'H.A.P.P.Y' campaign by Graco
'H.A.P.P.Y' campaign by Graco

As school restarts and parenting life picks up apace, Graco, the popular car seat manufacturer, is on a mission to help families achieve the ultimate parenting goal – a happy car journey with children, as families get ready to travel here, there and everywhere again.

Research with Graco’s 15,000 Instagram followers identified the balance is found via a combination of three key areas when travelling in your car: safety, entertainment and cleanliness.

Head to Graco’s dedicated Car Seat Safety website for parent-to-parent advice using light-hearted humour, informative videos and the most saliant safety messages via a memorable H.A.P.P.Y acronym.

'H.A.P.P.Y' will encourage and promote car safety for children
'H.A.P.P.Y' will encourage and promote car safety for children

Graco’s research found:

Keeping it clean

82 per cent of Graco’s followers admit trying to keep the child car seats clean with 83 per cent using a pack of baby wipes for pretty much everything - sticky hands and faces, the car seat, the dashboard, backs of seats and muddy boots! 

Keeping it fun

When it comes to entertainment, 62 per cent of Graco’s followers pack an electronic gadget and 62 per cent call on a good old fashioned sing along to bust boredom. Graco has set up a Spotify playlist Spotify – Kids in Car Karaoke of the tunes their followers said are their family favourites!

Keeping it safe

98 per cent claim safety is their highest priority but 56 per cent admit to always rushing out. Graco has devised the five step ‘H.A.P.P.Y’ safety checker for every parent or caregiver to sanity check and stay calm before setting off.

H.A.P.P.Y: The five checks of car safety to reassure parents
H.A.P.P.Y: The five checks of car safety to reassure parents


Five ‘H.A.P.P.Y’ checks to ensure your child is as safe as possible before setting off.

H:         Harness & Handlebar

The harness should always be equal / level with the child’s shoulders. 1 in 10 of Graco’s followers travel with the harness / headrest too high. For Group 0+/i-Size infant carriers the handlebar must be upright, as it acts as a secondary safety measure in the event of an accident. 35 per cent of Graco’s social media followers admit to travelling with the handle down.

A:        Airbag

6 per cent or Graco’s followers do not deactivate the front passenger seat air bag when travelling with a child rear facing in an infant carrier. It is a legal requirement to deactivate the air bag when rear facing for your child’s safety. You must always check the car vehicle manual and the car seat instruction manual. Graco recommends children under the age of 12 do not travel in the front passenger seat.

P:         Pinch test (you might know it as the two finger rule)

To ensure the 5-point harness is secure, and not too loose, try to pinch the belt strap – if you can pinch it so the fabric bunches in your fingers, the harness is too loose.  60 per cent of Graco’s followers do not know about this simple test.

P:         Passenger Side

Always position the youngest passenger behind the passenger seat. In the event of an accident, breakdown or when simply just parking your car, you are safer leaning in to remove the little one from the car while standing on the other side.

Y:         Years, height or weight?

Keep checking your child is in the right seat for their height and weight – the age measure is only a suggested guide. There are two regulations in current use: R44 and R129 (i-Size). R44 regulated seats are grouped based on weight while R129 (i-Size) seats are defined on height.  

'The Pinch Test'
'The Pinch Test'

Parents prioritise safety above all aspects when it comes to traveling with the children in a car, yet there are some things we all do without realizing it compromises on safety. For example 52 per cent of Graco’s followers admit their child carries an electronic gadget in their hands, without realising that in the event of a crash the gadget could become a dangerous missile. Safety partner, Halfords offers a portfolio of products to help parents and children safely stow away those all-important snack pots, gadgets and toys when not in use. For any questions about installing car seats, Halford’s team of fully trained, RoSPA-accredited car seat fitters are always on hand to advise on the correct seat for your child’s height and weight and will demonstrate how to correctly fit it in your vehicle.

For more information visit Graco’s dedicated Car Seat Safety website

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