RAA child safety expert, Belinda Maloney said you can buy the safest child restraint on the market, but if it is not installed correctly, it may not provide the protection a child needs in the event of a car crash.
“Using an appropriate restraint that is properly fitted reduces the risk of serious injury or death by up to 70 per cent,” said Ms Maloney.
In South Australia, around 15 children under seven years are killed or seriously injured each year, and another 105 children receive minor injuries.
“A third of passenger deaths and serious injuries in children under seven years occurred when the child was not wearing a restraint at the time of the crash,” said Ms Maloney.
“Research shows that a child who is properly secured in an approved child restraint is far less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.”
Ms Maloney said at our RAA Safety Centre, we find that the majority (88 per cent) of child restraints we check are not installed correctly or are not being used correctly.
“The most common problems we encounter are loose fitting restraints and twisted harness straps.
“Although a restraint being a bit loose or having twisted straps may not sound serious, these issues can lead to greater injury for the child in the event of a crash.
“These issues are very easily fixed, so it’s very important for parents and caregivers to ensure they provide their children with not only a restraint that’s suitable for their size and age, but one that’s fitted and adjusted correctly as well.”
RAA has a range of informative videos for children of all ages available on our website, so parents can find information about when their baby is able to move out of an infant restraint, to when they are safe to start using an adult seatbelt. Visit www.raa.com.au/childrestraints for further information.
Parents needing advice on the right restraint for their child or wanting to book an installation appointment can contact RAA’s Safety Centre. Community groups can also book child safety presentations by contacting RAA’s Safety Centre on 8202 4592.