The free Child Restraint Checking Day held recently, a service provided by Parkes Shire Council, Col Fletcher Ford and Kia along with Parkes Tyrepower and Mechanical Repairs, discovered that 65% of the child restraints checked were incorrectly fitted.
The service provided free child restraint inspections at RMS Authorised Child Restraint Fitting Stations in Parkes and 18 child restraints were brought in by parents, grandparents and carers for checking. Parkes Shire Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Logan Dolbel, said that research shows that two out of three child restraints are not being used properly and this puts children at risk of sustaining injuries if they are involved in a crash. “Most of the child restraints that were checked only had minor problems that needed fixing to ensure the safety of the child. The correct fitting and adjustment of child restraints is vital. Child restraints that are not correctly fitted put children at risk of injury in the event of a crash,” he said.
The most common mistakes were related to the use of the lap sash seatbelts and the straps on the child restraint; they needed tightening, they were too tight, they were twisted or they were incorrectly anchored in the vehicle. Many of the restraints checked also needed additional parts like gated buckles to ensure the safety of the restraint
and the child.
“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.” “Everyone who attended the checking day said they had come along because they wanted to double check that their child restraint was installed correctly and find out more information of when to move their children from one restraint to the next,” Mr Dolbel said.
Information and advice was also available about the types of child restraints, the national laws and when to move children from one restraint to the next. Attendees were also able to grab one of the new height charts, developed as a part of the local Road Safety program, to assist with when to move children from one restraint to the next.