Car seat services coming to an end

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Plunket's long-term car seat and safety service in Napier and Waipukurau finishes this week.

Hawke's Bay Plunket has been preparing to shift its focus to education and advocacy following the organisation's announcement last year about exiting rental and sales of car restraints. It will continue to offer car seat checks and installation. Napier Plunket Hub will be open twice a week for checks and installation clinics and once a month in Waipukurau.

"We're proud of the work we've done to help families keep their children safe on the roads. However, families' needs have changed, and we're making changes to our services in response to this," Plunket's community services leader Tanya Jain said.

The end of the rental and sales service is part of a national shift for Plunket, which has seen its car seat services across the country close due to declining customer numbers. In 2013, Plunket consolidated its car seat service to its Napier base, by closing the site in Hastings due to unsustainable financial losses.

Plunket's car seat service was launched in 1981, when there were few providers of car seats and only around 20 per cent of children were properly restrained when travelling in cars.

Today, families were more likely to buy car seats from one of the many retailers, and Plunket estimates it has around 6 per cent of the market nationwide.

Other providers of car seats in this region include: Baby on the Move and Baby Factory who rent and sell car seats.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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