Keeping children safe in the car

5/02/2013

We’ve all heard the saying that “children are the future” – but how do we make sure that little ones are safe whilst in the car? We outline some simple tips to help improve your child’s safety while in a vehicle.

 

Child safety seat1. Make sure you are using the correct car seat for your child – Each state in Australia has a set of rules and regulations surrounding child safety restraints. Selecting the right seat is dependent on your child’s age and weight, as well as the safety rating of the actual restraint. It is important to make sure that the seat you are using has not been previously damaged or in an accident, so be wary of second hand seats and instead buy new where possible.

2. Make sure the seat is properly installed - Around 80% of parents are using incorrectly fitted or sized restraints, unknowingly increasing their child’s risk or injury or death in an accident. If you’re at all unsure about the installation or sizing of your child restraint it is worth going to a fitting station run by your local motor authority for advice.

3. Never hold a child or baby whilst travelling in a car – always use a regulation-approved car restraint for your child based on their age and weight. Holding a baby or small child in a moving car greatly increases the risk of death or serious injury in the event of an accident.  

4.Put children in the back seat – if possible always make sure to put your child’s car restraint in the back seat of your car, away from the airbags. An inflating passenger air bag can kill a baby in a rear-facing child restraint and severely injure children of any age. The safest place for any child to ride is in the back seat.

5. Never leave children alone in a car – while this seems obvious, even leaving your child alone in the car for a matter of minutes can be disastrous. Temperatures inside a car quickly rise, which could seriously harm your child even if the windows are partly open. It’s also possible for kids to wriggle free from their seats and hit the controls, causing the car to move.

For more information about child car restraints and how to keep children safe in vehicles, visit the information pages on your states motor authority website:

Victoria - RACV
South Australia - RAA
Queensland - RACQ
Western Australia - RAC

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