Crep report car seat safety

What is the Crep Report

Travel Safe are a group of independent car seat fitters in Melbourne, providing independent advice and fitting for families in Melbourne, allowing families understand the true meaning of the Crep Report on car seat safety.

The Crep Report is an abbreviation for Child Restraint Evaluation Program Report. The Crep Report is executed by a number of Victorian and NSW transport agences with the aim to provide carers with more information than just the marketing material from the car seat manufacturers.

Problems with the Crep Report

Is Crep truly independent / Unbiased

A Major concern over the years is that Crep report is not as unbiased as they would like you to believe. It seems strange that one manufacturer always seems to be tested first for car seat safety and always seems to get better results than the other seats tested. As voiced and noted by MrsLexiK on essential baby in 2013. Other blogs and forums have voiced similar concerns

Inconsistent Ratings

Most manufacturers change the name of the seats when they change the fabric an/ or when the standard changes. This is especially so for Mothers choice who have the main seat as the Celestial. The Mothers Choice Celestial car seat is a newborn to 4 years (baby car seat). The Mothers Choice Celestial is using the same shell as many other Mothers Choice car seats such as

  • the Emperor,
  • the Cherish,
  • the Mystique,
  • the Embrace
  • the Allure
  • and the Avoro

It is good to see that the report has been updated to reflect these are the sames seats and that there are no longer different ratings for each seat. However there are still seats which are using the same shell and still have different ratings.

These include the Safe n Sound Maxi Rider EA/ Maxi Lite / Maxi Rider AHR. The Maxi Lite is now discontinued and is now called the Maxi Rider. Reading the Crep Report; one would believe that the maxi rider easy adjust is safer than the Maxi Lite.

The Maxi Lite is verified against the 2013 standard and the easy adjust is tested against the 2010 standard. This causes parents to buy the easy adjust over the Maxi Lite and the Easy Adjust scores 4.9 out of 5 in booster mode compared to 1.9 for the maxi lite. The crep report should be updated to reflect the Easy Adjust is tested to a different standard, the rating should be lowered, and noted that the seat is at least 7 years old.

Unsafe Australian Standards ?

Crep re-tests the carseats according to their own standard, creating the illusion that some seats are unsafe and should not be sold in Australia. If you accept this premise, then the Australian Standard is insufficient and we should not use any seat unless it has been tested by the Crep consortium. The Australian Standards are the safest in the world and Crep report retesting for protection is confusing for families and carers. The Crep report, should focus on why the majority of car seats are installed incorrectly by the public. Research indicates 70+% are used installed incorrectly.

Incorrect Ease of Use Ratings

The ease of use ranking is a worthy effort at looking at what really matters to families, however the factors are pointless and do not reflect the correct safety concerns.

Consistency is need for a true comparison, and when crep combine factors such as Securing the child in the restraint and in the vehicle and then separating them as two factors

  • Ensuring the child is secure in the restraint
  • Securing the restraint in the vehicle

Securing your babyin the restraint is identical in all harnessed seats and booster seats. they all use the same buckle and the same clips. The problem arises when trying to tighten the harness, adjusting the harness strap position and the number of harness positions, are there any design issues which make it difficult to put a child into the child restraint. In order to help parents make the correct decision, these factors should be included

The factors below have no impact upon the ease of use and do not improve the stats that are often quoted in the media re misuse of the child restraint.

  • Labels
  • Packaging

Installation

One of the most important aspects, regarding child restraint safety, is the installation of the child restraint into the car. Are there any factors which make the installation easier or harder. Is there one seat belt path for both rear and forward facing, or is there more than one seat belt path for forward facing. These are issues the Crep report misses entirely.

One of the most important aspects many families consider is car seat anfety and the installation of the child restraint into the car. Are there any factors which make the installation easier or harder. Is there one seat belt path for both rear and forward facing, or is there more than one seat belt path for forward facing.

How does the car seat fit on most car seats. Unless the Crep consortium are installing the child restraint in multiple vehicles, their installation rating is essentially worthless and meaningless and bears no relation to the installation of that particular child restraint.

Very few car seats receive a installation higher than 2 in the crep report; in other words, this seat can only be installed except by a professional fitter. This statement is totally incorrect. The fact that the Mothers Choice Mystique in forward facing mode; gets the same rating as rear facing does not take into account the forward facing has 2 seat belt paths.

The crep report gives the Safety 1st Prime AP gets a rating of 2 for the installation difficulty. However the Safety 1st Prime is one of the most difficult child restraints to install; and takes in excess of 10 minutes to install correctly.

Crep Report Conclusion

Do not bother with reading the crep report; you will only get confused with incorrect information regarding car seat safety. As a parent, you want independent information to make your decision; talk to an independant ACRI accredited fitter. Discuss your needs with an ACRI accredited fitter; they will be able to make a recommendation to suit your family and lifestyle. Discover the real benefits of Profession car seat fitting by and ACRI fitter.

Resources

  1. 2009 crep report
  2. 2007 crep report
  3. NRMA Report
  4. baby car seats and safety