A car seat safety blogger has shared a shocking photo online, warning parents not to jump into using a high-backed booster for their little ones too soon.
The Facebook page, The ERF Mission. A Rear Facing Family, shared a photo this week (28 January 2017) that shows severe bruising on an adult’s body after a collission, caused by a seat belt.
The picture was used to highlight why children should stay in rear-facing car seats which use a harness for restraint, rather than a seat belt, for as long as possible.
Legally in the UK, children over 15kg (the weight of the average three-year-old) have been allowed to travel in a backless booster seat, BUT from March 2017, only children OVER 125cm and weighing more than 22kg will be able to travel using one.
This raises the age for children using backless booster seats to around six to eight years old.
All booster seats (including high-backed models) use seat belts to hold a child in place, and do provide adequate protection.
But this warning says parents shouldn’t rush to move their kids out of their rear-facing seats until absolutely necessary, as they are ‘far safer’.
But, the post clearly states at the beginning:
‘Everyone needs to wear a seat belt – that is a given fact! Seat belts saves lives!’
Although the photograph shows bruising and cuts from a seat belt, the post makes it clear that seat belts are vital and must be worn in vehicles.
‘This is what can happen to you with a seat belt – an adult.
‘The focus is to try and prevent parents/carers/childminders to put children into an adult seat belt before they are old enough.
‘Far too many jump to a HBB the moment the child hits the minimum weight limit for example,’ said the unnamed blogger.
‘So what I am trying to do – is show that this is the injury inflicted on an adult – so with that knowledge in the back of your mind – maybe it will make you think twice before you decide to jump to the high back booster or just a seat belt on your child – as a rear facing car seat would never do this to the child.’
As rear-facing car seats use a harness, the car seat safety blogger has advised parents not to make the move to high-backed boosters, which use seat belts to strap the child in, until needed:
‘So wait as long as possible before you take that last step – the high back booster,’ the blogger wrote.
‘The children are far safer rear facing for as long as possible.’
Keep your child rear facing for as long as possible, then switch to a high-backed booster once they’ve outgrown their Group 1 rear-facing seat. High-backed boosters are still a safe method of transporting your child, but better used for children aged four plus.