By Kirsty Smallman
My boys both love to travel in the car, especially if it’s a long journey as it usually means we are going somewhere exciting, such as camping or visiting a friend.
As a mum to a two-year-old and four-year-old, I am always well prepared with a wide variety of toys, snacks, music and games to keep them entertained.
I try to let the usual question of “are we nearly there yet?” gently wash over me.
Until very recently, I have always been very relaxed, safe in the knowledge that both boys were as secure as they could be in their car seats.
But now my four-year-old has outgrown his seat with a three point harness and is ready for the next step – the big boy seat! (the one with just the seat belt!)- I’m just not sure I’m ready for that yet.
All parents know the importance of making sure a car seat is fitted properly and is the correct one for the age and height of the child.
But much of the advice out there for a four-year-old child (or that from friends) suggests he or she is now ready for just a simple booster seat.
When I researched this online, I just didn’t feel it was safe enough for my child.
Instead, I went to talk to the experts at Simply Baby in Shrewsbury. The company, based on Vanguard Way, Battlefield, offers a huge selection of child car seats (and everything else baby – nearly enough to make you broody again!) to suit all ages.
The staff there were extremely helpful and full of advice. It’s not just about putting a child in a car seat but it’s vital to make sure they are in the right seat for their size and age and that it is installed correctly and fits properly in the vehicle.
I always believe it’s not necessarily our actions but the actions of others on the road which need to be considered.
With National Road Safety Week coming up from November 18-24, it’s time we all tuned in to road safety.
The theme this year is to appeal to drivers to avoid distractions – to turn off their phones and never attempt to multi-task at the wheel.
It’s something we all need to be aware of and I know that even if I do my best not to be distracted, other drivers may not. So the safer I can make my boys the better.
Side impact protection is key for me as my boys still look so small and vulnerable in the back – so a “proper seat” is the option for me and not a booster seat.
I explained to the staff at Simply Baby that I wanted my four-year-old to have as much protection as possible, still in a fully supported seat with side protection.
They showed me a wide variety of seats, from top brands such as Maxi Cosi, Recaro and Cybex, and I was very pleased with the amount of extra protection they offered.
Aside from the fact my four-year-old will now have the adult seat belt around him and the seat, it is not much different to his toddler chair.
The staff ensured it fitted in our model of car – it looks as if it is just a case of putting it in and throwing the seat belt on but the size and shape of the seat already in the car is important.
To the delight of my husband and Eddie – the Recaro was the winner! His very own rally seat.
To fit it properly, the seat belt must be worn as tight as possible and the lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach, while the diagonal strap should rest over the shoulder and not the neck.
While I know my little boy is growing up, I want to keep him as safe as possible and that means keeping him in the most protected car seat I can find for as long as I can.
Getting expert advice from the staff at Simply Baby really made me feel secure in my decision to move my little boy up to his next car seat.
For more information, see their website at www.simplybaby.co.uk, call (01743) 453943 or like the Facebook site at www.facebook.com/Simply.baby.sy1 for a five per cent discount code.
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.