Save a child - buckle them in

By Simon Waters

1 comment

Buckle up your kids, their lives could depend upon it.

Police, Plunket and Horizons Regional Council have teamed up to hammer home the need to correctly restrain children in vehicles.

"Children are particularly vulnerable in crashes because they are smaller and have different body shapes," council road safety coordinator Debbie Webster said.

Children up to the age of seven are required to use an approved child restraint, while children aged between seven and eight should use a restraint if one is available, Ms Webster said.

Research indicated that children should stay in a booster seat until they are 148cm tall. "A booster seat lifts the child up to a position where the vehicle seatbelt will sit against their body in the best position to protect them from injury in a sudden stop or crash."

Ms Webster said the most common issues the three agencies wanted to address included car seats that don't fit in the car correctly, tether straps not being used, expired car seats and car seats that children have outgrown.

When installed correctly, child car restraints reduce the risk of death for infants by up to 70 per cent, for toddlers by up to 54 per cent, and the need for hospitalisation for children four years and under by up to 69 per cent.

"It's really interesting when we talk to school aged children and ask them who in their family doesn't wear a seatbelt, their response is often 'mum or dad' "

Police checkpoints throughout the district are planned over coming months.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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