It has recently come to light that fabric ‘child car seats’ are being sold on popular selling sites.
Many parents and childminders throughout the UK are being fooled into believing that these child car seats are safe to use for their children.
We had a look through one of these sites and read some of the sales posts - here’s an extract from one description on a seat we found:
“The portable baby safety seat is treated as the savior of baby’s safety in Europe and a new star among the family of baby car seats. The restricted and reasonable design, it is not only as safe as the traditional baby car seats but also to install, carry and wash easily.”
The manufacturers/sellers are claiming that these seats are just as safe as traditional car seats. Many people believe that if they’re allowed to be sold, then surely they must be just as safe – and surely they must have gone through all the same testing to be able to claim that?
These seats have been through NO official crash testing to allow them to be used in the UK. When Surrey County Council's trading standards team put these harnesses through their paces, the results were horrifying... they will bring a tear to any parents’ eye and send a shiver down their spine! (video above)
Any child seat sold in the UK must pass at least ECE R44.04, R44.03 or R129 i-Size and carry an approval label to show that it has been through the testing. The approval label will be on the child car seat in the form of an orange, yellow or white label. Below we have included several examples of official approval labels.
Approval R44.04: This part of the label will list what approval standard the seat has been tested to. In the UK and Europe, seats tested to R44.03, R44.04 or R129 i-Size may be used.
Weight Limits: The label will also detail the weight limit of the seat. This seat is a high back booster group 2,3 so the weight limit is 15kg – 36kg. If the seat is R129 i-Size, a height limit will be detailed.
E–circle: This shows the seat is tested to the European standard. The E stands for European and the number after it refers to the country it was tested in.
Serial Number: This number relates to the seat itself, the first two numbers “04301170” on this seat, refers to the approval the seat has (so an R44.03 seat will have “03____”) This number relates to where everything on the seat was sourced, what batch the harness and buckles came from, what machines and who manufactured it. If there is any requirement to do a recall on the seat or if anything is found to be wrong, this number is used to narrow down exactly what seats are affected. Under R44.04, every 5000th seat must be re-tested to ensure quality – this allows any faults to be picked up quickly and easily.
These fabric seats do not carry this label, and they have not been approved to any crash standard for the EU/UK.
That’s not to say that other seats sold online are official either. The Transport Research Laboratory released footage of counterfeit child car seats sold online, and these fake seats DO carry approval labels – albeit false ones!
I emailed one of these sellers, asking what standard this 'car seat' had been tested to. I got a garbled reply that suggested I check the listing - I replied that no testing standards were stated - I was ignored! Clearly they are just after profit with a total disregard to the law or safety.
Hi Elaine, we would be very interested to see their reply to your enquiry. It is absolutely shocking that these types of products can be sold!
[…] For more information please visit the Good Egg Safety website – Killer car seats (opens in new window) […]
I have just received my son's new high back booster seat from amazon . My son got too tall for his mama and papas high back booster. I chose his new one little tykes because it longer wider and stated it had side protection .. on delivery not happy it is just a plastic shell unlike my mama and papas one that has a shell covered in a good quality polystyrene side impact protection ... I'm worried it's a fake ! The head read struggles to lock into place .. how do I know for sure it's safe ? Thanks
Thank you for your comment!
It is very difficult to tell if your child's car seat is fake, although one sign is if the instruction booklet is written in poor English. We recommend that you contact Little Tykes, as they may be able to help you ascertain if your seat is genuine.
The Good Egg Team
Hi, I have just bought an Isafe group 1 2 3 seat. I got it through amazon, however now through further looking into it I cannot find any further information about Isafe on the net and it seems that the only retailer is baby-travel.uk.com either directly or through Amazon or eBay. How do I find out if the sticker stating it has had the relevant EU safety checks is genuine? Am I right to be concerned? Thanks
This is a tricky situation for you - normally we would advise that you go to the company if you have any concerns, as they would be able to check the seat has been tested through an approved test house, and that the serial number is correct.
It is very difficult to know if a seat is genuine or not, some clues can be poor workmanship on the materials and plastics, poor English used on the instructions, and regulation labels being applied with poor quality or incorrectly - for example, airbag warning labels and ECER44 stickers.
The ECE label can be orange, red, yellow or white - although it can be any colour. It should state that it is approved to ECER44.04, and have a circle with an E in it and a number. It should also state the weight limits for the car seat, and have a serial number. This serial number should start with what stage of R44 the seat has been approved to. In the case of the iSafe seat, it is approved to R44.04, so the serial number will begin with 04. The label should also be well attached to the seat, and clear to read.
The Good Egg Team
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