Child restraints stump parents

RACQ has pleaded with parents to brush up on the child seat rules and recommendations after it was revealed two thirds of children weren’t properly restrained in the car.

Child in car seat

A study by Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne found there was a significant knowledge gap about safest practice recommendations for child car seats

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said the study painted an alarming picture of the way many children travelled in cars.

“The study found 63 percent of kids aged seven to 10 years travel in an adult seatbelt without a booster seat, even though the majority haven’t reached the recommended height to safely do so,” Ms Hunter said.

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“Alarmingly the study also shows almost half of children, aged between seven and 12 years, ride in the front seat of the car, which doubles their risk of being injured in a crash.”

Ms Hunter said best practice recommendation was that children should be seated in booster seats until they were 145 centimetres tall and should remain in the back seat until 12 years of age.

“Parents should use the shoulder height markers on child restraints and boosters to guide them on when their child is ready to move up to a bigger seat or adult seatbelt. Once children hit seven years of age, they should stay in their booster until they outgrow it – as shown by the markers,” she said.

“Parents or caregivers should check out RACQ’s website for more information on what they’re legally required to do to keep their children safe but also the Club’s Kids in Cars program is a great way to get comprehensive information on the best practice recommendations.

“We know parenthood can be overwhelming, but these are simple ways in which to keep your children safe.”