THE lives of thousands of children in Scotland are being put at risk because their parents do not know how to fit their car seats safely.
Nearly half of all car seats checked during a child safety initiative were found to be either incorrectly fitted or incompatible with either the vehicle or the child.
More than half of parents said they had not been shown how to put the seats in properly before setting off on journeys, the study showed.
Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, said: "It is very disappointing to find many retailers not providing basic safety information when selling child car seats.
"I would strongly urge parents and carers to visit an in-car child safety clinics so they can be confident their children are safely restrained."
The findings, part of the Scottish Good Egg In-Car Child Safety Initiative, also showed that more than 10% of parents are not confident about their ability to fit seats safely.
Statistics published earlier this week by Transport Scotland found five children died last year while travelling as car passengers.
Running for 10 years, the Good Egg campaign aims to ensure babies and children are properly restrained while travelling in the car.
Its findings were supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.
The charity is today launching 54 free in-car child safety clinics around Scotland, to run for three months, offering checks on car seats, with written guides available from doctors' surgeries.