Belt Up In The Back

Plans to introduce mandatory child seats this year linked to the age of the children have served to remind us how important it is that children have the appropriate restraint.

Check that your car seat has been installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions

Then each time the child is strapped in, check again that the seat belt securing the seat is still fastened and hasn’t been accidentally tampered with.

A comfortable child is more likely to enjoy the trip, so it is worth checking that the shoulder belt of the seat should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat.

Never tuck the shoulder belt under the children’s arm or behind their back. Where you have a lap belt fitted, it should be low and snug across the thighs, not the stomach. Also try to ensure that your child is small enough to sit against the seat back with the legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down; they should be able to stay in this position comfortably throughout the trip.

Consider using a booster seat where appropriate. Small babies should be placed in an appropriate size baby seat beginning with the first ride home from the hospital. Due to the risk of serious injuries, or even death, it is essential that the rear facing car safety seat is never used in the front seat of a car that has a passenger airbag. Generally the safest place for a child to be is in the back seat.

Children should never be left alone in a car, whether they are in their car safety seats or not. Temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes and children have died of heat stroke while locked in the car.

Child locks on the rear doors are a good idea when the children are young and provide you with additional reassurance.

25 March 2006 Staff

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