Blog Banner

Blues Stars Throw Weight Behind Child Safety Drive

14th June 2005

Top Cardiff Blues rugby stars have turned out to help safety chiefs illustrate the devastating impact of motor accidents on babies and small children if they are not properly strapped in.

Are South Wales children sitting tight?

Nearly 200 babies and toddlers are killed or seriously injured in UK car accidents every year, most on local journeys at low speeds.

Little Cole Botterfield came face to face with three of the Blues’ burliest forwards to highlight a forthcoming campaign which will drive home the importance of correctly fitted car seats and proper restraints for children.

Towering over seven-month old Cole, from Taffs Well, were Ben Evans, Rhys Thomas and John Yapp, who were called in to help underline the startling fact that unrestrained children involved in vehicle collisions at 30mph can be catapulted forward at a force equivalent to half a rugby scrum - totalling around 50 stone - collapsing on top of them.

In a Welsh campaign, to coincide with UK Child Safety Week later this month (June 20-26), parents are being urged to ensure their children are safely strapped in for every journey, in a restraint suitable both for their child’s size and the vehicle concerned.

During the Welsh Assembly Government campaign, parents and guardians will be able to have their existing seats checked and receive expert advice at Cardiff’s Road Safety Centre on North Road every day between Monday June 20 and Friday June 24. Parents should contact Paul Griffiths on 02920 619907 in advance to book a free session, which are available between 4pm and 5pm.

Experts will also be warning of the dangers of second hand car seats and are advising parents not to purchase seats from anywhere other than reputable retailers unless they are certain the seat has not been damaged in an accident, and are provided with the original instruction booklet and all other components.

It is estimated that around one in ten second hand car seats currently in use could be dangerous because they have already been involved in an accident.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) road safety manager for Wales, Steve Baker said:

“It’s not enough just to own a car seat; unless it is the correct model for your vehicle and child’s build, and is fitted correctly, it will not offer the full protection that your child deserves.

“We urge parents to come along to our free car seat checks to ensure that they are fitting their child seats safely – it could ultimately save their child's life. People should take advantage of this opportunity to have their seats checked because it's too late after a collision.”

Information on car seat safety can be found by logging onto

Weighty message: Top Cardiff Blues stars illustrate the devastating impact of motor accidents on unrestrained babies and small children. Pictured driving home the car seat safety message are, left to right, Ben Evans, Rhys Thomas and John Yapp with seven-month old Cole Botterfield.