Car Seat Safety Warning
Many New Zealand parents are incorrectly using child car restraints and are unknowingly putting their children at risk in the event of a road crash.
To help address this issue, the Minister of Transport and Safekids New Zealand have launched a new tool - the Kids that Click website and DVD.
Developed with funding from the Road Safety Trust, the website and DVD features videos that help parents pick the right child restraint for their children, teaches them how to install it correctly, and where to find help.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of injury for children up to the age of 14. "Every year an average of 16 children are killed 279 and others are injured or permanently disabled as passengers in a car crash on New Zealand roads," said Ann Weaver, Director of Safekids New Zealand.
According to the Government's road safety strategy to 2020, Safer Journeys, New Zealand has one of the highest child road fatality rates in the OECD, and part of this is due to the lack-- or incorrect use --of appropriate restraints.
International research shows that 4 out of 5 child car seats used are incorrectly fitted in one way or another. "Incorrect installation can greatly reduce the safety benefits of a child car seat," Ann added.
When used correctly at the time of a crash, child car restraints:
- reduce the risk of death for infants by up to 70%
- reduce the risk of death for toddlers by up to 54%
- reduce the need for hospitalisation for children 4 years and under by up to 69%.
- Booster seats for school-aged kids under 148cm in height, reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by up to 59%.
"Car seats and booster seats, when installed and used correctly, save children's lives. Kids that Click provides at-their-fingertips information that will allow them to make the right decisions that will give children the best chance of survival in the event of a car crash," Ann said.
To watch Safekids' child restraint installation videos, visit www.mysafekids.org.nz/passengersafety.
Tips to keep kids safe when travelling in cars:
- Make sure your car seat is correctly installed. Visit www.mysafekids.org.nz/passengersafety to find out how.
- If you need more help, find a certified child restraint technician at www.nzta.govt.nz/child-restraints.
- You can rent a child restraint at very little cost from a Plunket car seat rental scheme. They will also install the car seat correctly in your vehicle.
Published: 18 November 2011
Source: Safe Kids New Zealand