Expert / 20 September, 2021 / Ellie Thompson

The MUST-READ Car Seat Safety Check-List to Keep Your Children Safe

The world is opening up again, and the family car is firmly back on the road. Whether you’re bundling the kids into their car seats for the all-important school run or a weekend trip away, car seat safety is a hot topic when it comes to travelling with kids. Graco has teamed up with Halfords, Aqua Wipes and a whole host of influencers to share important car seat safety advice as well as nifty tips and tricks to keep your kids safe, clean and entertained in the car.

Graco’s car seat safety advice

Graco is on a mission to make parents’ lives easier. This campaign aims to help families achieve the ultimate parenting goal: a happy car journey. Their new microsite in collaboration with Halfords links to important fitting advice and a portfolio of useful products.

Graco also consulted their 15k strong Instagram following on the topic of car journeys and discovered three common concerns of real parents: safety, entertainment and cleanliness.

Polls confirmed that safety is often an overlooked aspect, with 56% of Graco’s social media followers admitting to always rushing to get out. However, with 98% admitting safety is their highest priority, Graco decided to lend a helping hand. Their simple five-step ‘H.A.P.P.Y’ safety checker is aimed at every parent or caregiver to sanity check and stay calm before setting off.


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Keeping it safe: Graco’s H.A.P.P.Y

Sharon Morrison, Graco Senior Product & Fashion Manager for EMEA explains: “There are some things we all do without realising it could compromise on in-car safety. For example, 52% of our followers admit their child carries an electronic gadget in their hands, not knowing that in the event of a crash the gadget could become a dangerous missile. Halfords is our safety partner because they go above and beyond with fitting advice, aftersales service and offer a great range of safety information and products available to buy.”

H: Harness & Handlebar

The harness should always be equal/level with the child’s shoulders. 1 in 10 of Graco’s followers travel with the harness/headrest too high. For Group 0+/i-Size infant carriers the handlebar must be upright, as it acts as a secondary safety measure in the event of an accident. 35% of Graco’s social media followers admit to travelling with the handle down.

A: Airbag

6% of Graco’s followers do not deactivate the front passenger seat airbag when travelling with a child rear-facing in an infant carrier. It is a legal requirement to deactivate the airbag when rear-facing for your child’s safety. You must always check the car vehicle manual and the car seat instruction manual. Graco recommends children under the age of 12 do not travel in the front passenger seat.

P: Pinch test (you might know it as the two-finger rule)

To ensure the 5-point harness is secure, and not too loose, try to pinch the belt strap; if you can pinch it so the fabric bunches in your fingers, the harness is too loose. 60% of Graco’s followers do not know about this simple test.

P: Passenger Side

Always position the youngest passenger behind the passenger seat. In the event of an accident, breakdown or simply just parking your car, you are safer leaning in to remove the little one from the car while standing on the other side.

Y: Years, height, or weight?

Keep checking your child is in the right seat for their height and weight – the age measure is only a suggested guide. There are two regulations in current use: R44 and R129. R44 regulated seats are grouped based on weight while R129 (i-Size) seats are defined on height. Check out this useful blog from Halfords which simplifies the process.

How to install your child’s car seat

Halford’s team of fully trained, RoSPA-accredited car seat fitters are always on hand to answer any questions on installing car seats, with advice on the correct seat for your child’s height and weight and a demonstration of how to correctly fit your chosen car seat in your vehicle.

Keeping it fun

Graco’s poll of their Insta followers revealed that a whopping 62% pack an electronic gadget. 62% also admitted to resorting to a good old-fashioned sing-along to keep the kids amused. That’s where Graco’s Spotify playlist of family favourites tunes as voted by their followers will come in handy. But be warned: it includes ALL the classics, including kid-favourites Baby Shark and the Poo Poo song!

Keeping it clean

Graco teamed up with Aqua Wipes to confirm that 82% of Graco’s followers try to keep their child car seats clean on a regular basis. 83% said a pack of baby wipes is their go-to solution, using them for pretty much everything – sticky hands and faces, wiping down the car seat, the dashboard, backs of seats and muddy boots!  With 65% stowing snacks ahead of a long journey, it’s no surprise a pack of wipes is essential.

How you can get involved

Head to Graco’s bespoke microsite or check out @graco_uk or search #GracoHappyJourneys.


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