The Road Ahead : August September 2008
Child’s STORY BARRY GREEN F amily is the most precious cargo any motorist can carry. No one would argue with that. So why is it that an alarming number of children are not properly restrained? In a 2006 survey, the RACQ inspected the standard of fi tment of child restraints to 156 vehicles. The survey showed: • That in the under six months and six-11 months age groups, 100 percent of restraints fi tted were ‘very appropriate’ for these groups. • In the one-three years age group, only 57 percent were deemed to be ‘very appropriate’, with 9 percent considered to be ‘not at all appropriate’. • And in the four-seven years age group, only 25 percent were found to be ‘very appropriate’, with an alarming 30 percent ‘not at all appropriate’. However, help is at hand through the RACQ’s child restraint 6 AUG/SEP 08 sales and advisory service. This service handles more than 4000 telephone enquiries a year on issues such as the legal requirements and correct selection, installation and use of child restraints. RACQ retail sales product co-ordinator Debbie Spalding said there were three main stages to follow in correctly choosing and using a child restraint: 1. From birth to a minimum of six months old and 8 kg in weight, a child must be placed facing rearward in an Australian Standards approved seat with a fi ve-point inbuilt harness. This may be extended to include a child up to 12 kg, depending on manufacturer’s guidelines for the seat. 2. A child should be placed in an Australian Standards approved child seat with a fi ve-point inbuilt harness, facing forward, when they are up to 18 kg in weight, or are old/tall enough so that his/her eyes are level with the top of the child play It’s important that parents and carers are aware of how to select and use child restraints in their vehicles.
October November 2008
June July 2008