Restraints are one of those things that look easy but are in fact surprisingly tricky,…
Child Restraint Fittings…..What we see
The RMS are now attempting to crack down on the correct use of child restraints, this includes issuing 3 demerit points and $300 fines per child restraint incorrectly used.
- HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE YOUR RESTRAINT PROFESSIONALLY FITTED?
- DOES YOUR CHILD HATE TRAVELLING IN THE CAR?
- WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR STRAPS WERE CHECKED FOR FRAYS?
- HAVE YOU ADJUSTED THE HARNESS HEIGHT IN THE CHILD RESTRAINT RECENTLY?
According to the Australian Transport Council, approximately 500 children up to the age of 10 are killed or seriously injured every year in car accidents, with 2,300 sustaining minor injuries.
As RMS qualified fitters, we see A LOT of seats that come through our doors, whether it be for full installation, adjustments or inspections, 90% of parents and grandparents are unaware of the safety risk of having incorrectly installed restraints or incorrect use of a seat. With the statistics showing that 4 out of 5 restraints that are installed by the customer are incorrectly fitted and therefore risking the life of the child occupying this seat in the event of an accident.
We are always encouraging parents to assess their car and car seat to ensure they are within the 10 year date of manufacture, the restraint is age and height appropriate for the child and that the harness is correctly adjusted each and every time we buckle up.
There is more awareness required around child restraints and the safety aspect of these seats. They are fantastic and necessary when used correctly. Like anything that has safety and standards, if used incorrectly becomes useless. The seats carrying infants and children should be a priority for all parents and grandparents to ensure the restraint works to prevent major injury in the event of an accident. The staggering statistics should be enough to shock people into taking the preventative measures to be sure they are eliminating risk. The standards in Australia as so that every child under the age of 7 years MUST be restraints in an appropriate child restraint. We see a lot of variations on how these seats are installed with many not anchored correctly, attached to luggage points, not using the correct seat belt path, on the incorrect recline, stabiliser bars not activated and multiple twisted harnesses which prove uncomfortable for infants and children.
“At our last Northern Beaches Council inspection day 96% of seats were incorrectly installed.
That’s just 2 seats out of 50 that were installed properly!”
Amongst parents, grandparents and the general public we are asked a common question … ‘Do we have to have the restraint professionally fitted’.
The answer being No, its not a legal requirement, however we do highly recommend it due to the variety of seats on the market that are not all fitted the same. The make of the car also plays a huge role. Some cars have anchor points in the roof, some in the boot and most behind the seat. There are a lot of ways we can fit seats but most importantly, the correct tension is required to make sure there is minimal movement between the restraint and the seat of the car. If you push and pull the seat by the base, it has movement, it is most likely too loose and incorrectly fitted.
Just 1 twist in the harness can snap a child’s collarbone in the event of an accident. A tight harness is just as important as a correctly fitted seat. If your child screams when placed in their seat or hates travelling in the car, it could be an easy fix by doing the correct harness adjustments and head piece set correctly. When it comes to children, surely the sake of a correctly fitted seat is worth your child’s life? Australia as a nation need to take it seriously and not think it wont happen to them. We have seen the effects of children caught up in horrific accidents where their injuries could have been minimised – its real and it happens.
Don’t let your child be a statistic – come in and see us for an $11 inspection or look out for your local FREE Council Inspection day. SIGN UP to our mailing list to receive updates on BabySafe Child Restraints FREE inspection days. Ph: 1300 44 BABY