Welcome to our 6 Days of Road Safety from 4-9th May. Tune in, share and win. Day 5: Car seat safety: capsules, toddler seats and boosters
Child car restraints reduce the risk of injury and death in a car accident by preventing contact between the child and the car’s interior, protecting the child from impact and spreading any impact force onto stronger parts of the body.
Up to 75 per cent (and sometimes more) of child car restraints are not being used or are not fitted correctly or are not the correct restraint for the child. Common mistakes include the inbuilt harness is not at the correct height (on the child’s shoulder), the top tether is not connected or not connected to an anchor point, the seatbelt is incorrectly threaded or not buckled, and harness straps or tether straps are twisted.
The penalty for incorrect restraining of a child under 16 is actually $341 fine and 3 demerit points – per child!
Top 5 Tips for today
1. Use a restraint. I know weird to have to say this but some people think their newborn babies are safer and more protected on mums lap. NO! We are not in the 70’s peeps! From birth baby must be rear facing. Unwrap the baby and place the 6 point harness over the baby’s shoulders, hips and between the legs. You might consider hiring a baby carrier or capsule from Kidsafe Qld? Fit it two weeks before your due date. You have time to make sure it fits in the car and you know how to use it. Practice with a teddy. Kidsafe can check you have installed it and know how to use it or install it for you. Go to www.kidsafeqld.com.au
2. All child car seats/restraints must meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754. That means NO you cannot buy a seat off the internet from any other country – even New Zealand - or bring one with you from overseas and use it here. It is illegal and dangerous. Look for the red Australian Standard sticker with the ticks. It is not safe to buy a second-hand seat because you do not know if it has been in a severe accident (in which case it must be destroyed) and certainly you cannot use a seat over 10 years old – cut all the straps and dump it! If you must buy second hand make sure you know its history, check all moving parts work, the harness and tether are not worn or frayed, that it has the Australian Standard sticker, is under 10 years of age and has the instruction booklet.
3. Can we use IsoFIX seats? NO! All IsoFIX seats are made overseas. What we have in Australia is IsoFIX-compatible seats with connections (soft or rigid) that connect to the IsoFIX connectors in some cars. These Australian Standard IsoFIX compatible seats are even safer than the ‘famed’ European models as they include a top tether strap and have indicators on the connections that will show green when the connectors are attached to the car’s IsoFIX loops securely. Best seats in the world are right here peeps!
4. Baby can transition to a forward facing restraint when it meets these 3 criteria: legally must be a minimum of six months old, must meet the minimum shoulder height markings in the forward-facing restraint, and be able to sit on the floor independently – that is can hold up its head (the heaviest part of a bub’s body) without toppling over. This will usually be at about 10-12 months. Rear facing longer is safer.
5. Your child must stay in a forward-facing restraint with an inbuilt harness until 4 years of age but can stay longer if they still fit. They are safer in a restraint that has an inbuilt harness, you can buy them for kids up to an average age of 8 years! Legally they can progress to a booster seat at 4 years and must stay in it until a minimum of 7 years. If at that time they cannot sit on the adult seat with their bum all the way back, legs bent over the edge of the seat, with the lap/sash adult seatbelt on their shoulder (not digging into their neck) and across the hard bones of their hip then they are not safe and should be popped back into the booster. Look for the new boosters for kids up to an average age of 10 years! Don’t be in a rush to transition – the legal minimum is the minimum not a ‘magic age’ or the safest for your child. Be a #kidsafemum
Answer our question to win a Safe n Sound Platinum SICT.
What age should a child stay in a forward facing restraint with an inbuilt harness?
Winners will be announced on 11th May 2015.