In our continuing campaign to improve the safety of children in cars, you might know that we recently launched our website that is aimed at providing you with more information about rear-facing car seats. If you’re a parent, it’s essential viewing, especially the great how-to videos and our news articles.

But it seems like we’re not the only ones talking about rear-facing car seats. Today, the Guardian published an article demonstrating that many retailers are giving poor fitting advice to parents buying car seats, discovered by a Which? study.

Some of the errors that the Which? study discovered were retailers fitting child seats incorrectly into the car, twisting seatbelts or not placing them in the correct position, and giving incorrect advice on which car seats fitted into which cars. All of these elements have the potential to seriously damage the effectiveness of a child’s car seat, so why are so many retailers unable to provide the correct information?

For a start, reliable information for parents can be scarce regarding car seats and child safety, therefore when parents visit retailers they are not always aware of what they should – or shouldn’t – be looking for. However, that’s no excuse for major, international retailers not to have proper training. It’s essential that these retailers do provide proper training for staff in order not to compromise on child safety when fitting these seats, and, since the Which? report, it seems as though many of the retailers mentioned will be adjusting their training accordingly.

It seems to us that it’s essential for retailers and parents to be fully aware of the laws and recommendations for child safety in cars; as our infographic shows, half of UK parents are confused by the information that is available about rear-facing car seats, despite these seats being recommended as safer than forward-facing seats in countries like Sweden.

Arming yourself with the right information before approaching a retailer is very important, as it allows you to double check whether the retailers are correctly fitting your child’s car seat, and whether their advice is sound. However, retailers also need to provide excellent training for their staff to avoid incorrect advice being given to new parents, helping to improve child safety in cars. Photo from Murdo MacLeod