Ten team members at the Co-operative Homemaker in St Helier have completed training on a new EU car seat regulation for increased child safety.
The training, which is not mandatory, will mean the team at the Co-operative Homemaker are best placed to give excellent advice regarding child seat safety to new parents.
The EU i-Size car seat regulations, which launched in 2013, have been developed to increase the safety level of car seats. Car accidents are still the leading cause of child deaths in Europe, with 10 children killed each week on the road while around 1,150 children are injured (SOURCE: WHO 2007, working Group 18 Report Child Safety). The new regulation is set to make child car seats significantly safer compared to the current regulation, which dates back to the 1990s.
The Co-operative Homemaker is committed to ensuring colleagues all receive extensive training, particularly relating to health and safety matters, so up to the moment advice can be given to customers. ‘The training went very well and ten of our team members passed both the written exam and the practical assessment,’ said Kevin Smyrk, Manger of the Co-operative Homemaker. ‘The training has given us all extra confidence and reassurance that we are giving customers the best advice possible when it comes to keeping their children safe on the road. It was very important for us that we trained enough members of the team to enable there to be at least one colleague available at all times in store to help customers.’
i-Size does not replace the current car seat regulation (ECE R44/04), but will run side by side with it. Specifically developed for car seats used by children from birth up to 105 cm in length, the new regulation aims to improve protection and safety in several ways: most notably by recommending that parents continue to place their children in a rearward facing seat up to a minimum age of 15 months. This will significantly reduce injuries to the head and neck of children involved in a crash. In addition, i-Size includes minimum safety performance criteria for side-impact collisions. Previously, no performance criteria for side-impact protection were necessary for a child car seat to be legally sold.
‘i-Size has been developed, partly, in response to the issue that many parents seem to move their baby to a forward-facing car seat too early, typically at around nine months. This is because the current regulation uses a confusing weight-group classification that can be mistakenly understood to allow the switch to a forward facing car seat at the age of nine months. Many parents also, wrongly, believe that the child outgrows the seat when their feet stick out of the seat shell. This premature switch from rearward to forward facing, places the child in greater danger of head and neck injury because the baby’s neck is not yet developed enough to support their relatively heavy head,’ concluded Mr Smyrk, Co-operative Homemaker.
The Co-operative Homemaker training course was delivered by Maxi-Cosi, a leading car seat manufacturer, which was instrumental in the creation of the i-Size regulations.