Check your child restraints

Check your restraints.
Check your restraints.

Parents and grandparents are being urged to get their children’s car seats checked by a qualified fitter after the vast majority of those presented at a free event needed adjustments.

Last week's free Child Restraint Checking Day, a service provided by Forbes Shire Council, discovered that 86 per cent of the child restraints checked were incorrectly fitted.

The service provided free child restraint inspections at Forbes Pre School Kindergarten by local RMS Authorised Child Restraint Fitters - Jelbart Dawson and Forbes Auto Electrical Service.

Fifteen child restraints were brought in by parents and grandparents for checking, two child restraints were installed and one was turned around.

Forbes Shire Council's Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said the annual Child Restraint Checking Day event continues to be extremely popular.

"This year we were trialling a new format by going to where the children are to offer the free checks,” she said.

“We held a parents/carers session, followed by an open session.

“It was very successful - there were a large number of bookings but equally as many people who dropped in for the free check or asked about having their child restraints checked whilst dropping off their children.  We will be offering the service at other Childcare Centres in the coming years.

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“Most of the child restraints that were checked had minor problems that needed fixing to ensure the safety of the child,” Ms Suitor said.

“The most common mistakes were that the seatbelt needed tightening, a gated buckle was needed, the seatbelt was twisted or wasn't used correctly with the child restraint, the shoulder straps needed adjustment and there wasn't a large enough gap between the back of the front seat and the child restraint.

“The correct fitting and adjustment of child restraints is vital.  It is important to make sure that your precious cargo is safe and buckled up every time they are in the car - whether it's a five minute or five hour journey.

"Congratulations to Lauren Ridley who was the lucky door prize winner and a big thank-you to our RMS Authorised Restraint Fitters, Bill from Jelbart Dawson and Jamie and Sam from Forbes Auto Electrical Service.

“Thanks also to Amy and the team at Forbes Pre School Kindergarten for hosting us.”

While this Child Restraint Checking Day is an annual event hosted by Forbes Shire Council, Jelbart Dawson and Forbes Auto Electrical Service install and check child restraints every day for a small fee.

National child restraints laws have been in effect in New South Wales since 2010. 

Children are required to be seated in an approved child restraint, appropriate for their size until they are seven years of age. 

Research shows that a child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.