Plun­ket puts kids in the box seat

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

A lo­cal fam­ily was the first re­cip­i­ent of a free car seat last week thanks to The Ware­house spon­sored Add a $1 car seat cam­paign. Run­ning from Novem­ber last year to the end of March, the cam­paign raised more than $45,000 at The Ware­house check­outs in Manawatu, Wan­ganui, Taranaki, Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast – enough to pro­vide 300 needy fam­i­lies across th­ese re­gions with car seats.

Plun­ket Manawatu Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Team Leader, Tanya Jain, says sup­port from The Ware­house and its cus­tomers was out­stand­ing and it seemed fit­ting to gift the first car seat dur­ing Road Safety Week.

‘‘To raise $45,000, of which ev­ery cent goes to­wards a new car seat, is ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal. The gift­ing of car seats will make a real im­pact to­wards child safety within th­ese com­mu­ni­ties, and has the po­ten­tial to save lives.’’

Fam­i­lies in need, Tanya says are be­ing re­ferred for the free car seats by Plun­ket, or an ap­proved agency.

‘‘What’s more, we know th­ese seats will be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated by the fam­i­lies re­ceiv­ing them.’’

The first re­cip­i­ents were Ghazia Saba and Syed Faisal Ab­bas on be­half of their 15-month old son, Dayyan Ab­bas. Orig­i­nally from Karachi in Pak­istan, the fam­ily of five have been in Palmer­ston North for two years, ar­riv­ing here via Dubai.

‘‘Part of our ad­vo­cacy co­or­di­na­tion is to pro­vide one-on-one sup­port for new peo­ple to the

‘‘To raise $45,000, of which ev­ery cent goes to­wards a new car seat, is ab­so­lutely phe­nom­e­nal. ’’

– Tanya Jain

coun­try,’’ Tanya ex­plains. ‘‘For many, car seats are a whole new cul­ture.’’

There is no re­quire­ment for car seats in Pak­istan, and the Ab­bas fam­ily say that though car seats were a re­quire­ment in Dubai, it was not re­in­forced. Dayyan had out­grown his orig­i­nal cap­sule, and the fam­ily were do­nat­ing that to Plun­ket so an­other young child could be ac­com­mo­dated.

Last year Plun­ket an­nounced it was chang­ing its car seat ser­vice and mov­ing away from rentals and sales to fo­cus on a broader home-based in­jury pre­ven­tion plan, as most ac­ci­dents and in­juries hap­pen around the home.

Car seat ad­vo­cacy and ed­u­ca­tion re­mains a vi­tal com­po­nent of the plan. Part of the ad­vo­cacy is to make sure fam­i­lies un­der­stand the law, along with the cor­rect fit­ting of the car seats.

Plun­ket con­tin­ues to work lo­cally in part­ner­ship with road safety co­or­di­na­tors and po­lice. Plun­ket’s Ad­vo­cacy and Ed­u­ca­tion Co­or­di­na­tors will also have a pres­ence in The Ware­house stores over the com­ing months to gen­er­ate greater aware­ness about its on­go­ing com­mit­ment to car seat safety and in­stal­la­tion fol­low­ing the phas­ing out pe­riod of Plun­ket’s rental and pur­chase op­tions.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Road Safety Week: Ghazia Saba and Syed Faisal Ab­bas with their 15-month-old son, Dayyan Ab­bas, were pre­sented with a car seat as part of Road Safety Week by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Plun­ket and The Ware­house, From left; Con­nie Se­menoff (The Ware­house), He­len Luke (Plun­ket Car Seat Ed­u­ca­tion & Ad­vo­cacy) Dayyan Ab­bas (15 months), and par­ents Syed Faisal Ab­bas and Ghazia Saba.

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