!’ It follows up on the back of new legislation in Britain and Ireland, which is clamping down on the inappropriate use of booster cushions for children under 1.5 meters (or 1.35m in the UK.) I know car seats are a bit of a faff when you are trying to get out the door, I know, I get it… but car accidents do happen, and when they do, don’t you want to know that you did everything you could to protect your kids?

Do you use a booster cushion, or a high back booster seat for your older children? We'd love to hear your thoughts. You can get more handy travel advice from The Stork Exchange in our Travel Expert section, or for more information on child car safety, go to rsa.ie.


About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. The Stork Exchange is a children's equipment rental service that was born from a dearth of options for parents traveling with infants and small children. It's not easy to travel with kids, much less lug everything with you and speaking from personal experience we found the car seats and cots etc that are provided by many car rental companies or hotels etc are not great quality... so we set up The Stork Exchange!   We offer everything from isofix car seats, holiday 'buggy-in-a-bag', travel cots and highchairs, all quality brands, sanitized and safety-checked before every single hire. Our staff are trained and insured and will install the car seat into your car for you.

We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent several years developing and investing in our product range. I am constantly asked questions by parents about travelling with kids; what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful information I'm happy to share. We also learn from the experiences of other Mums and Dads. It’s genuinely great to be able to help make the journey and holiday a bit easier for parents. 

Want to get in touch? Email us at info@thestorkexchange.ie. Check out our website and social channels at the icons above.

Comments

Please login to leave a comment.