A recent free child car restraint checking event run by Parkes Shire Council has yielded alarming results – with all of the car seats checked on the day discovered to have been incorrectly fitted.
The Council-run service is provided annually in Parkes in conjunction with local Authorised Child Restraint Fitters.
Council says nine child restraints were brought in by parents and grandparents for checking.
“Most of the child restraints that were checked had minor problems that needed fixing to ensure the safety of the child,” said Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor.
“The correct fitting and adjustment of child restraints is vital. It is important to make sure that your precious cargo is safe and buckled up every time they are in the car – whether it’s a five minute or five hour journey.”
The most common mistakes were:
- a gated buckle was needed
- shoulder straps needed adjustment
- the seatbelt path was wrong
- there wasn’t a large enough gap between the back of the front seat and the child restraint
- capsule tether straps were used incorrectly and
- a seatbelt was being used unnecessarily along with ISOFIX.
National child restraints laws have been in effect in NSW since 2010. Children are required to be seated in an approved child restraint, appropriate for their size, until they are seven years of age.
Research shows that a child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a crash than one who is not.
Visit www.childcarseats.com.au for more information about child restraint rules.