MIFOLD – WHICH? ARTICLE OF APRIL 25TH 2016
On April 25th 2016, Which? published an article on their website regarding alleged changes to UK child car restraint regulations.
It is our firm position that THE ARTICLE IS NOT ACCURATE.
On Wednesday, April 27 the UK Department for Transport refuted the Which? article.
The content of the article has received widespread coverage in the media and has raised many questions regarding backless booster seats. This notice is to clarify the situation and to reassure our customers that the mifold Grab-and-go booster seat has successfully exceeded all relevant regulatory requirements and is completely unaffected by the changes discussed in the Which? article.
We have discussed the inaccuracy of the article with the Head of Crash Injury Mitigation at the UK Department for Transport (DfT) the department responsible for UK child car restraint regulations. They have confirmed that the DfT refutes claims made by the Which? article.
We have reached out to Which? several times to discuss the article. To-date, the authors have not made themselves available for comment.
Backless booster seats are a safe, well-established, practical, convenient, proven and cost effective method of restraining a child in cars. Please find below additional information on our position.
We are aware of the Which? article published on their website on April 25th, 2016. The mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat is unaffected by the claims made in this article; and as stated in their article, any changes in the regulations that may come into effect sometime in the future will not affect products that are already regulated.
In addition, the claims in the article regarding changes in the UK regulations governing child restraints coming into effect later this year are not accurate.
There have been ongoing discussions about this issue for nearly a decade on a worldwide and European-wide basis. Nothing has been decided upon at any level, not at the United Nations, not on a European level and definitely not in any individual member state such as the UK.
The reason for this is that booster seats are a safe, well-established, practical, convenient, proven and cost effective method of restraining a child in cars. And every child safety related government body knows that removing booster seats as an option previously available to parents will increase the number of journeys where a child is likely to travel unprotected.
Specifically relating to the mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat, this not only meets but also exceeds the current regulatory standards. There are also other products available on the market that exceed the standards, but in different ways to mifold. We have used them with our own children over the years. We therefore always encourage caregivers to use the most protective car seat available that is suitable to the child, the particular circumstances and the vehicle being used.
mifold is creating a new and different solution to a recurring need. There are many journeys made where children do not have a booster and travel without any form of assisted protection beyond using a regular adult sized seat-belt. Recently Good Egg Safety in the UK reported that a shocking 34% of 8 to 11-year olds are not using a booster seat on car journeys, when one is required. Pediatric Magazine famously reported research showing that 50% of kids in the USA don't have the right booster when carpooling. A US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) status report noted that one in five parents whose children carpool say they "bend the rules" when they drive, allowing children to ride without boosters.
The simple fact is that today, after decades of improvements in the rate of adoption of child restraints, there are still many journeys where children do not have an appropriate restraint (estimated at 20% of all journeys). In carpools, with grandparents or other relatives, in taxis, on vacation, in rental cars and so on. And this does not include bigger kids who have reached the border of the regulatory limits, who do not want to appear babyish in front of their larger friends that have already graduated out of child restraints. The reason is obvious. Life with kids does not always go to plan. There are times when a booster seat is simply not available.
With mifold, we completely eliminate these real-life limitations. For the first time ever, mifold is solving the problem when a bulky restraint is not available.
With mifold there is no longer any excuse. With a compact and portable device, a child can easily keep one with them all the time and drivers can practically keep spares, without cluttering up a car and losing cabin or luggage space. With mifold, a child can always be safe no matter whose car they travel in. mifold is a practical and viable solution to every scenario where compliance failures arise. We are receiving a very enthusiastic response from safety experts and advocates, who truly care about the safety of children in cars.
The mifold booster car seat is designed to conform to the most universally accepted global booster car seat regulations currently in force: European Union ECE R44.4; FMVSS 213 in the United States, and the RSSR regulations in Canada. Final products have already been crash tested multiple times in testing facilities around the world, (MGA in the USA, Tass International in Holland and PMG in Canada), and have successfully exceeded the performance requirements of all these regulations.
See the original notice in full below.