The Child’s Car Seat Bacteria that could make Your Child Sick

Your children are the most precious cargo you will ever carry in your car, but a new study from Leasing Options has shockingly revealed almost half of parents rarely clean their child car seats, leaving seats covered in bacteria that can cause serious illness.

Researchers found that:

  • 44% of parents clean their child’s car seats less than once every six months.
  • One in ten parents admit to only cleaning the car seat once per year
  • 1 in fifteen (16%) said they never wash the child car seat.

Interestingly, it’s younger parents that are most fastidious. One third of parents aged between 18-24-years-old cleaned their child’s car seat once a week, which is way better than the 25-44 age group, where it was only one in five.

Lurking bacteria

Leasing Options swabbed the various parts of the interiors of cars to see what germs lie hidden from our eyes.

The steering wheels, hand brakes, gear sticks and centre consoles/radios swabbed all registered at between 10-20 LOD (Level Of Detection) for bacteria.

However, the child’s car seat registered a massive 3,000 LOD!

The main bacteria found on the child’s car seat was ‘faecal streptococci’. Yes that is ‘faecal’ as in ‘poo’, and it can cause:

  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Bacterial meningitis.

These infections can enter the skin through the tiniest cut, making your child sick – but simply washing the seat will remove it.

Earlier research from the University of Birmingham in 2014 found that children’s car seats harboured almost twice as much bacteria as a toilet seat – not a nice thought.

While the seat looked clean enough at first glance, Leasing Options visualised what this might look like if you could see the germs:

The message is clear – to protect your child, clean their car seat regularly.

As a result of the shocking research, Leasing Options have produced a helpful guide on the best way to clean your child’s car seat: https://www.leasingoptions.co.uk/news/blog/guide-to-child-car-seats/5958

This really is one of those instances where a good wash really could save your child’s life.