FIREFIGHTERS have been recruited to the campaign to educate parents and drivers of the perils of using wrongly-fitted child car seats.

Road safety officers from North Yorkshire County Council have been training members of the fire service to check whether child restraints have been fitted properly.

Although the authority's road safety team already offer free checks on car seats, they say the sheer size of the county means it makes sense to provide training to firefighters based in the different communities.

And to date, a total of 100 firefighters in Richmond, Selby, Harrogate, York, Malton, Skipton and Easingwold have now received the potentially life-saving training.

Sheelagh Phillips, from the county's road safety team, said: "Firefighters are often the first at the scene of a road accident when an incorrectly-fitted child seat has resulted in death or serious injury to the occupants of the vehicle.

"They therefore see the tragic consequences that this can cause and so it is important that they can give advice to parents and drivers to prevent this from happening.

"We are delighted to have reached the landmark of 100 trained firefighters in North Yorkshire and look forward to working with more in the future."

The head of community risk for the fire service, Ian Bitcon, said: "It is vitally important to educate parents and drivers about the dangers of using incorrectly-fitted child restraints.

"We are committed to this safety initiative and will continue to support it by making more firefighters available for the training."

The county's road safety team works throughout the year on a number of initiatives, aimed at warning adults and children about the dangers of not wearing seat belts, or using second-hand, old, damaged, or incorrectly fitted child seats.

For more advice on child restraints and car seats, contact the road safety team on (01609) 532614.