Working to ensure child car seats are fitted correctly

By Liz Wylieliz wylie@wanganuichronicle co nz

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Pam Lane (left) watches Michelle Whittaker demonstrate the strap placings for her car seat. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY
Pam Lane (left) watches Michelle Whittaker demonstrate the strap placings for her car seat. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY

Many Whanganui children are travelling in unsafe car seats according to Plunket specialists out working with police and Horizons Regional Council staff yesterday.

The team were stopping drivers in York St yesterday morning and Plunket volunteer Michelle Whittaker said a number of the seats she checked were not fitted correctly.

Grandmother Pam Lane said she was glad she got pulled over and discovered that the seat in her car was not correctly fitted.

"My granddaughter hasn't used it yet so I'm glad to get some expert help from Michelle," she said.

Ms Whittaker is a car seat technician who runs her own baby products business in Victoria Ave when she is not working as a Plunket volunteer.

Manawatu/Whanganui car seat manager for Plunket, Veronica Fielsend said the stops are about education rather than punishing people.

"We can help people get their restraints up to standard and refer them to a recommended fitter," she said.

"We can also help with applications for Winz grants and we have seats for sale with free installation."

Mrs Fielsend said child car seats have a lifespan of 6-12 years depending on the make and a 25-year-old seat was discovered during a recent check.

"We are working with The Warehouse to purchase seats that we can donate to families experiencing genuine hardship," she said.

The safety checks are funded by Horizons Regional Council and take place three to four times a year in Whanganui.

Roadsafe co-ordinator for Wanganui and Rangitikei Glenda Leitao said the checks are a vital part of road safety education.

Plunket has trained technicians available to give support and advice at the Family Centre, 130 Heads Rd, on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 10am until 11am.

People wanting to know more about car restraint compliance can call Wanganui Plunket on 0800 245 373 or check the Facebook page.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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