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Child Safety Dos And Donts

Do

  • Use only an approved restraint suitable for the child's weight and size.
  • Use restraints approved to the latest standard, (UNECE Regulation 44.04) – these fit better in modern cars and provide improved protection for your child.
  • Ensure that the restraint is compatible with your car. Check the seat manufacturer's application list, ask the retailer to demonstrate or install the seat, or ask for advice from the car manufacturer.
  • Buy a seat that uses the ISOFIX system if your vehicle has the necessary anchorage points - check the vehicle handbook.
  • Make sure that the restraint is fitted securely and firmly in the car – follow the instructions and retain them in the car for future reference.
  • Carry children in the rear seat of the car if possible.
  • Adjust the harness for a tight but comfortable fit each time your child uses the seat.
  • Check the restraint installation regularly to ensure that fixing straps or seat belts have not worked loose.
  • Check the restraint condition regularly and renew it if there are any signs of cracking in the shell or of fraying or cuts in webbing.
  • Ensure that your child understands the importance of being safely strapped in for every journey.
  • Cover the seat when parking on hot days to avoid burning the child on hot metal fittings when you return.

Don't

  • Carry children unrestrained, no matter how short the journey.
  • Fit a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat of a car with a passenger airbag. Death or serious injury can result. Forward-facing seats should be set well back from the airbag.
  • Buy a restraint unless you are certain that it will fit properly in your car. No 'universal restraint' fits correctly in all cars.
  • Buy a second-hand restraint unless you know its history and it is complete with all its instructions.
  • Buy an ISOFIX seat without first checking the vehicle handbook to make sure you choose a compatible ISOFIX category and size class.
  • Use a restraint that has been involved in a crash.
  • Hold a child in your arms or put the seat belt around both of you. In an accident your weight will crush your child.
  • Allow children to release buckles or climb out of belts.
  • Modify child seats or buckles.  This could have serious consequences in an accident.
  • Use an ordinary cushion instead of a booster cushion. In an accident it could fly out and the child could slide under the seat belt.
  • Leave your children unattended in a car.

AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.