Mum urges people to get car child safety seats checked

PUBLISHED: 10:09 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:11 30 July 2018

Claire Pickering used Norfolk County council’s free child safety seat check service for Oliver, 15 months, and rated it excellent. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Claire Pickering used Norfolk County council’s free child safety seat check service for Oliver, 15 months, and rated it excellent. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council

Claire Pickering, mother of 15-month-old Oliver, urges parents to take up Norfolk County Council road safety team’s offer of a free child safety seat check as it starts its roadshow around the county.

How did you hear about the child safety seat check service offered by Norfolk County Council road safety team?

I first heard about the service during my last antenatal class when a new mum visited to tell us about her hospital experience. She couldn’t have spoken more highly of the service. New and existing parents need to be made more aware of this service.

Where did you have your safety check done?

I have had two safety checks, both at home in Badersfield at Coltishall. The first was before the birth of my son to ensure the Isofix was secure in my car and the second was in the last couple of weeks when I was concerned with the connection of our Isofix in our new car.

There were no issues the first time as the base fitted securely, however, with the new car I found the seat moved a lot and my son’s head rocked around too much when we went over the slightest bump. The indicators were green but I wasn’t happy so called area road safety officer Richard Wiseman for his advice and support. He replied to my message by the following morning and, as well as a phone call to discuss the issue, came out to our house to help.

Did the team pick up on any fitting errors and, if so, were they able to fix them on the spot?

On both occasions, the seat base was fitted securely and deemed safe – even the second one which moved about a lot. However, Richard looked at the attachment on the new car and inserted the links so they restricted the movement, helping me feel more at ease my son would be safe as I didn’t like how his head was shaken when we went over bumps. He showed this method to my husband so we could reattach the base if we removed it from the car.

My first car was checked alonside a friend’s whose car seat fitted in the back of the car but, when attached using the seatbelt, tilted the car seat so it wasn’t as secure as she’d thought – Richard demonstrated what he meant and, having tried to secure it, it was decided a new car seat would be best. He recommended Babyland in Norwich which would test car seats before selling them to ensure the fit was safe.

What common fitting errors have you come across, if any?

I haven’t come across any fitting errors but am aware not all car seats suit every model of car and that it’s very important to test these before investing as car seats are not cheap.

How would you rate the service?

The service was excellent. I can’t thank Richard enough for his time and quick replies to my messages. As a first-time mum, he has helped me feel confident that my son is safe for car journeys. There was no charge for this service and I couldn’t recommend it more – the cargo is just too precious!

I urge parents to visit one of the locations in which the free child car seat checks are taking place. It doesn’t take very long but can make all the difference in your child’s safety.

County council road safety and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service teams are checking child safety seats and giving advice and fitting guidance from 10am to 2pm, at:

July 30, Sprowston Tesco.

July 31 Sheringham Tesco.

August 1 Cromer Morrisons.

August 2 Stalham Tesco.

August 3 North Walsham Sainsburys;

August 6 Dereham Tesco.

August 7 Swaffham Tesco.

August 8 Downham Market Tesco (note change of time to 2pm to 6pm).

August 9 King’s Lynn Sainsburys.

August 10 Hunstanton Tesco.

August 13 Thetford Tesco.

August 14 Harleston Co-op.

August 15 Wymondham Waitrose.

August 16 Great Yarmouth Asda.

August 17 Diss Morrisons.

August 20 Norwich Harford Bridge Tesco.

August 21 Holt Budgens.

August 22 Norwich Longwater Sainsburys.

August 23 Aylsham Tesco.

For more information about child safety seats and fitting, you can also email

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