Rotorua residents who have children's car seats stored away at home may be able to help out families in need.

The Rotorua Parents' Centre's Rotorua Car Seat Clinic helps families make sure their children are safe in their seats.

The clinic is appealing to any community members who have suitable seats to donate them, so they can be passed on to families in need of car seats.

Amy O'Hagan, Rotorua Parents' Centre co-president and child restraint technician, says the Rotorua Car Seat Clinic has been officially going under its own name since July.


The clinic's partners are Plunket, Rotorua police, Road Safety Rotorua and Mokoia Community Association.

Amy and Alice Waitoa are trained as child restraint technicians, and as partners Constable Emily Bryce from the Rotorua police and Rotorua Lakes Council safer Journeys co-ordinator, Infrastructure Group Reade Nikora are training as well.

It is hoped that in the New Year there can be a regular clinic on a weekday, and a weekend clinic every six weeks or so, she says.

Currently, people can make an appointment through the Rotorua Car Seat Clinic Facebook page, and they have been holding free drop-in clinics.

Amy says they checked 34 seats at the last clinic held on Saturday, and only two were installed correctly.

She says one of the incorrect ones was a car seat which was expired for more than 10 years and so a donated replacement was arranged.

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"The clinic days have been really positive. People were turning up before our start time and we kept going past 12pm."

Amy says any in-date car seat donations from the community for rehoming would be much appreciated.

"There seems to be a real need out there."

The Bay of Plenty is quite over-represented in child injuries through accidents, and/or deaths, which is quite worrying, she says.

She says if people are unsure of the seats date and whether it is expired, they can contact the clinic and send through photos of the seat's stamp.

Amy says the clinic has placed a few seats through Plunket already.

She says if people can get a car seat through their WINZ grant they need to do that first, as the clinic cannot supply them if that is the case.

She says the main reasons for incorrect car seats appear to be cost, and people thinking they are doing the right thing and installing the seats properly when they are not.

"We are just trying to help people with their restraints. We certainly don't tell anyone off or make them feel bad."