Children's Road Safety involves all of us. There, of course, Road Safety specialists in Europe, and therefore we can affirm that good professionals are available. Nevertheless, if we enquire about the existence of certified programs that train people to evaluate, assist and respond to questions from other parents in the field of children's road safety, it is difficult to find an answer in that there are no qualifications available similar to those that can be obtained in the United States through the SafeKids.org program.
There is no shadow of doubt that there are many capable and knowledgeable people in this sphere, and that there are many professionals in the field who are very good at their jobs, and yet it is really complicated to find people in the private sector who are highly qualified, certified, who are there with you during the buying process and who are capable of advising parents on what they need to know about child seats in cars.
Institutions such as Fundación MAPFRE and other such bodies make spaces like this available in which to resolve doubts and queries as well as to give advice on each specific case. There is also a profusion of detailed online resources covering many relevant aspects. It is possible to send queries via the page set up for the purpose: “Ask the expert”.
The SafeKids.org certification program
The SafeKids organization offers a certification program for the USA that qualifies the participants as specialists in the field of children's road safety. This means that once qualified, they will have the requisite tools, knowledge and skills to advise parents with respect to the key points of safety for their children when traveling by car.
What these qualifications aim to achieve is, in the association's own words, to put their knowledge at the service of the community, providing resources such as safety check lists for installing retention systems and accommodating children. It is here where parents and carers receive training and practical assistance for the correct use of child retention systems and seat belts. This has all come about due to the high percentage of parents who do not know how to install or adjust a CRS and who use them incorrectly.
These specialists provide a good service to their communities by arranging meetings with parents to spread the word on the advantages of road safety and the vital key points to consider when buying a child seat in terms of the type, the features of each variety and how to guarantee the child's safety. Frequent queries such as what to do with a child seat that is no longer required or what constitutes the best posture or updates regarding legislation are just some of the questions you can expect these experts to clarify.
As for Europe, no courses have been found that train people to be experts specializing in children's road safety.
There are courses aimed at teaching parents or teachers to install child restraint systems correctly such as, for example ‘Child Seat Safety Training’, which is approved by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
The idea of having experts specialized in child car seats could be a measure that contributes to their more widespread use and above all, the correct use of child restraint systems.
In this respect, we recall the article ‘The consequences of using child restraint systems incorrectly’ which shows what happens if you transport a child in a child seat with loose straps or travel with a baby in your lap, among other examples.