If you would like to receive FREE alerts by email on essential child car safety please add your email address below.
Do as much research as you can before buying a seat...
View our handy checklist in pdf format.
Click to view our buying checklist
After a collision, childseats and seatbelts may need to be replaced. Contact your insurance company and/or car seat manufacturer for advice.
An increasing number of counterfeit child car seats are being sold to unsuspecting parents in the UK. These seats look and feel like genuine products however they have not been safety tested and could put a child's life at risk in the event of a collision.
Counterfeit seats are becoming more common on online websites and auction sites, and parents and grandparents are purchasing them because they appear to be quality seats at a bargain cost.
However, crash-testing performed by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) has shown that counterfeit seats are often of very poor quality and offer children little protection in a collision.
"It is very difficult to recognise these counterfeits, because on initial inspection they can look very similar to the genuine items," says Hamish McPhillips from the Child Safety Centre at TRL.
"A recent crash test performed by TRL on what was suspected to be a counterfeit product resulted in the seat coming apart. While the seat appeared to have appropriate safety ratings, the instruction manual was in poorly written English, a clear marker that it is counterfeit," says Hamish.
"Take care and look a little closer at the finish of the product. The instruction manual and markings on the child seat should always be available in English and the seat should have an orange Type Approval label, to show it meets the requirements of Regulation 44," he says.
In Europe, a child seat must have passed a series of tests and checks required by Regulation 44, before it can be legally sold.
Jan Deans from Good Egg Safety adds: "This is an alarming issue and we would like to warn all parents and grandparents to take extra care when purchasing a child car seat. It is bad enough buying a second hand child seat when you don't know its history. In this instance, parents are being careful and buying what looks like a quality seat which they naturally assume is a 'bargain' not appreciating it could actually be a death trap.
"We strongly advise people not to purchase car seats online unless it is from a well known and reputable retailer and always insist the retailer provides local fitting to ensure it is correctly installed."