Parents in Melton were given free advice on how to keep their children safe while they are travelling in a car as they parked in one of the town’s supermarkets on Tuesday.
In the first initiative of its kind in the borough, dozens of mums and dads and some grandparents had their child car seats and seatbelts checked by representatives of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership outside Sainsbury’s in Nottingham Road.
Results from the study indicated that Melton parents and grandparents were more safety-conscious than others across the county following similar sessions run by the group in Leicester, Coalville, Oakham, Market Harborough and Lutterworth.
One Melton mum who passed the check-up with flying colours was Nicola Hack, who was travelling with her 19-month-old daughter Elise in the back of her car.
She said: “I went for an expensive seat and one which would be easy to put in and out of the back seat in my three-door car.
“I think these checks are really important because some parents don’t take it seriously enough.
“Some parents go for the cheapest option when they are choosing a child’s car seat but there should be no price tag on the safety of your child.”
The team examined the child car seats of more than 60 vehicles in Melton and many of them were safe for the child to travel in.
Lyn Rowe, Leicester City Council’s road safety officer, who was organising the check-ups, was impressed with how seriously the issue was being taken in the town - schemes in some parts of the country have resulted in up to 70 per cent of child car seats being observed as either incorrectly fitted or unsuitable for the youngster in them.
She said: “It has been far more positive in Melton than I thought it would be. Generally it has been really, really good and we’ve had more ‘perfects’ than anywhere else we’ve visited in the area.”
Many parents and grandparents in the Melton checks were doing the most important thing with very young children - placing their child in the back seat with the chair facing the rear.
Mrs Rowe added: “The main issues we see are where the child’s seat belt is not tight enough and the internal harness is loose.
“Parents are wary of making it too tight in case they hurt the child but it is important that they are secure in the seat.
“There are also a lot of misconceptions that once the child gets to six or seven they are OK to travel in an adult seatbelt but this is not the case.”
The road safety partnership said they hope to return to the town again and make the checks an annual event.