BRITAX’S ‘BIN THE BOOSTER’ CAMPAIGN IS BACK URGING PARENTS TO TRAVEL SAFELY THIS SUMMER
Alarming footage by Britax shows the lifesaving benefits of highback boosters
Returning after the success of the previous two years, leading child safety brand Britax has launched its 2015 ‘Bin the Booster’ awareness campaign. This nationwide campaign, supported with powerful crash test footage, urges parents to get rid of any booster cushion seats they might have and opt for highback boosters with head and side impact protection to ensure children are safe and secure on their travels this summer - and beyond.
While the current law requires children to travel in a car seat until they are 135cm tall or 12 years old whichever comes first, Britax believes there is still a lack of understanding around safety in Group 2-3, which protects children from four to around 12 years of age. At this stage many parents opt for a simple booster cushion to help lift their child and ensure the vehicle seat belt sits correctly on the bony parts of their bodies. 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. On top of misfittings, these booster cushions also offer no head or side impact protection for children.
To get parents’ full attention and highlight the true danger of booster cushions, Britax has released some alarming footage filmed at their crash test centre in Andover. It captures the safety performance of a booster cushion vs a highback booster seat in the event of a frontal collision. The footage sees the child sized dummy in the booster cushion instantly thrown forward upon impact. Viewers are able to witness from a range of angles that the upper belt is kept in place on the highback booster thanks to the upper belt guide, whereas the dummy on the booster cushion frees itself from the upper belt. Even in this frontal collision, the dummy in the booster cushion is flung towards the side of the car, dangerously hitting its head on the side of the vehicle at speed, as opposed to the highback booster, which sees the dummy stay more supported with head and upper body containment thanks to its side wings and headrest.
Mark Bennett, Britax’s safety expert, comments: “After watching this footage, parents will think twice when choosing a Group 2-3 car seat as it is incredibly haunting and really demonstrates the importance of deep protective side wings, head support and seat belt guides to ensure that seat belts are correctly positioned and fitted. We are calling for all parents using booster cushions to switch to a highback booster option and help us further spread the word about the inadequate protection these cushions provide - it could save precious lives this summer!”
Booster cushions are still sold because it is not required by current EU safety standards to conduct tests for side collisions on Group 2-3 seats. However, Britax only sells and recommends highback boosters and their products far surpass the legal safety requirements. Product developers continue to incorporate the latest, most advanced and industry leading safety innovations; including the energy absorbing seat belt pad, the XP-PAD and adjustable side impact cushion technology (SICT) for superior side impact protection in their highback booster range as can be seen in the popular KIDFIX XP SICT. Britax’s highback booster range includes seats fitted with ISOFIT** that connects the seat directly to the car’s chassis, creating a safe and rigid installation.
- Typical booster cushion protection area
- Ordinary highback booster protected area
- Britax KID Range protected area
Britax is not alone in its belief that booster cushions are not the safest option for children.
Jan James, CEO of Good Egg Safety, which provides safety advice for families in the UK comments:
“We welcome this powerful footage from Britax which really drives home the dangers of booster cushions. What makes this so poignant is the fact that when using these, parents are at least trying to protect their children by lifting them up to ensure a better fit of seat belt, not realising that their child is still in significant danger in an impact. The nerves in the neck don’t stretch well and a collision which throws the head forward with the force demonstrated here could potentially result in catastrophic injuries to their child as a result. Good Egg Safety highly recommends the use of a high back booster for that extra vital protection. As witnessed here; it will really make the difference.”
The 2015 ‘Bin the Booster’ campaign will run all summer from Monday 13th July, just before the school holiday season. In addition to sharing the powerful video footage far and wide, it will see Britax actively sharing key tips on what to look out for when purchasing a new Group 2-3 seat. It will also include a live Q&A on the Britax Twitter page on 15th July with Britax safety experts Mark Bennett and Cheryl Dunn, who will be on hand to answer any questions parents may have on the topic.
For more information on Britax’s range of Group 2-3 seats, visit www.britax.co.uk
* Based on internal Britax testing 2013
**What is the difference between ISOFIX and ISOFIT?
ISOFIX and ISOFIT are child safety seats that are attached to the vehicle body with connectors. With ISOFIX seats, the child is secured by means of a five point safety harness; with ISOFIT by means of the vehicle’s 3 point seat belt. An additional distinguishing feature is the classification of the child safety seat. The ISOFIX description is used for Group 0+ and 1, and the ISOFIT description for Group 2/3.
Notes to Editors:
For more information about Britax, find your freedom at: www.britax.co.uk or find Britax on https://www.facebook.com/BritaxUK
Britax is a global leader and innovator in child mobility dedicated to making family travel safer and easier throughout the journey of parenthood. Specialising in a complete range of premium car seats, strollers, baby carriers and accessories that meet modern family lifestyle needs, Britax’s mission is to inspire families to travel more freely, confident of safety, sure of style.
Britax was founded in Britain in 1938 focusing initially on safety developments such as adult seat belts. In the 1960s they launched the company’s first child car seat. In 1978, it merged with established German car safety counterpart Römer. More recently, Britax acquired the hugely popular outdoor stroller brand BOB in 2011 and the BRIO pushchair and car safety business in 2013.
Now Britax maintains offices in 12 countries, operates in almost all countries globally and employs more than 1000 people.
For more information about Britax UK please contact Threepipe:
Tel: 0207 632 4800
Britax Fit FinderTM
Fit FinderTM is a Britax online tool that assists consumers in identifying the right car seat for their child and their car. Parents can 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. You can view the latest Fit FinderTM here: http://www.britax.co.uk/car-seats/fit-finder