Revealed: Children’s car seats are dirtier than toilet seats

Children's car seats have more harmful bacteria than toilet seats.

Children are the most precious cargo you can have in your car, but a new study by Leasing Options has revealed a rather grim truth about the number of harmful bacteria that can be found on your child’s car seat

While items such as high chairs get cleaned after every use, it’s obviously a lot harder to remember to give the car seat the attention it needs when it comes to cleaning.

Parents cleaning habits

Whilst they might look clean, children's car seats are anything but

The study found that children’s car seats are often the most germ-infested area of the family motor’s cabin, which prompted Leasing Options to take a closer look at how often parents were cleaning their child’s car seats and the results may make you feel a little unclean.

Almost 50% of parents clean their child seat less than once every six months leaving their kids exposed to harmful bacteria.

One in ten parents admit to only cleaning the car seat once per year, and worryingly, 1 in fifteen (16%) say they have never wash the child car seat.

Interestingly, and somewhat surprisingly, it’s younger parents that appear to be most concerned with cleanliness.

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.

The filthy results

children's car seats are riddled with harmful bacteria

Leasing Options asked parents not to clean their car seats for two weeks before swabbing them, finding a massive 300x more bacteria than the steering wheels, hand brakes, gear sticks and centre consoles/ radios.

The worst of the bacteria found was, somewhat unsurprisingly, ‘faecal streptococci’, also known as poo particles. This kind of bacteria can cause bacterial pneumonia, ear infections and bacterial meningitis.

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

While the car seats might look clean on first glance, Leasing Options visualised what this might look like if you could see the germs.

A previous spot of research by the University of Birmingham in 2014 found that children’s car seats harboured almost twice as much bacteria as a toilet car seat.

You better get the Dettol out and give your car seat a good scrub before you allow your child back in the car again.

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.

Get up to date with all the latest laws surrounding driving with children here.

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