More than half of child car seats are fitted incorrectly, according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Ireland.

Now, to increase awareness of car seat safety and reduce misuse rates, the RSA has launched a new voluntary Code of Practice for child car seat retailers.

The organisation says 56 percent of child car seats checked by its Check it Fits service were incorrectly fitted and needed some type of adjustment to make them safe.

If a child’s car seat isn’t fitted correctly, it could lead to a serious or fatal injury in a collision.

Aisling Sloyan, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer and Child Car Seat Expert with the RSA says the new Code of Practice will help the public feel confident that they are getting the correct information they need from retailers when buying a child car seat.

“While the RSA’s experience with its Check it Fits service shows that half of child car seats are fitted incorrectly, worryingly, it found that 30 percent of these needed a major adjustment to fix them,” she said.

“For example, the seat being excessively loose so as to make the fitting almost ineffective. 67 percent were minor adjustments, for example, the fitting being loose or a twisted seatbelt.”

To date, 15 child car seat retailers have committed to the new Code of Practice, covering 40 stores across Ireland.