In Australia, transport injuries are the most common cause of child injury death & second most common cause of injury related hospital admission for children for children aged 0-14 years. Sadly, a large contributor to this is the fact that 2 in 3 child car seats are not being used correctly.
1: THE LAW
In Victoria, children under 7 years old must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint or approved booster seat when travelling in a motor vehicle. Children over 7 years & under 16 must be restrained in a booster seat or adult seat belt.
2: HOW TO CHOOSE
There are four types of restraints available:
- Rearward-facing restraints/baby capsules
- Forward-facing restraints
- Booster seats
- Adult seatbelts
Choosing the right restraint depends on the age and size of your child. A child should remain in a particular restraint until they’ve outgrown it. Be sure to check the guide & links above.
The Team at CREP (Child Restraint Evaluation Program) have provided some valuable information about Child Car Seats. They also do extensive testing on a range of car restraints and have a handy ‘find and compare’ guide that’s recommended by RACV & Kidsafe. https://www.childcarseats.com.au/find-and-compare-child-car-seats
Another big issue for growing families is how do you fit 3 car seats in your back seat? The option of purchasing slimmer seats and a more compact design will make this task a lot easier. https://www.britax.com.au/tips-advice/want-to-fit-three-car-seats-across-the-back/
Size can be deceptive, but generally, depending on the ages of children and the restraints used, these sorts of vehicles should be able to accommodate three child seats across the back seat:
Any sedan or wagon mid-size and above (e.g. Ford Mondeo, Holden Commodore, Mazda6, Skoda Superb, Toyota Camry)
Most mid-size SUVs and above (e.g. Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan X-Trail, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander)
Most large SUVs (e.g. Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen Touareg
3: TOP 5 THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Only buy a restraint that meets the Australian standard. A sticker will show that it meets the 2004, 2010 or 2013 AS/NZS 1754 standard. It is illegal to use overseas models and unsafe to use models over 10 years old.
- Check the restraint is suitable for your needs
Remember price doesn’t necessarily reflect how safe a car seat is. Make sure the restraint is the right size for your child and fits well in your vehicle as we mentioned in our ‘How to choose’ above.
- Has the seat got a safety rating?
The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) assesses the protection rating of car seats above Australian Standard requirements and provides information on ease of use. These ratings can be a useful guide.
- Professional installation
You might think it’s easy to install a car seat but it’s best to get it professionally installed.
Find your nearest RACV accredited restraint fitter here https://www.racv.com.au/on-the-road/driving-maintenance/racv-car-servicing-repairs.html
- Regularly check the car seat and make adjustments as children grow
Buying and fitting the seat is only part of keeping kids safe. Straps can loosen over time, harnesses can need adjusting depending on what children are wearing, and your child might have had a growth spurt! See our top tips on using restraints https://www.racv.com.au/content/dam/racv/images/public-policy/pdfs/roadusers/RACV-Using-child-restraints-brochure.pdf
5: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & PASSENGER, CAR AND ROAD SAFETY
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about child restraints & booster seats
See more about Passenger, car & road safety via these links https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/road-safety/
Racv.com.au, vicroads.com.au, kidsafe.co.au, childcareseats.com.au, betterhealth.vic.gov.au, choice.com.au, britax.com.au, carsguide.com.au, parentingcentral.com.au
BACK IN THE GYM:
- The gym will be taking you up, up and away exploring all types of transport over the next two weeks! We learn (or re learn, for our returning Mini Jets) to do forward rolls down the wedge, cartwheels and tuck handstand with our knees on a box.
- The beam will bring some challenges with us walking ‘up hill’ and rolling the hoop along beam while balancing.
- Don’t forget if you’re practicing forward rolls at home, prop some pillows or couch cushions up to make a small incline for your child to roll down more easily and always encourage them to tuck their chin to their chest. You can use a pair of socks bundled up and ask them to squish the socks with their chin to ensure they’re protecting their neck and head. For our younger Mini Jets that won’t be able do this, it’s important you tuck their head under as they roll down.
- Our Car Wash set up is bound to be a hit-the great thing about this is that while having a blast they’re strengthening their whole upper body including their core, as they push themselves along on the scooter board or ‘car’!
WEEK 9 & 10 (16th – 27th March): ‘Around the World’
WEEK 11 & 12 (30th March – 10th April): ‘Easter’ ******SCHOOL HOLIDAYS******