Make sure children’s car seats are properly used
Here are some tips to keep your little ones safe while travelling during the f estive season
WHILE t ravelling this holida y, a void posing any unnecessary additional risk to your children by ensuring that child restraints are installed correctly, or you may pot entially c ompromise it s performance in a cr ash.
And while most of us recognise that child r estraints ar e ther e t o pr ovide protection in a crash and increase safety, do w e all kno w ho w t o use them properly?
To help get you on the right tr ack, here ar e tips f or ins talling a child r estraint or children’s car seat. Remember, if in any doubt, ask for help from a professional installer. Your children’s lives c ould depend on it. • Always read the manual. Perhaps you don’t read the manual when it comes to the ne w blender or t elevision, but this is one you cannot skip. Even if you have ins talled one bef ore, r eview the manual again to ensure the seat is correctly fitted. It is advisable to read the vehicle o wner’s manual, w hich will contain inf ormation on ho w t o fit a child restraint, as well as the one supplied b y the seat manuf acturer. • Be cautious with borr owed or sec ondhand car seat s. If y ou ha ve borrowed it from someone, check the seat carefully and look out f or things such as wear and tear, whether the harness is working correctly and whether it has a properly working buckle. In addition to looking out for bent or broken pins and fit tings, check f or disc oloured plastic that indicat es excessive e xposure t o the sun. • Car seats have an expiry date: check the date of manufacture if considering a secondhand seat and never use one that is more than seven years old. Child restraints that have been in an acident should be r eplaced. • Make sure the s traps are snugly fitted. The straps should be tight enough so you can only fit one finger between the child and the s traps.
Even if your child throws a tantrum, don’t give in and loosen the s traps as the result could be deadly in a collision. All s traps should lie flat ag ainst the child’s body and the chest clip should be positioned at the child’s armpit level. • Lastly, it is also important to secure loose objects in your car. Make sure all objects are s towed away safely. Items like umbrellas, water bottles and bags could be very hazardous in an accident as a har d impact can turn them int o missiles that can harm you or your children.
Car accidents are the leading cause of unint entional injury related death among childr en ag ed 1 4 and under .
Arrive Alive says a review of various United States studies shows that correctly ins talled child saf ety seat s f or children aged 0–4 years can reduce the need for hospitalisation by 69%, the risk of death f or infants is reduced by 70%, and by up t o 54% for children aged 1–4 y ears.
When ins talled and used c orrectly, child r estraints pr event injurie s and save li ves. W hen it is y our childr en’s lives on the line, make the investment in qualit y seat s and t ake the time t o install them right.
— Supplied by Rory Judd of MiWay.
Ensure saf e and pe aceful tr avels this holida y s eason b y c orrectly ins talling y our chil d’s c ar s eat.